10 simple steps to save money

Written by
Vala Bunjaku

10 simple steps to save money

Written by
Vala Bunjaku

10 simple steps to save money

Written by
Vala Bunjaku

I assume all of you would prefer to live adept free life, have no financial obligations and never think about interest rates ruining your life.

This blog provides you with simple ways to save your money and suggestions on spending it wisely.

For most of us saving money seems nearly impossible, because every time we get around to it, something always comes up; the car needs fixing, the house needs repairing - and just like that, saving money takes a back seat.  

A piece of advice. Prioritize your saving habits by thinking about your future needs rather than what you currently want. With a few changes to your everyday spending, you will get on track to saving money in no time.

1. Create a Zero-based budget

What is a zero-based budget you ask? Simple, you make a list to justify all your expenses and create a spending plan.

Start by writing down your monthly expenses, such as rent, food, phone bills and everything else. Then write your income; the full amount of money that your household earns in a month. Ensure that everything you spend, save and invest adds up to your income, this way you keep track of where every cent you earn is spent.

2. Pay off your debts

Easy to say, right? There isn't any bulletproof method that guarantees a debt free life even if you follow it devotedly, but the Debt Snowball Method has proven to be successful in no small way.

How does it work? Just think of a snowball rolling down a hill, starts off small and becomes bigger as it descends. Now turn that idea into money. Make a list of your debts from the lowest to the highest. Start paying off a more considerable amount of money (or the full amount) on the smallest debt, whilst making minimum payments for your other obligations. Repeat this process until you eliminate your debts one expense at a time.

3. Spending Freeze

Try out a spending freeze, meaning avoid buying non-essential items for some time. Think of it as a challenge, set your time to a week or a month and only spend your money on absolute necessities. Make the spending freeze easier on yourself by avoiding shops where you tend to impulse buy items that you don't need and prepare meals at home with the food you already have.

4. Eat and Drink at home

We often don't realize how much money we spend by eating out and grabbing a coffee cup on the go. As hard as it can be to break up with your barista, cutting back can help you save a lot of money over time. Try switching to instant coffee that you can make at home for only 0.40cents. Super affordable, isn't it? Also, instead of paying a large amount for one meal, use that same amount of money to buy ingredients and prepare your meals for the whole week.

I understand that sometimes we all want to indulge on the delicious delicacies prepared in restaurants, but try to keep it to a minimum and watch your savings increase in no time.

5. Save money automatically

Want to save money without giving it much thought? You can set up a savings account in your existing bank account and have an automatic amount of cash saved directly from your salary every month. Easy, right?

6. Try Staycation!

If you're trying to cut back on your spending, going on vacation is the worst thing you can do. I get it, you need a break and want to relax, but why not take advantage of your hometown for that? You can spend your time being a tourist in your own country, visiting the country side and relaxing in another nearby city. You would save a ton of money and have fun at the same time.

7. Reduce energy costs

Whether from your mother or your spouse, you have been told to TURN OFF THE LIGHTS - and for a good reason. Minimising your energy costs can save you a lot of money, and it is not at all difficult to do. The easiest step is to make sure to keep your appliances turned off when you are not using them, and also keep in mind that some machines use up energy even when they're turned off, so make sure to be aware of this ‘Phantom Energy’ spending and go ahead and unplug those devices. Another useful tip is to always review your electrical usage, this way you are aware of how much electricity you are spending and how it is being spent, and when the time comes, the price on that bill won't hit you as hard! You can do this review either by calling in experts, who will run tests and inspections for air leaks, check your insulation, and provide you with the information on how your electricity is being used. However, if you're more of a do it yourself kind of person, you can find an online audit tool, where you simply put in your postal code and the audit calculator generates the information for you. Another helpful tip is to never run your appliances unless they are full; meaning, if you only have a dirty pair of socks and a t-shirt, do not use the washing machine. Wait until you have enough dirty clothes to fill up the machine and declare laundry day!

8. Buy generic 

Give name brands the boot! Why spend an absurd amount of money on a piece of clothing or jewelry just because the name-brand logo looks fancy? Generic brands cost way less, and they work just as well. So stop paying for a name, and start paying for what you need.

9. Cut cable TV

You thought that the heart-breaking separations were it? Well, not entirely, there are a few other changes you must make. Do you love your cable? Love the TV shows and the movies on there? Well too bad, you should cut it right now. That's 50 euros per month that you don't need to spend! We live in a digital world, indeed, you can find the same content, somewhere on an app or on the web at a later date. But, be wary, just because I said to use an app, or surf the web, I didn't mean get Netflix, Huluor Prime subscriptions that cost 10 Euros per month each, get those from your friends, get their passwords, or, better yet, go to a library. Did you know that you can get books there for free? And that you can even rent movies for free? Well, you can, so whenever you fancy a relaxed night in, go visit a library, choose your genre, and go home relax for a tremendous cost of zero euros.

10. Sell things you don't use

Decluttering your home is also another way to save money and even space! If there are items in your house that you rarely(or never) use, why not sell them to someone who may put them to use. This way, you get rid of useless items and at the same time pocket some cash from them instead of just collecting dust.

Break the cycle of living salary by salary, and start building a financial future by following these simple steps. It may seem difficult to cut back on indulgences that you enjoy, but cutting back now results in a lifetime of financial stability. So what are you waiting for? Start saving money today!