Have you ever looked at your bank balance and thought that there was some fraudulent activity on your card, only to find out that it was a result of your latest shopping spree?
We get it. Expenses just pile up, and somehow it’s hard to grow the balance in our account. So here are some habits you can start implementing now to help you save better.
Buying Gifts in Advance During Sales
If you find yourself scrambling for gifts on Christmas Eve or are ordering last minute same-day flower deliveries that cost a bomb, then this tip is for you.
Most people struggle to grow their savings because they are constantly getting last-minute gifts that could be planned for well in advance. Got a couple of January to March birthdays that you celebrate each year? You’d be better off getting their gifts during the post-Christmas sales with significantly reduced prices across stores. In fact, you can start shopping for your Christmas gifts right now during the summer sales and benefit from significant savings.
The reality is that you’re going to buy these gift anyway, so why not get them ahead of time and not only benefit from the discounts but also get a more suitable gift for your loved ones (let’s be real, last-minute gifts tend to almost always miss the mark).
Planning ahead even works if your loved one is a foodie. You can purchase vouchers or book reservations at restaurants with the various food apps. You could even look through promotions for your credit or debit cards and save a little while lavishing on your loved ones.
Of course, it’s probably best not to go too far with this. If your future fiancée wants a proposal at an expensive restaurant, then we’d highly advise that you temporarily ditch this plan to save yourself from any potential heartache or an unhappy fiancée (both outcomes are just as bad).
Today, you don’t have to shuffle from store to store to compare prices. You can do it right from your couch. Sure, Watsons and Guardian seem to have similar price tags, but if you do a quick check, you’ll realise their promotions differ from time to time. If you’re purchasing 10 items and save $3 per item, you’d save $30 which could buy you a nice dinner or help to grow your savings.
With apps like Lazada, Taobao, Qoo10, you can always search for alternatives that meet your needs too. There are many overseas alternatives that could be cheaper, even with shipping. Just be sure to look at the customer reviews and make sure that the item meets your standards.
Set Money Aside for Annual Expenses
If you can plan for your annual leave and ration them around the holidays, you can definitely set aside your annual travel costs on a monthly basis, or as often as when your salary comes in.
Instead of digging into your savings and watching your bank balance deplete, you can instead set aside the amount you need for your travels. By doing this, you can be more aware of how much you need to save so that you avoid unnecessary shopping sprees.
If you plan to spend $6,000/year on holidays, then build a systematic way of setting aside those funds. For instance, you could decide to save $500 a month for 12 months. Or you could set aside $2,000 from your bonus and $334 a month to save up this $6,000.
Do what works for you, but more importantly do this intentionally so that you can go on your next holiday without feeling like all your savings are being depleted.
Save Before You Spend
Yes, we know you’ve probably heard this before, but it’s about time you actually started doing it. If you want to avoid any unnecessary debt or avoid feeling like your account is depleting, start setting aside your savings. Even if all you can save is $100, that’s a good start.
Setting aside savings each month before spending is probably the best habit that savers benefit from. It creates an illusion that you have a smaller paycheck, which then helps you to start spending less each month. You’ll be more aware and conscious of what your limits are and also have the peace of mind, knowing that you’re planning for the future.
These small habits will go a long way. And if you start implementing them, you’ll see a bank balance that’ll leave you smiling.