Saving money can be a real challenge, but it's necessary if you want to get ahead financially. And lockdown, as hard as it is, is great for saving some extra money!
At the beginning of the year, you probably told yourself that you'll save $20,000 this year, but you find that it's now August and you haven't even saved $5,000! Why's that?
Well, it's all well and good to tell yourself that you'll cut back on eating out or swear you'll avoid Ubers and take public transport instead.
However, when a friend asks you to grab drinks (virtually these days) or your car unexpectedly needs a new battery, that's when all those good intentions go out the window and you end up spending way more than you should have.
My pappou always told me to save for a rainy day, so I've been putting aside money from every pay check since I began working.
Luckily, there are a few excellent ways to save some money and still allow yourself some little indulgences in the process.
With any kind of savings goal, it is best to start with a small amount and increase gradually.
Striving to save an extra $300 a month is a great place to start. While this amount may sound trivial, by depositing $300 a month in an average savings account with an interest of .06%, those savings add up to $18,027.58 in 5 years!
Remember, all good things take time! Here's how I saved an extra $300 a month.
Stop going to the nail salon every 2 weeks! As a woman, this is easier said than done! (But non-negotiable in lockdown)
As someone who usually gets a full SNS set PLUS a pedicure every 2-3 weeks, I was finding myself spending $170 a month just on my nails! That's $2,400 a year! In the current lockdown, I decided to stop getting my nails done and do them myself: after all, I am a fully qualified beauty therapist! I'm just too lazy! TIP: You can buy high-quality nail supplies from Amazon, eBay and Alibaba. Watch YouTube videos on how to DIY your own acrylic and gel nails.
Take a break from the eyelash extensions! By now, you probably hate me but please bear with me, eyelash extensions cost anywhere from $90-$150 a month!
But ever since I gave up eyelash extensions (and found someone trustworthy who charges half what I usually pay), I’ve saved copious amounts of money. About $80 a month to be precise. Instead, I’ve focused on strengthening and growing my natural eyelashes. Tip: I use UKLASH eyelash serum and I’ve already seen results two weeks in! It’s both affordable AND effective.
Sell what you don't need, and buy from Op Shops! Apart from the fact that vintage style clothing is always trending, it can save you hundreds of dollars!
I have become obsessed with Op shops and The Salvos, as weird as that sounds. That doesn't mean I don't buy new clothes, but I only buy new clothes when I really need them. It might take you longer to find something you love, but the price tag will make it worthwhile. Go through your closet and sell everything you don't wear at least once a week. You'll be surprised at how much you don't wear! I won't spend more than $100 a month on clothes.
Shop in bulk from a local grocer, and on special!
I do my grocery shopping once a week, and I freeze nearly everything I buy. It helps I am on a carnivore/paleo diet as most of my diet is animal products and vegetables. For example, I shop at a local grass-fed butchery and when they have a special on, I buy 2-3kg of the meat and freeze the majority which I will during the month. For grass-fed lamb ribs, I'll pay $10 a kilo on special, usually, the ribs are $15.99 a kilo. That's a saving of $18 a month for 3kg of good-quality lamb.
Give up at least two coffees per week. This is maybe the hardest one to nail!
But if one or two cappuccinos are a part of your daily routine, you may not notice just how quickly those $4.50 coffees add up! That's a saving of $36 a week, and $432 a year! Even just making coffee at home one morning a week can add up to significant savings. Try taking instant coffee to work, or buy a coffee machine from Aldi! They're honestly really good!
While major savings may seem like they require drastic lifestyle changes, an extra $300 a month is within anyone's reach! You don't have to take my advice on how to save your money, but this is how I did it! You can try cutting down on anything you think isn't necessary.
I like to invest the money I save into an app called Raiz, so it's not just sitting in my bank account! It's been one of the best financial decisions I've ever made to make saving money a priority! Happy saving!