Money Saving Hacks that Actually Work

Everywhere on the web, there is a self-proclaimed financial expert that claims to teach you everything there is to know about saving money, from packing your lunches to doing your own laundry detergent. In my opinion, frugality to the extreme level can take away all the fun, leaving you exhausted and deprived. Worse, you’ll be less likely to commit if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. Fortunately, unlike so many other sources suggest, you don’t have to live like a student in order to save money effectively. The following tips are simple tricks that actually work.

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  1. Automate It

One of the most common reasons that we fail to save money is simply because it takes a lot of work. Setting aside money for your savings from every paycheck for the rest of your life can be tiresome. If you automate your finances, not only can you save precious time to focus on more important things, but you can also avoid the risk of spending the money because you don’t have it on hand.

  1. Invest Early

No matter how much you set aside from your income, it won’t make much of a difference if you do not invest your money. Saving your cash only gives it a higher level of security because you cannot access it too quickly, but investing allows you to grow the said money rather than just let it sit. The sooner you can begin investing, the faster your money grows. So do not save to save, but save to invest.

  1. Focus on the Big Stuff

Skip on the morning coffee – that’s the advice you would read anywhere. The problem with this advice is that you would have to abide diligently, every day, for the rest of your life in order to notice any difference, which is not much really. In addition, this can be very stressful on your part, as even a single cheat day can cause you so much guilt.

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Rather than worrying about the cheapest stuffs that make your life worthwhile, focus on the bigger, more expensive things you can cut back on. For example, you can talk to your landlord and negotiate your rent, or perhaps you can even move a little farther from the city. Check your magazine, cable, and mobile subscriptions and see if there’s any way to reduce those bills or if you can actually live without them. Rather than saving a few pounds that you’ll have to work on every day, these simple things can save you hundreds that you can invest immediately with only minimal work.

  1. Make Money on the Side

The logic is pretty simple here. If you want to save more, try to earn more. It will also help those who constantly feel that they are not earning enough. Land a few gigs every now and then, but make sure that your extra cash will go to your savings account and not spend it. Check out this useful link for ideas on how to make more money.

  1. Negotiate Your Salary

It’s one of the simplest things you can do that only require a few minutes of conversation but should yield hundreds and thousands in the long run. Tap on those negotiating skills and talk to that boss of yours. Chances are, he’s just waiting for you to ask.

7 Habits of Financially Stable People

Struggling financially can cause physical, emotional, and psychological devastation. If we can protect our finances now, it is better to do it sooner than later before the unexpected happens. This is why it is important to learn these tried and tested habits from the financially stable.

  1. They Don’t Engage in Impulse Buying

Money is wonderful, and it seems to always have a way to tempt us. We are all susceptible because we all want to have an easy, happy life, and the results of our actions can prove detrimental to our finances. Only when we’ve learned to control our impulses can we achieve financial stability.

  1. They Save Their Money

Financially stable people live below their means. They understand that it is important to save and raise as much cash as they can to achieve bigger, more profitable goals.

  1. They Invest

Financially stable individuals understand that saving money is not enough to secure their future. Even when retirement seems like decades away, they have already started investing most of their money in preparation.

  1. They Track Their Expenses

Financially stable people do not go around guessing their numbers. They monitor their spending constantly, check where they fell short, and find areas for improvement. Doing this can help anyone understand how to keep up with one’s finances.

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  1. They Have Their Debts Under Control

Debts are a part of our life. In fact, many kinds of debts are important for financial success. Financially stable people know this, but they always keep their debts in check. They do not want high-interest debts to stay much longer. They only take out ones that are important and pay them off as soon as possible.

  1. They Plan for Their Goals

We all have those bigger goals that we look forward to – buying a car, buying a home, going on vacation. Financially stable individuals know that these are long term goals that require efficient planning. They work on these goals consistently until they achieve them.

  1. They Sacrifice

Dining out, shopping for the finest clothes, and going on frequent drinks are just a few habits that many people enjoy. Financially successful people know that while it’s okay to treat themselves every once in a while, they have to cut most expensive habits that could put their financial future at risk.

6 Ways You Are Wasting Money That You Don’t Realise

While there are tons of known ways people commonly do to waste money, such as dining out too frequently and taking expensive trips, there are more ways you are wasting your hard-earned cash that you are not aware of. These stuffs are actually pretty simple that we often neglect them. Here they are.
1. Shopping When You’re Hungry
Deciding to fulfil your shopping and grocery list when you have even just the slightest hint of hunger can force you to grab some meal (and even dessert) outside. Not only that, but doing the groceries while you’re hungry can lead you to grab every food item that you pass by along the aisles.
2. Not Letting the Sale Stuff Pass
We all feel that great and proud whenever we secure an item which is for sale. While every cent is worth saving, it would not be reasonable to buy something that you do not need simply because you saw that it is heavily discounted, especially when buying the said item means going beyond your budget.
What you should do rather is to wait for the items that you already use to go on sale, and buy in bulk.
3. Letting Your Food Spoil
Nothing breaks my heart more than to see food going to waste. While it’s a common occurrence in many households, it can easily be prevented by being aware of how much your family consumes in a given period. Plan out your meals for a week, list all ingredients, and buy only what you need. Making a list also avoids frequent grocery trips that would likewise save you money.


4. Paying Too Much for Mobile Data
This is very common, but often overlooked. If you think about it, many of us already have WIFI’s in our homes and offices, and even the public spots that we visit, so check if you really need that much data during those hours away from a WIFI connection. Many users do not even consume 300MB of data monthly and yet are continuously paying for an expensive plan. Review your data usage and your mobile subscription (if any) altogether and see if you can cut back.
5. Not Negotiating Your Salary
This is probably one of the hugest mistakes you can make in terms of saving money. If you aren’t compensated enough, have you thought about how much money you’re wasting in a year? What if you’ve been working for the same employer for a decade? While many entry-level rates are non-negotiable, you significantly improve your chances as you move up the ladder. You might not know it, but you might actually be eligible for an increase if you would only ask. Assess your skills, and even strive to learn new ones so you’ll be more confident to demand for a rightful compensation.

 

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Yeah, been there, done that. I could still remember those days when I was rushing to buy my 5th builder hut in Clash of Clans. I lost my patience, and my sense with it, and with a few clicks. I did it. I wasted my money. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a one-time incident. This is really shameful as I grew tired of the game eventually. Should you pay cash for an app, make sure to spend it on useful things that could increase your productivity, help with your business, and improve your life in general.
6. Skimping on Your Health
If you’re trying to save money by missing out on your doctor or dental appointments, please don’t. Any unresolved problems you may be having right now can prove to be a dangerous and costly undertaking in the future. If you want to protect your finances, you should keep your health in check. Have a regular check-up and be sure to follow your prescriptions.

Why Your Earnings Have Nothing to Do With Your Savings

I can confidently predict that at least 50% of you reading this blog are having trouble saving cash, or at least don’t think that you have saved enough for the future. (Well, that’s why my blog is here in the first place).

If I ask why, surely, about 90% of you will respond with “I am not earning enough”.

Although I’m not about to blame you, I would have to disagree.

I am not here acting like an expert. In fact, I have struggled before and have blurted out the same exact words countless of times.

I’ve been broke for as long as I can remember. I’ve been broke ever since my very first part time job – because I wasn’t earning enough. I’ve been broke still after getting an entry-level job – because I wasn’t earning enough. I was still broke after I was promoted and had my salary tripled – because I wasn’t earning enough…

When I gave it a thought, I almost slapped myself in the face (I actually wish I did). I was a single 27-year-old living with parents, which meant no responsibilities – no rent, no children to feed or send to school. Yet I had no idea where all my money had gone.

And then the harsh reality hit me.

I had nothing to show for all those years of hard work not because I wasn’t earning enough. Because the truth is, no amount of income is ever enough for a person who doesn’t know or doesn’t plan to save at all.

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I didn’t care back then. I was too thrilled when I got a raise that I made sure to live like I was indeed earning much. I dined at the finest restaurants, bought designer clothes, went out to party every weekend. My lifestyle had definitely improved on every aspect – except that I was still living paycheque to paycheque.

So what should you do to avoid the pitfalls that I once fell into?

First of all, you need to have that conscious desire to save money. You need to want it that bad and put your heart and mind into it. Whether it’s for your retirement or for a short-term goal, you need to focus on what it is that you’re saving for.

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Next, you have to commit to setting aside a certain part of your income. It doesn’t have to be that big. Just know how much you can afford to take out, and budget the difference for your living expenses. Be realistic.

Build your emergency fund first. There will always be that point when disasters come all at the same time, and you’ll need to be ready, or else you’ll find yourself buried in debt.

Lastly, do not get carried away. Someday, you’ll take on a new, higher paying job, or get promoted. While it would be nice to enjoy the fruits of your labour, do not let it become a lifestyle. Spend as you would with your previous income and invest the extra money that you have now in the proper places.

 

 

5 Budgeting Apps to Help Control Your Spending

Tracking our finances is one difficult task, and is one of the most common reasons why many people neglect to do it. Fortunately, in this day and age, you don’t have to do it manually anymore. Here are the 5 best apps that should help you budget your money.

  1. You Need a Budget

You Need a Budget is actually a desktop software with iOS and Android Smartphone integration which you can use when you’re out and about. With You Need a Budget, you can divide your income into several “pots” that correspond to your specific expenses, such as food, rent, etc. Overspending or underspending in a certain pot allows you to move money into another pot. You Need a Budget costs around £3.50 a month or £35 a year.

  1. Goodbudget

Originally known as the Easy Envelope Budget Aid, this app is similar to You Need a Budget, but instead of pots, you’ll actually be using envelopes to divide your cash.

With Goodbudget, you can track your bank balances and expenses. Your envelopes and balances can be synced across several platforms and you can also share them with other people. While Goodbudget can be enjoyed for free, the “Plus” version offers more features at £3.50 a month.

  1. OnTrees

Acquired by financial website MoneySuperMarket in 2014, OnTrees allows you to view your bank accounts all in one place, an outstanding feature that often compares it as UK’s version of ‘Mint’. Unlike the other two apps above, OnTrees is more focused on tracking where your money has gone. OnTrees is a free app that is available for desktop and iOS.

  1. Wally

One of the most popular financial apps, Wally claims to offer a ‘360 degree’ view of your money, which lets you track what goes in, what goes out, what you have budgeted, and what you have saved. Some cool features of Wally include the ability to photograph your receipts and location based service.

  1. Money Dashboard

Similar to OnTrees, Money Dashboard
lets you see all of your bank accounts in one place. While this may bother a lot of users, the app is actually read-only (like OnTrees), so that you cannot actually perform bank transactions such as money transfers within the app.

After linking all of your accounts to Money Dashboard, your transactions will be categorised into various tags that lets you have a clearer view of how, when, and where you are spending your money. The app is free and is available for both iOS and Android.