07 May 2014

How to Become a Careful Spender and Start Saving

Are you trying to become better at saving and spending? Here are some tips to help you live on a tight budget and still have money to put in the bank for a rainy day.

The first thing that most families do is to create a spending plan. If you already have one, it may be time to re-evaluate it in light of your current financial situation. Spending plans are not written in stone, there is always some tweaking that can be done.

For the family without a spending plan it’s time to create one. Get all your bills together in one place, grab a snack and a drink and start creating.

The first place money goes is the household bills. Then you have other needs like groceries, petrol and school fees. Entertainment is last on the list. After you tally up your household bills you’ll know how much you have at your disposal.

Even with groceries you can tighten the belt. Try the store brand version instead of the name brand. The box may not be as pretty but most store brand products come off of the same assembly line. Learn to buy only when on sale to take advantage of lower prices. Always shop with an accurate shopping list.

Creating more meals at home is another way to save a few dollars. When we are in a hurry or rushed for time, fast food is usually the answer. Instead, make a habit of planning your meals in advance so there is always something to eat in the house. Invest in a slowcooker if you don’t already have one and use it.

When it comes to entertainment, you can probably cut some of the fat there too. If you rent movies from the video store, consider using a DVD service. The monthly fee is cheaper than the per movie rate at the video store and you have more perks.

After you go over the budget and see where you can tighten the belt, again calculate the amount of disposable income you have. A portion of that money can be put into a savings account. To make saving even easier, have that amount direct deposited to your savings account. You won’t even see the money. When you look at the amount of your paycheck in the bank, that money will already be safely tucked away.

Another way to save is to avoid hasty purchases. Try this. When you see something that you want to buy, give yourself 24 hours before you make a decision. If you still want it, then make the purchase. Usually, the extra day gives you time to change your mind.

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  1. LOVE all things Cheapskates... Thanks Cath for the time effort and energy you put into this site and you blog.... working on how to leave a comment. Cheers

  2. Hi Cath, love reading your newsletter and blog posts.

    I just wanted to add that your local library is a wonderful source for DVD entertainment. They have a great current selection, and I can always find something worth watching.

    My local video store offers all videos for $1 each on Tuesdays, but I haven't taken advantage of this for years, simply because I always get them for free from the library. The bonus is that the library lets you take out the DVD for three weeks instead of just one night and I am more willing to try new movies I would never normally because I didn't have to pay for it!


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