5 Fun Ways to Save Money…
Let’s be honest: good news doesn’t really sell. It’s why I’m often in a better headspace when I go through phases of not really paying attention to the mainstream media, as, invariably, I’m not as exposed to the steady flow of negativity, pessimism and drama they like to peddle.
However, one item I’ve stumbled upon regularly of late is regarding a growing household debt problem among British consumers. Given how cheap it is to borrow money at the moment, it seems as though a lot of us are turning to credit to fund things we can’t really afford – or, at the very least, to pay for luxuries rather than necessities.
Yet given how uncertain things feel economically and politically at the moment, it makes sense to try and get your house in order, and save for a rainy day. The good news is that this need not mean radical cutbacks. Instead, there are some easy ways to save money – some of them pretty fun too!
Challenge each other!
Make saving a fun little contest with your family! Each week give you, your partner and your children a relative amount of cash (spread fairly depending on expenses). Then at the end of each week or month, the person with the most money left over can win a prize – perhaps a choice of family outing for the day. Not only is it a good way to save money in empirical terms, it’s also a good way to ingrain a culture of saving in your family’s mindset – not to mention the fact that everyone enjoys a good challenge.
Have special savings accounts
Sometimes doing fun things can carry a tinge of guilt if we feel like we can’t afford to do what we’re doing. I’ve found a good way around this is to have multiple secret savings accounts, and earmarking a specific purpose for each. For example, one can be for holidays, another to pay for activities, a third to pay for any luxury items etc. Then you just squirrel away as much as you can into these each month and watch it build up over time. Not only is this a great way to save for things, but it’s really satisfying too.
Be a tech-savvy budgeter
The days of spreadsheets, and writing down your monthly budget with paper and pen are pretty much long gone. Luckily, technology has jumped in to take its place. I recently tried the new ‘You Need A Budget’ app, and it was surprisingly fun to operate. It divides your income into separate pots and then keeps track of what you spend on each. Under-spend on one, and you can reallocate the left-over pounds elsewhere (and vice versa). It’s a great way to keep track of spending and comes with a free 34-day trial.
Troll exclusive deal sites
Is there a better feeling than getting a bargain? Yes, but not too many! Sites like Groupon, or Moneysavingexpert’s ‘Deals and Vouchers’ section have all the bargains you could possibly imagine on any variety of things, and some offer really significant savings too. The important thing is to not get too carried away, and end up buying things you don’t actually need, just for the sake of it being discounted. That said, if you channel all these deals to suit your needs, you can save a whack of money!
Cut the cost of debt
Much as credit cards are convenient, handy enablers, the reality is that they can be very costly, and even entrench debt. If you already have a balance you are unable to clear, the best thing to do is make the cost of paying it off cheaper. And what better, more satisfying way of doing so than by doing something that requires little or no effort? For the truth is that you have two good options here. Firstly, you could shift this money onto a 0 per cent balance transfer card, thus giving you a window of about three years to clear your balance without paying a penny in interest. Alternatively, you can consolidate this debt with a low-interest personal loan, thus immediately reducing the cost of your debt. Either way, it’s minimum fuss, maximum savings. Money made simple, fun and easy – just how it should be.
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