Whatever your goals, these tips could save you money even faster. These 17 tips for saving money fast could just help you reach your savings goals in record time.
While it might seem odd to save money during a pandemic, having a goal set during a time of uncertainty can be a source of stability – to an extent. It can also allow you to project yourself into a brighter future, which should improve your overall well-being! So if you are wondering how to save money fast, check out these 17 tips to increase your savings fast.
How to save money fast in South Africa
Before you can start saving money each month, you need to have a clear overview of your cash flow. This means you need to factor in all of your incoming and outgoing money flows, including your potential debt repayments, your monthly bills, and how much you save each month. Let’s break this process down into several steps.
1. Learn to manage your budget and understand your finances
The most important thing in saving money fast is learning to manage your budget. If you control your budget, you control your finances. Becoming financially independent is critical if you want to achieve your short and long term savings goals. Here’s how to create a budget so you can start saving quickly:
Track your finances over a 30 day period. This includes all of your income and expenses.
Compare your monthly income to your expenses to estimate how much you are currently saving, or how much you are overspending each month.
Classify your expenses into fixed and variable costs. Your fixed costs include expenses that are usually difficult to adjust, such as rent or utilities. Your variable costs include expenses such as shopping, entertainment, and memberships.
Identify all the variable costs you can save on in order to increase the amount to be saved each month.
Review your progress regularly and make adjustments if necessary. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, there are plenty of business apps available to help you keep tabs on your budget.
2. Pay off your debts (if you have any)
Before you start saving, you’ll need to pay off your debts. Because interest accumulates over time, the longer you wait to pay off a debt, the more it will grow. Pay off your debts first before focusing on your other savings goals.
To do this, consider adopting the 50/30/20 rule . Created by US Senator Elizabeth Warren while she was a Harvard bankruptcy specialist, the 50/30/20 rule is a simple way to manage your budget and therefore pay off debt. It works as follows:
Use 50% of your income for your needs i.e. fixed costs such as rent and utilities.
Use 30% of your income for what you want – that is, variable costs like dining out and subscriptions.
Use 20% of your income for your savings.
3. Open a dedicated savings account
In order to save money quickly, you will need to separate the money you use for your daily needs from the money you intend to save. For this, it is necessary to open a dedicated savings account. Thus, you minimize the risk of digging into your savings funds to cover your daily expenses. This will encourage you to follow your daily budget while keeping your savings safe.
4. Program your savings
If you have a fixed monthly income, remember to schedule your savings each month: you can schedule an automatic permanent transfer from your current account to your savings account each month. Thus, you reduce the risk of using these funds to cover your daily expenses.
5. Schedule the payment of your invoices
Note that you can also schedule the payment of your bills. Companies often charge late fees if you don’t pay them on time, so paying your bills before the deadline will help you avoid any extra charges.
6. Set the spending limit for your card
Want a great way to save money fast? Set a spending limit on your credit or debit cards. This will keep you from overspending and encourage you to evaluate your daily purchases in advance. Many banks offer this service.
7. Use the envelope management system
Another possibility to help you save money fast is to use Dave Ramsey’s Envelope Management System. This system involves withdrawing your monthly cash income from the bank (yes, in full) at the start of each month and dividing it into different envelopes based on your management goals.
This will provide you with envelopes for your fixed costs (eg, rent, utilities) and for your variable costs (eg, clothing purchases, dining out, groceries). By paying everything in cash, it is practically impossible to break your budget! But we grant you, it is probably not the most practical in 2021!
8. Save on your rent
Saving on rent is one of the fastest ways to save a certain amount of money each month. If you live alone, one of the easiest ways to do this is to share a flat with you. This will immediately cut your rent in half, and if you choose to live with two roommates, you’ll pay about a third of your current rent.
So if you currently pay R2000 per month for a three-room apartment and find a roommate, you will save R666.66 per month.
If you already live in a shared flat, you can move into a smaller room. The rents are generally calculated according to the room which is to be rented. So you can make big savings every month. In addition, it would encourage you to resell some of your furniture, and allow you to earn some money.
Of course, the ways to reduce your rent depend on the configuration of your home, your needs and where you live.
9. Reduce your costs
Another tip for saving money fast is to reduce your expenses. Your electricity and gas bills represent the bulk of your fixed costs. If you can manage to reduce them, you will end up with a certain amount more each month. Here’s how to do it:
Change your energy supplier. By making sure you have purchased the best deal on the market, you can save several hundred dollars each month.
Replace your light bulbs with LEDs. Not only do they consume 75% to 85% less energy than traditional light bulbs, but their lifespan is 15 to 25 times longer.
Invest in a smart thermostat. This will allow you to adjust your central heating intelligently and potentially save you some money.
Plug all air leaks. Air leaks around your windows and doors can increase electricity bills because your radiators will have to run longer to heat the room. Instead, plug those leaks with compressible thermal sealing strips to keep the air warm.
If you own your home, consider doing energy renovations. There are many public aids to turn your home into a well-insulated cocoon that will reduce your carbon footprint.
10. Carry out an additional professional activity
If you want to dramatically increase your monthly savings, you can try finding some extra activity. It could be working a few evenings in a bar or restaurant after your job, finding a few freelance contracts, becoming a virtual assistant, or maybe babysitting.
If you can afford it, it can be very motivating to transfer all of the income generated from these additional activities directly into your savings account. But you have to be vigilant about the risk of burnout.
11. Cancel your unused subscriptions
Subscriptions are incredibly lucrative for many businesses because once customers sign up for their service, they’re less likely to cancel their subscription, even if they rarely use it.
This is largely due to the sunk cost bias. If applied to a subscription, the sunk cost bias means that it is difficult to cancel a subscription that is rarely used because you have already invested a huge amount of money. Thus, canceling the subscription would be accepting that the money spent so far has been wasted. Postponing the termination of the subscription maintains the illusion that this subscription can still be used. In general, very few of us fully use our subscriptions. That’s why it’s more beneficial to cancel unused subscriptions now than to keep them in the event that you use them later.
How to save quickly for a car?
There are several options available to you if you want to quickly save money for a car. It should be a little easier to save for a car, as you usually don’t need to save as much as you do for the down payment for a new home. However, it will still be necessary to be tactful in handling your money if you want to get behind the wheel of your car quickly. Besides, even if it means changing your car, why not opt for an electric vehicle? Many conversion bonuses have been put in place to lower the bill and guarantee a greener future.
12. Make small daily repairs yourself
Trying to fix what you’ve broken yourself is a great way to save real money – we’re talking about small repairs, of course. Thanks to YouTube and the Internet in general, it is easy to find online how to repair many everyday items. From leaky bathroom pipes, to changing the belt on your washing machine, to fixing the zipper on your jeans, it is always more beneficial to fix these things yourself rather than paying someone. ‘one to take care of them, or replace them completely.
13. Think before you buy
Giving in to temptation is the biggest problem when trying to save money fast. Before you make a big expense, whether it’s a compulsive purchase or not, give yourself at least three to four days to think about it. This will prevent the impulsive part of your brain, looking for a dose of serotonin after a purchase, to gain the upper hand.
If you really want to test yourself, try not to make a big expense until after 30 days of thinking. It’s a sure-fire way to keep your impulse buying under control and give yourself plenty of time to make sure there isn’t a better deal.
14. Buy a car at the end of the financial quarter
If you want to get a good deal on a car, the best time to buy is usually at the end of March, June, September, and December. Why? Because most dealers have specific sales targets to meet in order to claim their financial bonus. While these sales targets are set on a weekly and monthly basis, the big bonuses are given out quarterly. This means that you are likely to get a better deal on a car at the end of each financial quarter because the car dealership will be keen to meet their quarterly sales target.
15. Reduce your shopping expenses
If you can manage to reduce your spending on groceries each week, you’ll be amazed at how much you can save in just a few months. One of the best ways to do this is to plan all of your meals in advance. This means you can accurately calculate how much you’re going to spend before you shop and reduce your chances of going over budget.
Another tip would be to consider not consuming meat once a week. Since meat is generally more expensive than vegetables and vegetable products, it can pay off to go without one day a week. These little weekly savings will add up over time.
On top of that, be sure to look at the products sold at the bottom of the shelves. Supermarkets often put their more expensive products at eye level, to encourage you to spend more, and the cheapest products closer to the ground, making them harder to spot.
16. Set one free day per month
To get used to saving money, decide on one day per month that you spend absolutely nothing except fixed costs. You can prepare all your meals from the ingredients you have at home, choose to socialize at the park or at home, and spend a relaxing evening reading or watching TV. Once you get used to it, you can do this two days a month, and maybe even one day a week to really increase your monthly savings amount.
17. Sell your unused items
If you want to quickly start saving money for your vacation, it’s worth making a list of all your unused items and selling them on an online shopping sites like Gumtree and OLX, for example. This not only helps to declutter your home, but also saves you small amounts of money that you can save for your next vacation. Conversely, you can also start buying second-hand items more frequently, in order to save a lot of money and avoid over-consuming.
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