Saving money not only helps to protect you in the event of a financial emergency, but it also gives you a greater sense of financial freedom. However, it’s easier said than done, right? As with any goal, learning how to save usually requires a bit of education and willpower alongside an effective budget calculator.
With that in mind, what better time to take control of your finances than the New Year. January is about new beginnings so, if you want this year to be a better year for money, consider adding these top money-saving hacks to your list of New Year’s resolutions.
Our guide will help you save and leave you with more money to play around with throughout 2022.
Walking to work
Not only does walking to work save you money on travel expenses, which over time all adds up - but it’s also great for your physical and mental health, too. Scientists claim that physical activity can cause chemical changes in the brain, such as the release of endorphins, which can positively lift our mood and boost our energy levels. Better still, you’ll also be reducing carbon emissions, so it’s an all-around win.
Make a shopping list
We’ve all walked into a grocery store with the intention to pick up a pint of milk or a loaf of bread, but have somehow left with a cart full of items we didn’t really need. Shopping lists are a great way to cut down on unnecessary purchases, by budgeting for the necessities rather than impulsively filling your cart with anything that catches your eye.
Just think about how much money (and food waste) you could save if you plan your weekly meals in advance.
Bringing lunch from home
As tempting as eating out can be, according to USA Today, eating out for lunch costs the average American $11 per meal, which if you’re eating out more than twice a week can soon add up. While making your own lunches often requires extra time and effort, with potential savings of over $200 a month to be made - taking a packed lunch to work is a super-easy way to start saving.
Giving up takeout coffee
As a nation of coffee lovers, the thought of giving up our morning coffee seems like a crime. But before you start to panic, we’re not saying you should ditch the morning coffee completely. However, making the switch to homemade coffee instead could end up saving you thousands of dollars per year.
Sounds too good to be true, right? But the average price of a takeout coffee is around $5, so if you buy a coffee every day that can quickly equate to as much as $1,825 per year. Making your coffee at home can save you a lot of money.
Audit your expenses
One of the most important steps in taking control of your finances through budgeting. While budget calculators are a great place to start, the basic principles of budgeting involve reviewing your expenses and financially planning for the month ahead.
By taking the time to sit down and familiarize yourself with your spending habits, you’ll be able to see where you can cut back and save on unnecessary purchases. Keeping tabs on your monthly outgoings can also help you to gain a better understanding of how much you can afford to put away in savings each month.
Shop on a Wednesday
Shopping on a Wednesday may seem like an odd concept, but a midweek trip to the supermarket could end up saving you some extra cash. A lot of supermarkets release their weekly specials on a Wednesday so if you do your grocery shop midweek, you’ll be able to take full advantage of these handy savings.
Stop using streaming services
An easy and effective way to start saving money is by cutting costs on TV and music streaming services. While popular streaming services such as Netflix play an important role in keeping us entertained, having multiple streaming services can often be pricey (and often unnecessary).
Take a moment to think about the streaming services you could actually live without to reduce your monthly costs.
Undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to save money is to take money out of your bank account each month after you have been paid and put it straight into your savings account. Not only does a direct debit help you save, but it also keeps your savings separate from your current account, which means you are less tempted to spend them.
How can I save money fast?
One of the quickest ways to start saving money is to cut down on unnecessary purchases and learn how to budget better. A budget calculator can be a useful tool to help you gain control of your spending.
What is the 50-30-20 budget rule?
The 50-20-30 rule is an efficient money management strategy that can help you to gain control over your finances. It works by breaking your monthly paycheck into three sections, 50% for the essentials, 20% for savings, and 30% for everything else.