The best of intentions at the beginning of the year can quickly be forgotten as the bills start to roll in. You definitely shouldn’t beat yourself up because your savings plan failed to leave the launch-pad.
But before you give up hope and confine your savings plan to the dustbin, you should take a few minutes to re-assess some of your basic everyday habits. Within these spending patterns lies the key to big savings which could have you polishing a nest egg before you know it.
Saving $250 in a month doesn’t sound like much, right? But think of it this way – if you can save this money purely by eliminating some needless spending – in 4 months you’ve saved $1000. That’s enough for a pretty decent holiday, it gets you a pretty decent new wardrobe, it will let you make some changes around the house, or it will get you on your way to a deposit for a new car.
So lets break it down. $250 in a month. That means all you need to save is $62.50 a week. Lets get started.
- Cut back caffeine – Say you spend $3.50 every morning on a cup of coffee, and some days you double up and have one in the afternoon as well. Make that 7 coffees a week. At $3.50 a pop, you can save $24.50 a week just by grabbing your morning caffeine hit at home. Over the course of the month, that’s a saving just shy of $100. We’re off to a good start!
- No more long lunches – A couple of times a week you buy your lunch at work, right? After all, sometimes you need a break from routine. If you’re buying lunch for any less than $10 a pop, I’d be surprised, so at $20 a week, those sandwiches or salads from home could be saving you $80 over four weeks. The savings are racking up already…
- On the wagon – When Friday afternoon rolls around, the lure of the pub can be hard to resist. But when you’re paying an average of $5 per drink, this little treat can add up. If you enjoy a couple of well-earned cold ones or buy a round for colleagues, you can easily be parted with $20-$25 in a sitting. Extrapolate that out over the month, and we’ve got between $80-$100 in further savings. Are you keeping count?
- Hit the pavement – Outside major cities, most of us drive our cars to get to work. A tank of fuel costs around $65 for most of us, and around two-thirds of that tank would go towards travel to and from work. That means we’re spending around $40 a week on petrol commuting to our jobs. Consider that if you were to travel by train or bus, you would cut your transport costs in half, and if you’re able to walk or cycle to work, you’ll make a saving of $40 a week. Over the course of the month, that adds up to $160. Astonishing!
So, if you can remember, our savings goal was to be able to put aside $250 a month.
Thus far, just by making a few slight changes to our routine, we’ve identified the potential to save $400!
Now, these savings may be more some months, and less in others, as you may not always be able to resist the temptation of breaking your budget as a reward, or just for the sake of convenience. You should remember that these moments of spending madness aren’t the end of the world.
The best way to protect yourself and your money from temptation is to put it to work in an account that rewards your good habits. A high-interest Savings Account like The Greater's Bonus Saver. When you make at least one deposit and no withdrawals in a calendar month, you earn a higher rate of interest, meaning your savings grow that much faster. You can even open an account online.
If you’ve got some savings tips that have helped you hang onto more money, leave them in the comments below.