How to develop healthy spending habits: the best ways to save up

PaySpace Magazine will help you to find a way of spending less and saving more

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How to develop healthy spending habits. Source: shutterstock.com

The practice has shown that saving up is not that difficult. Sometimes people just need to start… and perhaps a little motivation.

These simple tips will help you to cut spending and stop wasting your money. Let’s organize all of them around thematic clusters for convenience.

So we have shopping, vehicle, home, food, and habits.

How to cut spending

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Branded products

Purchasing of hyped and branded goods is always expensive. You can spend a little time looking for not so famous/branded goods of the same quality and specs. Maybe you will be surprised, but it can result in significant cost savings. Take your time and read ingredients of an expensive candy bar or yogurt and match them to not so touted ‘own brand’ items.

The same is true for most products and services in multiple fields. Let’s consider medicine. Usually, people are able to find cheaper generic versions of medicines. You can ask for them at your pharmacy. And remember, a good network of pharmacies primarily aims to enhance client loyalty rather than make their customers bankrupt.

Cash vs credit card

Many people used to pay for their purchases with a credit card. Moreover, some people have even forgotten what cash is and won’t even remember when they last touched paper banknotes. There are many reasons for that. It is more hygienic (compared to dirty bills), secure, and convenient in many ways. For instance, you don’t have to carry a large wallet or purse around. However, numerous studies indicate that the constant use of bank cards leads to the loss of control over expenditure. It is much easier to part with invisible electronic money than with real paper notes. It is for this very reason that using a monthly budget template becomes so important to healthy home finances.

If you still are not ready to get reattached to the inconvenient wallet, you can make a habit of reviewing receipts after every single shopping trip. You can also use a money-saving app for your mobile phone. Such apps alert you immediately when you spend money, and organize all purchases into categories like food, shopping, bills, etc.

Buy only things you really need

Often buyers purchase goods just because these products participate in a promotion or sale. It is particularly hard to resist the temptation to buy something when you’ve got a message from the store, which says about a personal discount. Especially if it is your payday. However, if you have firmly decided to save money, you should buy only essential goods, and a personal discount is not an excuse for extra, as well as unscheduled/unnecessary expenditure. Moreover, do not forget about cashback.

Online shopping

If you still are not familiar with online shopping, then it is probably the best time to consider this option. Despite the fact that it also has its deficiencies, this kind of shopping mostly offers lower prices, compared to brick-and-mortar stores. Furthermore, many popular brands sell off their collections at sale prices (up to 90% discounts). So, check out online stores and save on clothes.

Shopping list

Don’t be too lazy to compile a grocery list. Everybody can learn to plan purchases, it’s not so hard. Mobile apps can even ease this process. There are a lot of apps that can facilitate a shopper’s route.

Using shopping lists would save you from multiple unfortunate situations. For example, if you have forgotten to buy a loofah or pack of tea, you would probably come for these goods another day. This is where pitfalls begin. Most likely, you would then want to grab more than just products you came for.

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Snacks at a gas station

Have you ever noticed that every time you go down to the petrol station, you accidentally buy coffee, potato crisps, or a hot dog? These expenditures are totally useless. Instead, you could have used them to feed the hungry. Mostly, people are not hungry and buy snacks with coffee out of habit. In the event, you are actually starving, and you knew you would be hungry since you were going to take a long drive, it is your fault that you hadn’t packed up sandwiches and drinks beforehand. If you are saving up and you are going to take a long trip, stock up on food and beverages, like water, tea, or coffee (non-alcohol beverages of course, because you are a responsible and conscious driver, aren’t you?).

Keep an eye on the tire pressures

Insufficient or excessive tire pressures can lead to car troubles, rapid deterioration, or an increase in petrol consumption. Pay attention to this on a regular basis and especially before a long journey with extra luggage onboard.

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Cable TV

Pay attention to the number of TV channels you really watch. Statistics show it is usually no more than five of them. That’s why you should find out whether your service provider has a simplified channel package option. It is obvious that this will cost less. As another alternative to expensive cable TV, we can suggest the use of the internet. You easily can transmit a signal to your TV using a computer (you still need a TV license for this in the UK).

Don’t skimp on energy efficiency and energy-saving technologies

Have you ever noticed that heating and electrical power often take the greater part of our utility bills? It is not a problem for those who live in warm climates. However, those who know what being cold means would agree that it is vital to have decent heating once the winter weather sets in. But once the summer comes, everybody switches their air conditioners on. Someone wise once said: a greedy man always pays twice. If you saved on cheap windows and electrical appliances of poor energy efficiency rating, then you would lose your money steadily, hour by hour.

Refuse disposable razors

Some men prefer disposable razors. At first glance, they seem to be a bargain, but the long-term use of these razors appears to be more expensive, than the use of a shaver with interchangeable cartridges/blades. You can also search for interchangeable cartridges sets, which often are sold at wholesale prices. Moreover, an electric shaver is a good alternative to the bladed one.

You should befriend your neighbors

Experience has shown that not everyone in the world around us is an unpleasant person. It is a good idea to make contact with your next-door neighbors. And just maybe, it won’t be necessary for you to buy a number of “one-time” use appliances.

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You’ve decided to go to the store? Do yourself a favor and eat beforehand

Being hungry makes your brain fall for unnecessary purchases. In other words, you merely buy more than you need (more than you would have bought being well-fed). One more tip, do not rattle around a store just because you are bored. In such a case you would probably put in your cart something you don’t really need.

If you go grocery shopping, try to determine a time limit for your shopping trip. Therefore, you will reduce the risk of excess purchases.

Perishable foodstuffs

Unfortunately, a lot of people go crazy when it comes to “half-price” sales. It is easy to buy an extra kilo of tomatoes or oranges during such a sale. Certainly, you should eat vegetables and fruits to stay healthy, but it doesn’t mean you should buy more than you are actually able to eat. Perishables can turn into inedible items very soon, much sooner than you think.

Fruit and vegetable price reductions usually imply that the expiry date is just around the corner.

Refuse energy drinks

Try to read energy drink ingredients for once. These drinks don’t have any secret or supernatural components, being usually just high in caffeine and sugar. It will take a little time to search for natural energy drink recipes on the internet, but it is totally worth it. Thus, you will kill two birds with one stone. Firstly, you will keep your body away from extra harm. Secondly, it will result in significant cost savings.

Make coffee at home

We hope you will not deny that there is some kind of coffee cult nowadays. Almost every respectable cafe/restaurant has a vast range of different coffee beverages. A coffee maker is almost an obligatory part of any office.

If you are a stickler for coffee, but still need to save up, you should start thinking about a home coffee maker (not an expensive one), or at least about a French Press. It is simple – the average cost price of a cup of coffee is $0.30 – $0.40 (+ $0.20 for labor), while the average price of a cup of coffee in a cafe is $3 – $4. Just think about it.

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Planning, scheduling, and self-discipline

You should always check a mobile phone, wallet, and phone charger before going outside. Pat your pockets before leaving, make sure you’ve taken everything you need, don’t waste your time returning home.

Not everyone is able to manage their finances properly. If you know your weak points, why shouldn’t you transfer money management rights to your soulmate, if you know they are more “low-key” and reasonable?

Bad habits

You should give up smoking as soon as possible if you smoke. It is not just about saving up. It is also about your health. If you smoke, you probably use one pack a day. One pack costs around $5 – $7. Thus, you “smoke” $35 – $49 per week, $140 – $196 per months, and $1680 – $2352 per year. It is quite impressive, isn’t it?

Reduce the number of in-game purchases (for gamers only)

Hard-core gamers undermine their budgets since they spend colossal sums for in-game purchases. Let’s take a look back to remember the fantastic Zweihänder, breathtaking Claymore, or any other longsword that was purchased by you in an old forgotten game for five, or even ten real (not virtual) US dollars ten years ago. Was it worth its price? How many experience/bonus boosters have been purchased in online games over the past ten years?

Don’t waste your time

You have to know that your time is precious, so you better value it, considering at least its irreversibility. Use your public transport journey to your advantage. You can read or listen to something educational sometimes, instead of gaming or listening to music. Your knowledge is going to pay off anyhow. Businessmen say time is money.

Bonus idea

Choose something to save for

As it is banal, obvious, old as dirt, but still works. It is motivation we are talking about. It’s easier to save up if you know what you are saving money for. You can call it a savings goal, aim, whatever, the same conditions apply.

Set a goal and figure out how much money you will need to reach it. Moreover, you have to determine how long it could take.

SEE ALSO: The best short-term investments options

Tags: Howto