Money is an asset and if one is not smart enough about their spending, you soon are out-of-pocket whether you have a hundred dollars or a thousand dollars.
In my humble opinion being clever with money is the only way forward. One of the good old proverb narrates something like this; ‘money is like sand in your hand. If your hand is not controlled properly, the sand will soon roll out without you even noticing much if it’.
By saying the above, by any means I am not promoting that you should deprive yourself from the life’s necessities. We should all enjoy the life’s bounties to the max. But here what I mean to say is: spend your money sensibly on the necessities and enjoy what brings true value into your life. Read that again…
However, sometimes the materialistic stuff that we often THINK as a necessity is not what brings the actual value… as these days we are very much influenced by the social media and society, and assume everything that looks shiny is going to shine our life. But I will let you figure that out yourself as you are the master of your own life…
While you figure that out, let’s dive straight into how we, as couple, manage our finances and save some serious money.
1. Look at Your Finances
We first look at our monthly figures and see what comes into our bank accounts and what goes out. We mainly look at the bigger, important and more regular spending’s e.g. mortgage payments, bills, food shopping etc. and put the money aside for these areas first.
Then we look at what we have left and transfer 20% of the amount into the savings account. Whatever is remaining after that we can enjoy on days out, eating out, birthday parties, shopping, holidays etc.
We also tend to save from this for big holidays etc. I’m aware that we are all on a different journey in terms of managing our finances, and therefore I would recommend having a really good think about the stuff where you are spending your hard-earned cash on, and have a think about if you really need to spend on every aspect of it?
- Is it necessary to begin with?
- What value is it bringing into your life?
- If it is, then what else can you cut out from other areas of your life in order to manage you spending on this?
- Can you cut down some of the spending completely or even by half!?
When I say this, I mean you can cancel any unnecessary monthly subscription of TV channels, Sky boxes and magazine subscriptions. If you really want to come out of the comfort of your convenience and realise that in today’s time and age, most of the information are at your fingertips in the name of the internet where you can get most of the magazines related juicy gossips.
Information about health and social can be accessed from any social media apps these days. YouTube would be the best platform to access most of the current programmes/shows/soap operas.
A lot of News channels nowadays have live news on YouTube as well. Some of the relaxing meditation types of YouTube channels are also offering live streaming. So you don’t really need to buy those expensive meditation apps etc. and spend your money unneeded.
2. Build emergency funds
Work out how you can save a little bit every day, every week, or every month and transfer it into your savings account for rainy days. Ideally you should have between 3-6 months amount of funds saved and put aside for just in case.
3. Schedule shopping money and stick to it!
Once you have a clear budget you will spend less on junk and unnecessary stuff that may eventually end up in the bin because of the impulse buying. Keep a shopping list handy and schedule a day to do all your grocery shopping.
When it comes to clothes shopping, limit your clothes shopping to maybe every 3 months or every season. Get to know your personal style and colours for your skin tone.
Invest in quality rather than quantity. This way your clothes/accessories will last longer and ultimately you will be spending less in the long run.
Here is another handy tip – say you have seen something in a shop or online and you really want it. Write it down and give yourself 14 – 30 days and if you still want it after this period of time then go ahead buy it. Through this method you will be making an informed choice and ultimately you will use it longer hence making the most of your spending.
4. Don’t bulk buy grocery
But obviously it doesn’t apply to everything. Most of us get tempted to buy everything we see on sale or get attracted to an item that has a red/yellow tag on. I would recommend doing your research first. It may not be cheap after all!
Secondly it may not be worth buying it in bulk as it may have a short expiry date, and you may not be able to use it within the use by date and ultimately y end up throwing it away anyway and wasting your money.
5. Try using discount codes and coupons
This one is very handy especially for online shopping. Most of the time, there are coupons available exclusively from bigger retailers, or when new products are launched. Personally we have got up to 90% off in some cases or even for free!
6. Use library rather than buying books
Library is a great place to borrow books, audio books, DVDs, magazines.
7. Meal planning
Plan your meals around what you already have in the fridge/freezer and what’s on sale at the time. For example, Aldi has “Super Six” fruit, vegetables and meat offers every 2 weeks.
You could plan your meal and work lunches around that. Also, when you cook meals, try to cook some extra for your work lunch too. Or alternately you could cook a couple of dishes during the weekend and leave them in the fridge for your lunch. This way you will be saving tons of money in the long run.
As a result it’s a healthier choice for your body and obviously for your pocket!
8. Online Purchses
Purchase goods from places such as Gumtree, Shpock, Depop, EBay, Amazon market place, where people are selling goods that are hardly or ever used at the fraction of a price.
This could be from anything to cutting your own hair, doing your nails to painting/decorating your home to sewing your clothes, cooking, making cleaner sprays, hand soaps etc.
10. Swap Skills
there are plenty of forums on social media these days of your local area/ neighbourhood where you can swap skills for free.
11. Swap things with your family and friends
This could be home stuff, clothes shoes. You will be trendy for less. Have a try.
These are our tips and tricks for saving big money. What are yours?
Please share in the comments section below. Take care of your finances 🙂
Habib and Rani