6 articles Tag savings

How to Save Money Faster: Three Quick Tips

Having some money saved up is undoubtedly the key to better financial security, and for many people, saving up is essential for making big purchases such as a new house, new car, or a dream vacation. Whether you’re saving up for something specific or simply want the added security of knowing that you have some cash stashed away for emergencies, saving money regularly is an excellent habit to develop.

However, putting money aside is not always the easiest, especially if you are struggling with high living costs. Thankfully, there are several smart things that you can do to help your savings grow faster. We’ve rounded up some top tips for faster and more effective saving.

Tip #1. Choose a High-Interest Savings Account

If you’re looking for a new account in which to put your hard-earned savings, then it’s a good idea to choose an option with the highest amount of interest available. As you pay money into your savings account, you’ll also be able to earn money on it. And, the longer that the money is in there, the more you’ll be able to earn. A higher interest rate means better earnings for you.

Some accounts, such as stocks and bonds accounts, will require you to lock the money away for a certain period of time, during which you’ll be unable to access it. However, you will be rewarded with a higher interest rate when your account reaches maturity. Follow the link for more information on choosing the best savings account.

Tip #2. Sell Your Old Stuff

One great way to make some extra cash to put into your savings account is to go through your old belongings and see what you can sell. Chances are, you have items in your home that you no longer have any use for, such as old clothes and shoes, DVDs, gadgets, video games, books, and even essential household items. If you’ve upgraded something such as your television or smartphone, then don’t just simply throw the old one away – you can earn some cash back for it on sites such as eBay or Craigslist that can then be put into your savings account.

Tip #3. Cut Your Monthly Expenses

If you’d like to be able to put more money away into your savings account each month, then the first place to start is by cutting down as many monthly expenses as you can and putting the extra money that you save away instead. There are many different ways in which you can ensure that you are spending less each month.

For example, you can actually save thousands of dollars per year by switching to taking a packed lunch to work, or preparing your own coffee instead of going to Starbucks. Check out comparison sites to see if switching could drive down your utility bills, and call up your cell phone network provider to ask about moving on to a cheaper plan if you feel that you could manage just as well with fewer minutes or data.

If you liked these tips, please let us know!

 

Planning for the Future

A few years before Burrito Baby came along, I was working in an Accountancy practice, doing payroll and assisting with accounts, when my boss made me aware of an online service which allowed you to input your date of birth to allow you to work out when you’d be eligible for a state pension. It turns out, I won’t actually reach state pension age until I’m 68 which means my generation will be expected to work longer than my parents or grandparents, which means that extra planning for the future will be needed.

Husband and I aren’t in a position to get a mortgage which means that a lot of our monthly outgoings are ploughed into rent – the way we see it, although we don’t have the security of owning a property at the end of it, it does mean that we aren’t responsible for things like replacing boilers and fixing the roof when big jobs like these come along.

One thing we have started is a savings account for each of the girls; when Sausage was born there was still the scheme where each baby got a £250 bond to start an account with but this had been scrapped by the time BB came along, which meant that we had to start to account ourselves. We add to the accounts week by week so that hopefully by the time the girls are old enough they can use the money for a car, or to put towards a house or maybe travelling the world!

In terms of Husband and I securing our own futures, one thing we keep meaning to do is start a private pension for ourselves. We don’t have a huge amount to spare at the end of the month and whenever we do manage to save a lump sum of money, it always ends up being needed for some expense or another, so squirreling it away in a place we can’t get to it would be really sensible!

With BB due to start nursery soon and me restarting my degree, I’m hoping to have completed all of my studies within 5 years. Once I’m qualified, I’m hoping to start teaching because it’s a job which will allow me to work around the girls and have most of the holidays off to spend with them. We’re used to living pretty frugally, so once I start earning a much higher wage (and probably still writing freelance on the side) I’m planning to save a decent portion of my wages. This should give us a nice little nest-egg for the future – and maybe the funds we need to retire somewhere like Bermuda! 😉

How do you plan to set yourself up for the future?

Shoring-Up Personal Financial Accountability

In addition to daily spending obligations, household budgets also accommodate “big picture” goals, such as home ownership and retirement.  And while it may be relatively easy to track day to day outlays, plotting and planning for long-term financial success calls for another layer of management.

Financial accountability within your personal budget ensures long-range goals are recognized, without leaving you vulnerable in the short term. And though each person faces unique financial conditions, some of the same strategies prove beneficial, under wide-ranging circumstances.  If you are experiencing financial inconsistencies or just want greater accountability administering household cash flow, use the following practices to bolster your personal finances.

Maintain Discipline and Spending Resolve

Although it sometimes seems like a mystery (where does the money go?), personal finance is not terribly complicated.  In the end, success managing money relies on consistently balancing income and expenditures.  And since income is relatively static in many households, adjusting spending is the fastest way to correct imbalance.  If you face recurring cash flow shortfalls or other financial irregularities, it may be time to double-down on spending discipline.

Financial concerns cover broad commitments, ranging from customary living expenses to major purchases.  When your approach to finance calls for greater accountability, use the following methods to keep spending in check and reinforce budget discipline at home:

  • Limit credit card use
  • Weigh the pros and cons of each purchase – before committing
  • Make it harder to access discretionary income
  • Learn from buying mistakes
  • If you need to take credit, use a reputable lender

Reduce Oppressive Debt

If you are like many consumers, your debt load is more substantial than you’d like it to be.  Reducing the burden not only frees resources for more important spending obligations, but it gives you more control over your balance sheet.  Too often, oppressive debt quickly gobbles-up income, preventing household money managers from steering their own financial destiny.  With a manageable burden, on the other hand, it is possible to plan and allocate resources as you wish.

The first essential step toward debt reduction is to stop building balances.  As you pay-down outstanding obligations, without adding more charges to your accounts; your budget will begin to feel relief.  With each billing cycle, the weight of debt lifts, taking you one step closer to your financial goals.  For faster results, even with a so-so credit history, it may be possible to borrow money at a more favorable rate, to eliminate balances.  A consolidation or guarantor loan, for example, captures multiple obligations under a single repayment umbrella, refinancing the debt at a lower interest rate – or with better repayment terms.

Expand Financial Understanding

With so many demands pulling at family finances, money managers commonly make mistakes, due to misunderstandings. If you feel uninformed, or uncomfortable with certain aspects of household finance, it is up to you to increase your knowledge base.  Whether it means taking a formal course about finance or studying on your own, clearing-up you financial perception helps create greater accountability at home.  Some of the key concepts at the heart of individual financial success include:

  • Budgeting
  • Using a personal balance sheet
  • Finding favorable financing
  • Saving
  • Investing
  • Preparing for major purchases
  • Retirement planning

A firm grasp of these important concepts gives you the tools needed to establish long-range goals and stay focused, realizing your financial ambitions.  In addition to formal instruction, various online channels furnish references and resources for boosting financial insight.  Each lesson builds on itself, until your financial understanding fills-in, growing into an asset, rather than a liability.

Financial discipline and accountability are vital aspects of successful financial management.  By reducing debt and fortifying financial knowledge, it is possible to reinforce your financial health, setting the stage for long-term security.

Keep Watering The Money Tree

Money doesn’t grow on trees – that is a phrase which all of us know, right? Hey, a lot of us probably even use that phrase on a daily basis, especially when our kids want, ask, need and throw tantrums over things that have caught their eye on the shelves in a shop. If there was such a thing as a money tree, the chances are that by now they would be kept in secure preservation somewhere like a national museum or a zoo. They may even be a rare species by now, with everyone ripping off their leaves made out of banknotes, and they would probably be selling for a lot of money on the black market. If I ever came across a money tree I would hide it away in my home where no one could see it, and wouldn’t tell anyone I had one. They would be dangerous things.

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Seeing as money doesn’t grow on trees, it is up to us to look after our money in the best way that we can. This can be saving money on bills by using minimal water, gas and electric, only using the car when it is absolutely necessary, and using coupons and taking advantage of deals when they are in the supermarket. However, with a family it can be fairly difficult to keep on top of saving the cash – especially with the demanding needs of the children having to be met.

Instead of splashing out on expensive brands and buying luxurious items when out food shopping, it may be beneficial for you to make a list of what you need, what you use and what you do not use. Take a look in the cupboards and freezer: how long has that tin of chopped tomatoes been in the cupboard? Will you ever use that frozen ready meal? If there are items which you carry on buying, but simply do not use then your best bet is to completely eliminate them from your shopping list. You will be really surprised at how much cash you could save. Also, look out for reduced items in the supermarket. It’s common for a lot of items to be heavily reduced later at night, so perhaps you may want to shop a bit later in the day rather than in the middle of the afternoon. Stock up on essential like bread, and simply put them in the freezer.

Even in bigger aspects of life, like for example if you are moving, look at different ways into how you can save money. It is a good idea to look at moving companies and what they can offer you. Also, you can sell furniture and home additions which you are not taking with you.

A lot of people like to buy second hand goods, so if you have anything surplus in your home, upload them to a second hand website and you will be surprised how many people will pay good money for the things which were lying dormant in your home.

Sure-Fire Ways Parents Can Ensure Their Child Has A Prosperous Future

Once you have a child, it makes you more aware of your spending. After all, one day your money will go to your kids. And you want them to have a secure future so that they can buy a house and build a career without any worries. However, a lot of parents are unsure what they can do for their kids. Therefore, here are some sure-fire ways parents can ensure their child has a prosperous future.

Create a savings account when they are born

When you are expecting, a lot of people will want to give you a present for the baby. And as much as that tenth baby grow is thoughtful, there is something a lot better for your newborn. You should set up a savings account in their name which you can put money in. Of course, they won’t be able to touch it until they are at least 16 or 18. But it’s building them up some money for their future. So before your relatives and friends buy stuff for the new baby, you should mention about the savings account. Even if they just pay a tenner, some money in there is a good start for your child. And then you should aim to put something in there every month for your little one. That way, they have a fund to use once they are old enough towards their first car or home.

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Make good investments now

Investments are essential for your kids future. After all, they are an excellent way to build up the bucks for your little one. A lot of people don’t know where to start with investment. For one thing, you could consider investing in stocks. Just make sure you read up about the return. Or a lot of people are opting to get a second property which they can then rent out. As this article says, you just need to let house price inflation occur and then you will have a valuable asset for your kid’s future. And you can read more about investing online on sites like The Fortunate Investor.

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Set up a will sooner rather than later  

So many people leave setting up a will until it’s too late. But you need to make sure your kids are protected for their future. You don’t want them to end up with nothing as you didn’t state clearly what they were entitled to. Therefore, arrange to set up a will as soon as you have your child. You can find information online about how to set up one to protect your family.

Create a university fund

As well as making real investments, you need to be investing in your kid’s education. Ensuring they go to the best school possible and are achieving excellent grades is the best thing you can do as parents. After all, they will then go on to have a great career in the future. To ensure they can go to the best university possible, you need to create a fund for them. Try and put money in the college fund and then you can put it towards the fees when the time comes.

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And make sure you teach your child about money management. Even if it’s just making them clean their bedroom for a quid, it’s helping them to understand about money.