3 Quick Saving Strategies
....I hate this word; I instantly think of restriction, being hungry all the time and all the chocolate I could be eating.
The word "Savings" conquers up the same mentality. Restricting my spending, budgeting and constantly craving shoes and eating dinner out. No fun.
Also to throw it out there: I work in finance, and I HATE budgeting. Forecasting I love (I'll explain this soon), but budgeting, no!
With anything difficult, as long as you make it is as automatic and non intrusive as possible to your life, you can do it.
So, here are three passive solutions to saving:
Set Up A Standing Order
A standing order is:
- an automatic movement of funds that occurs at a set frequency.
- you can set it up, amend it or cancel it at any time.
- set a standing order up between your current account and savings account.
To set this up, you need to do a couple of things (sorry, I promised passive. It's nearly passive). Log into your bank account and set up a standing order between your current account and savings account. If you haven't got a savings account, set one up so you separate out the account your salary and income goes into, and the account holding your savings.
Set up the standing order for the day after you get paid. Decide how much you want to move out your account to save (blog coming soon on how to calculate this amount).
- I get paid £2,650 on the 26th of each month,
- I set up a standing order for the 27th of each month for £400 to move from my current account to my savings account,
- I have £2,250 left in which to pay bills, to eat out, to buy gifts, use on transport etc
This is what is called "paying yourself".
It works as:
- it's automatic; you don't need to think about it
- you move the money at the beginning of the month; leaving the movement of money until the end of the month means you (if like me) spend what is in your account
- you can spend whatever is left in your account; psychologically there is no restriction
Prepaid Card; this is the modern day paying with cash
This method involves obtaining a pre-paid card (banks can provide this, as do other financial institutions); you add a set amount of money from your current account to the card. There is no overdraft on a prepaid card. Once you spend the money, you need to top it up again.
I love this option; it holds me accountable. Loading cash onto my prepaid card means taking it out my bank account. I dislike this.
I dislike it even more when the app attached to my prepaid card pings my phone with what I have just bought and for how much. Psychologically, having to move the funds, and seeing my balance on my app go down makes me consider the purchase more.
I love the Monzo card;
- there are no set up fees,
- it has a fantastic app, and
- it doesn't charge FX fees on overseas purchases, and withdrawals of money
Money Supermarket do a good comparison of prepaid cards here
Move all your money
This is a combination of the above two options.
When you get paid, move all your money across from your current account into your savings account. Keep a small amount in your current account for emergencies.
When you need to spend money, you have to actively log into your savings account and move money manually over from your savings account into your current account.
The action of moving money from your savings into your current account is psychologically a deterrent. Just make sure you move the money over to cover your commitments (rent, mortgage, electricity, mobile phone etc).
Make it harder for yourself to spend money. Add a conscious layer of thought into the spending; this makes you consider whether the spend is necessary in the first place.
Photo from the beautiful unsplash.com