The idea of saving often brings to mind scrimping and penny pinching, but it is possible to live well and enjoy yourself while still putting aside some money each month. You don't need to go without to enjoy a healthy savings account, so read on to discover some tips on how you can enjoy yourself while still saving money this year.
Plan your meals
Your food bill is one of your biggest expenses, but few people realise how much of a difference it can make to plan your meals ahead of time. In an age where many people are buying food only a few days ahead of time from supermarket express outlets, people have forgotten how much you stand to save by planning ahead. By planning your meals, you can work out what you need for a whole month or more ahead of time, which enables you to buy all your ingredients in bulk. This works out best if you have access to a wholesaler where you can easily buy things in larger quantities. By buying upfront in bulk, you save money over buying in smaller quantities. This is especially true if you usually buy your products at express and metro supermarket outlets where the prices are higher in exchange for being in more convenient locations. You should end up with roughly the same amount of food overall at the end of each month, but with more money in your pocket from buying in bulk vs buying at convenience outlets.
Invest your money online
Savings rates are at an all time low at the moment, so your money is doing nothing by sitting in a regular bank account. In order to accrue any appreciable gains these days, you need to invest your money. This requires some up front capital to start with, but the tools are available to making investing a viable option for everyone these days. By selecting an online broker, such as CMC Markets, you can research stocks and invest in anything from CFDs to mutual funds and individual stocks and shares. You'll want to do your research before committing any significant amount, but funds are a much better use of your money than sitting in a bank account. Your money may be slightly less liquid than a bank account, as it generally takes a few days to process withdrawals, but most big brokers will allow you to withdraw your money at any time. Just be aware that it's possible to lose the money you invest, so never commit to more than you can afford to lose, but overall with conservative picks you will likely come out ahead of any interest you would accrue with a bank account.
Sign up to a passive savings scheme
Several banks now offer schemes that allow you save money by rounding up every purchase you make with a debit card and automatically transferring the extra into a savings account. This is a great way to save money while you spend, as while you likely will not notice the difference of a few extra pennies being taken out each time, over time the savings will accrue to a significant amount. This is more of a psychological savings trick but it makes saving a lot easier when you don't have to think about it. Be sure to check the savings account every so often and either use that money to treat yourself or invest it like our other tip!
As our article has shown, there are many different ways you can save more money in 2017 without having to scrimp and pinch pennies. By altering how you save and what you do with your savings, you may just find that you have more money to play around with than you realised. It's refreshing to see your same savings go further and it means you get to enjoy more of your money as well. There is no cheat sheet when it comes to saving money and each of our tips do require effort, but those efforts will go on to pay dividends in the long term with proper financial management!
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