April 25, 2023•
5 min read
The need to save money can be quite stressful as it limits our options. At first glance, it seems that we will have to count every penny and limit spending on everything. In fact, it can be much more comfortable if you use logic, common sense, and some money-saving tips. At first, the budgeting process may seem tedious and boring but the result will surpass expectations if you approach the issue in a smart way. In the end, you will effortlessly save up for big purchases such as a house or an expensive car.
The CFPS team has put together the best solutions for those who want to save money fast.
It is always easier to save money when you are in control of your income and expenses. To do this, it is important to figure out all your cash flows, especially if you are a freelancer. You should calculate the amounts of incoming and outgoing money in your account, as well as payments for all sorts of debts, loans, monthly bills, and contributions to savings deposits. Here are a few rules for creating a smart budget:
Practice shows that the longer you pay off debts, the bigger they become. This is due to the interest accrued on overdue payments of bank loans. By keeping putting your payments off, you knowingly agree to overpay. Under these conditions, saving even a small amount of money will be problematic.
To get out of debt quickly, consider a 50/30/20 spending system. What does it mean?
To make sure you save the right amount of money and to resist the temptation to spend your savings, set them aside in a savings account. Regardless of your financial goals, opening a savings account is a good idea. Many banks offer a free-of-charge savings account. With many savings accounts, you can even set up an automatic transfer of some portion of your regular salary. Thus you will not be able to spend too much on your daily needs and will protect your finances.
If you receive a fixed monthly salary and do not plan to adjust your spending in the near future, consider automating your contributions/transfers to your savings account made every month. Setting up an automatic transfer of funds will further reduce the chance of you spending the money you have set aside.
Your monthly payments, which are subject to default interest, are worth automating. Sometimes you can just forget to make some loan payments, so you will have to overpay the next month. Autopayments are a good solution for those who want to avoid additional fees.
If you find it difficult to control your spending, it is best to set spending limits on your cards. Debit and credit card limits will help you not exceed your budget and manage your finances better.
The traditional envelope budgeting method involves converting all your money into cash and allocating it into envelopes but this is not very convenient or safe these days. However, now there are a lot of mobile apps for budgeting using this system. They allow you to create digital “envelopes” and transfer money to them from a linked bank account. For example, one envelope can be for non-discretionary expenses such as rent and utilities. The second will keep the money for grocery or clothes shopping. The third would be for entertainment. It is best to use the fourth envelope for setting aside money to pay off loans or reach long-term goals. Putting a fixed amount of money into each envelope will ensure that you do not go over your budget.
This is one of the fastest ways to significantly improve your financial health. For example, if you live alone, consider moving in with a roommate. Your savings will depend on how many people you share your apartment with. Here is a simple math: if you pay 1,300 euros per month for renting a two-bedroom apartment, you will save about 870 euros by sharing this amount with a flatmate. In a year, you will save almost 10,500 euros.
If you already share an apartment or a room with someone else, consider moving to a smaller place since the rent is usually related to the number of square feet.
Along with rent, utilities eat up most of your income. If you try to reduce them, you can get a great extra amount of money for savings. Here is what you can do:
This method is great not only for increasing your overall income but also for reaching your global goals faster. Most often, it is very easy to combine a part-time job with your main job. For example, it can be a freelance project. Thus you can easily replenish your savings account and not feel the pinch in your daily budget. However, do not forget about burnout. Remember that no goal in the world should lead you to a decline in physical and mental health.
Hundreds of companies make money on customer subscriptions. Sometimes you may even not know about some of them. As a rule, we rarely use all the services we subscribe to. Review them and get rid of the unnecessary ones.
If you need to reinstall Windows, clean your computer from excess dust, fix the zipper on your pants, or replace a leaky pipe in the bathroom, try to do it yourself. You can find hundreds of DIY tutorial videos on YouTube and other websites. Thus you can save a lot on very simple things.
Impulsive buying is the main enemy of savings. Before you go shopping, make a shopping list and stick to it. If you need to buy something expensive, pause to think about it for 30 days. That is enough time to figure out if this thing is really so important that you can retreat from your plan.
The best time to buy a long-awaited car is the end of March, June, September, and December. During these months, car dealers look to close the fiscal quarter with a certain amount of sales in order to get bonuses. They use various tricks to attract customers, including significant discounts. When buying a car during this period, you can be sure that the deal will be as successful and profitable as possible.
Every month we spend an impressive amount of money on eating out or buying junk food at the grocery store. The most effective way to save on this category of spending is to make both a shopping list and a menu to cook at home. Think ahead about what you would like to eat on a given day. It is also important to decide on how much you plan to spend before you go to the supermarket.
Also, pay attention to the grocery shelves. The most expensive items are usually placed at eye level. Cheaper products are more likely to be stored above or below our height.
To reduce your financial burden, choose one day in the month when you will not spend extra money except for non-discretionary expenses. For example, take home-cooked meals to work instead of going to a restaurant. Change a cab to public transport. Opt for a walk in the park rather than going to the cinema. Once you get used to this pace of life, you can try to increase the number of "fasting" days or include them in your weekly plan altogether.
If you conduct an audit of your shelves, garage, or closet, you can find a lot of unused things that are of value to others. For example, old speakers, a TV, or a computer that have long been gathering dust in your house can be sold on eBay or Nextdoor. This also applies to clothes and shoes that you have not worn for a long time. If you feel bad about throwing them away, sell them and declutter your wardrobe to make space for something new.
It is a well-known fact that things are often cheaper on the Internet than in physical stores. Of course, you want to try on clothes you buy, but let it be a small sacrifice on the way to your financial goals. To make sure an item you are going to buy will fit you, read the sizing chart on the website and measure your body.
Online shopping is incredibly convenient and advantageous, but there are chances of going over budget due to the speed of payment. This leads to impulse buying and unplanned spending. Practice shows that the more time you spend on making a purchase, the better the chance of understanding whether you really need it. Enter your bank card details manually and do not let marketplaces manipulate you.
A gym membership with a personal trainer can be expensive. It is always easier to improve your body with the help of a professional who can guide or encourage you to new achievements at the right moment. However, with the proper level of self-discipline, you can do all this at home by buying a small set of sports equipment.
Driving is convenient but expensive. Car owners have to change cars at least every 5 to 10 years and spend money on gas, parking, insurance, and maintenance. To really start saving money, get in the habit of taking public transportation to work, and using your car to go to the store or out of town.
Analyze how much you need personal Chinese language courses or classes in gymnastics. You can find a large number of different guides on the Internet. The main thing is that they are all free of charge. Self-study also saves a lot of time. You can choose the areas that you are interested in and not waste your energy on useless information.
Paper books are always a joy to read, especially if you are creating your own library. However, they are costly. It is better to put off buying books until better times and go to the library. Online books or mobile apps on various topics can also help.
As we mentioned above, it is impossible to start saving money without a budget plan. You can keep track of your income and expenses in an Excel spreadsheet, or use budgeting apps.
Financial planning services allow you not only to save money, but also to properly manage your personal finances during the day, week, month, or year. They make it easy to find the problem areas and understand where the most money goes.
With CFPS mobile app, you can open an account in 5 minutes, easily track your expenses and operations, and save money effortlessly. You can also view your account balance and transaction history in real time, so you always know where your money is going.
By using the app, you can also benefit from low fees and competitive exchange rates for international transfers, making it easier and cheaper to send money to your loved ones abroad.
Thus, based on the best market practices, CFPS begins to develop a budgeting functionality that is convenient for our customers. This means you can have peace of mind knowing that your money is always secure.
So why wait? Download the CFPS app now and start managing your finances like a pro, while saving money in the process!