When it comes to saving money, small changes here and there can make a big difference. In fact, the lifestyle tweaks may be so small that, after a few months, you might not even notice them. What you will notice, though, is a steady increase in your savings, making you more and more ready for life’s major purchases, like a car, a wedding and honeymoon or a home.
So, to help you do that, we tapped money expert Vanessa Stoykov for her top tips on saving on your monthly budget. From putting away 10% of your salary into a high interest account, immediately after being paid, to cooking meals on weekends and freezing them to easily eat throughout the week, here are Stoykov’s five clever ways to save.
Pay Yourself First
“If you don’t wrangle your monthly budget to allow for saving, you are putting yourself last,” Stoykov says. “Have a rule that 10% of your monthly earnings is automatically deducted from your account on payday and put into a high-interest savings account. This means you’ll earn more from the interest, and never be stuck to cover bills that pop up.”
Plan Your Expenses Based on Your Calendar
“Figure out the upcoming events you can’t miss and make sure you set aside enough to pay for it. Whether it be weddings, milestone birthdays, family holidays, whatever it is the more you can pre-plan, the better your savings will be. Plus, once you have your plan, it makes it easier not to get sucked into other purchases. And you might even be able to save on gifts buying them during annual sales.”
Set Aside Monthly Amounts for Your Quarterly Bills
“If you are setting aside the amount divided by 3 each month, you have the money ready when it’s time to pay, whether that be your car registration, you license renewal, energy bills, whatever it is allocate, money throughout the whole year to those items, so you’re always prepared. Bonus tip, if you pay by direct debit, most of the time you can get a pay on time discount.”
Try At Least One Side Hustle
“Try and find another way to make money outside your main source of income. The more streams of cash flow you have, the better. It could be selling something you don’t use on Gumtree, dog sitting on the weekend, or babysitting for a neighbour or family friend. There are thousands of side hustles out there to suit anyone.”
Eat in More
“Cook meals on the weekend and freeze them during the week, it makes it easier to eat at home when you are time and energy poor. It might sound boring but planning ahead to save yourself money — and set in advance what you would like to spend on eating out — is a smart way of budgeting (and the savings add up!).”