Many people want to save money but some do not have the luxury of time.
They must begin saving immediately to prevent a bad financial situation from arising.
When time is of the essence, it can be difficult to think rationally about saving money, causing some people to take extreme measures.
Before selling off the car and living in a tent, review these recommendations for quick money-savings and begin stashing the cash to improve your financial picture.
Find a Better Credit Card
Consumers who carry credit card balances waste money when they pay high interest rates. Shopping for a new card can save substantial money and the savings begin immediately.
Look for a card that offers zero percent interest for an extended period on balance transfers. Interest rates are expected to increase in the future so take advantage of low rates while these are still available. Transfer other card balances to this new card and begin enjoying the savings while repaying the balance.
Rewards credit cards are perfect for spenders who repay their credit card balances each month but would still like to save. These cards provide discounts, reward points, or cash-back bonuses for purchasing a wide assortment of items. Find a reward program that is most compatible with the lifestyle, use the card to purchase anything that can be immediately paid for when the bill arrives, and enjoy the rewards.
Reconsider Entertainment Options
Television keeps us informed and entertained but it comes at an increasing price. Reducing the cable plan to include only essential channels or getting rid of cable can equal significant savings. Television programming or a suitable alternative is available online for no charge or at relatively low expense. Free movies can be streamed online or borrowed from a library. Books and magazines are alternatives that give the mind a workout rather than causing it to stagnate in front of the television.
Weekly family game night is an inexpensive change of pace for families who enjoy bonding. Card, board and video games are fun, challenging, and already in the house. Rather than spending money for movie tickets, popcorn, and soda, stay home and play some games. University students and young adults can save money for their futures by replacing expensive nights on the town with fun evenings in the dorms or at home with friends. Entertainment on a budget is possible if you try.
When a trip out is called for, look for dining and entertainment deals to make it more affordable. Special offers available online are easy to redeem and represent substantial savings. Groupon offers everything from local deals to discounts on exotic getaways. Residents of London, Bristol, Liverpool, Glasgow, and other metropolitan areas can find special deals for their cities. AmazonLocal also caters to UK residents, offering local discounts on entertainment, spas, restaurants, travel, and much more.
Working Together to Save
To begin saving money quickly, partners and spouses should get in sync with each other. Establishing short-term moneysaving goals gets the ball rolling. Couples should have a money discussion monthly to ensure that one person is not spending excessively or buying unnecessary items. Regular financial conversations make it easier to save for big-ticket purchases like furniture and vacations. With both parties on track with savings, each makes equal effort.
When an expensive item is needed for one-time use, consider renting or borrowing it. Friends or neighbors may be willing to lend specialised equipment for home improvement projects. If they do not have the item, an equipment rental store probably will. This approach saves money immediately without halting a project in its tracks. It also prevents unused items from accumulating in the garage.
If the newest models are not necessary, look for refurbished versions of computers and other equipment. Other consumers sell these online and retailers offer them both online and in stores, available with manufacturer warranties. Technology becomes outdated upon release so there is no need to get the latest and greatest version. Opting for an older model keeps money in the budget without making sacrifices.
Employers also provide assistance with savings. Approximately one-third of UK employers offer a flex scheme that provides a benefits budget that employees can use to meet their needs. Employees choose the benefits that are most valuable to them or take cash in lieu of benefits. Some employers offer a salary sacrifice arrangement in which employees give up a portion of the cash in exchange for non-cash benefits such as pensions or childcare vouchers. For couples with children, vouchers for childcare represent immediate savings.
Many employers have arranged discounts for gym memberships, leisure expenses, retail purchases, and restaurant dining. Cycle to work schemes help employees get fit while saving money on transportation expenses and protecting the environment. As a salary sacrifice arrangement, a cycle to work scheme allows employees to save money on income tax and national insurance contributions.
Lifestyle Changes for Quick Money-Savings
Changing the lifestyle from want-based to need-based can result in substantial savings. Plan meals for a week at a time and purchase only the necessary ingredients. Store leftovers in the freezer to enjoy another night or take to work later in the week. Throw out takeout menus and instead focus on healthy and value-priced cooking at home.
Retailers make it tempting to handle items on store shelves but practice a “look, don’t touch” approach when shopping. According to one study, the longer consumers hold items, the more they desire these goodies and the more willing they are to pay for them. Keep hands occupied by holding the shopping list and reaching only for listed items. When the list is empty, avoid stores because their displays may be too tempting to resist.
There are plenty of other ways to save money quickly including driving the speed limit, reducing home heating use, and carefully considering new purchases before making them. These steps keep money in the bank account where it can be used to repay debts, pay down the mortgage balance, and save for the future. Never underestimate the power of a bit of savings today because every day enhances the results.