How good are you with money? Are you someone who loves to find a bargain or do you like splashing out? I discovered earlier this week (by taking this Financial Personality quiz from Aviva) that I’m brilliant at saving money but won’t necessarily know how to get myself out of financial hot water.
Aviva are on a mission to help Britain save smarter, and they have lots of advice on how to do this. They’ve asked me to share what I know about saving too.
So take the quiz, find out what your strengths and weaknesses are, and then come back to read about the things that I’ve learned over the years about saving money…
1. Work out a budget
List your income, list your outgoings, work out how much you want to save each week/month and then plan how you’re going to cut back on your outgoings, to reach your target. Don’t make it unachievable though – there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re never going to manage to hit your savings target.
2. Put your savings into a separate bank account
Being able to see savings add up is a great way to motivate you – and if the money is tucked away, you won’t be as tempted to dip into it.
3. Don’t spend money you don’t have
Sounds obvious but pay off your credit cards and loans before you start to save. It’s a false economy to be paying interest on debt, if you’re also saving money elsewhere.
4. Declutter your home and sell what you don’t need
Japanese decluttering expert Marie Kondo has been all the rage in 2016, and for good reason. Not only can her way of living give you a clutter-free home, but you can make some serious cash by selling unwanted items at car boot sales, eBay or Gumtree.
5. Make small changes
Those coffees you buy in Starbucks. The bus journey that you could probably walk every day, instead. That gym membership that costs more than a run around the local park. They all seem like tiny things, but if you make lots of small changes to your daily life, they’ll soon all add up!
6. Cut your household bills
There are loads of ways to cut your household outgoings, when you start thinking about it. Changing energy providers, calling your digital TV company to see if they can offer you a better package and using energy efficient lightbulbs are all a great place to start.
7. Shop smartly
Saving doesn’t mean you can’t spend – treating yourself from time to time can be a great way to spur yourself on. Sign up to retail store mailing lists to hear about sales and get discount codes. Check out cashback sites that allow you to shop and save at the same time. Split your supermarket grocery shop between stores, depending on their offers. All of these things take a bit of organisation, but should make a difference.
8. Make meal plans
Supermarket shopping is quicker and cheaper when you do meal plans. You’ll only buy what you need and there will be less waste too.
9. Do free stuff
Family activities don’t have to cost a fortune. Spend your weekends doing free things – taking your bikes to the park, feeding the ducks, going to a museum or the beach. If you take a packed lunch with you, you’ll save even more.
10. Work out whether you should save or invest
If you’ve got short-term saving goals (like a holiday) then saving is probably for you – however, if you’re saving for your child’s university fees or something longer-term, investing the money could be a better option. There’s loads of advice over on the Aviva website.
What tips would you add, for smart saving?
This post was commissioned by Aviva – for details of how I work with brands, see my Work With Me page. Top image: DTTSP. Bottom image of money: Shutterstock.
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