We would all love to save regularly. To have a nest-egg, and funds available when we need it, or just for a rainy day. However, for many of us, putting money aside seems like a pipe dream, an impossibility. But do not despair. Because for even those of us on the tightest of budgets, it is possible to trick yourself into saving. Here is how.
For a significant period of time, i would assign categories to my budget. And if i had more than enough in one category, i would move it to another. Movement would often be caused by me not suffering the extent of costs that i expected in one category. For example receiving a utility bill less than i expected. Or to use an actual occurrence, when i got a whopping £300 rebate on a utility bill as i had been paying too much! So instead of moving that money to another budget category, what i should do instead is put that unexpected money into my savings account. I did similar when i got an unexpected wage arrears for an old job.
Sometimes you can simply over-stretch yourself when trying to pay off debt or save for a special occasion. The stress of not meeting the goals can have a terrible effect on your well being too. Sometimes you need to take a step back. Be realistic with your goals, and leave some wiggle room in there. Be patient, and perhaps delay your plans so that they are more achievable and do not leave you suffering in other areas of your life. Plan and prioritise the goals so you have a set structure to where you wish to end up. This way, you stay motivated too.
Sit down and write down every incoming and outgoing in your life on a monthly basis. Then take a month or so to record everything you purchase, as you are bound to have forgotten some items, or simply not realise how much you spend on them. Then work out where you can save money. Lose the coffee in a shop, lose the snacks, and little treats, eat at home more, and try and free some money. And then put whatever you save into a savings account. This way you are increasing your savings whilst being no worse off financially than before.
No month is perfect, so chances are good you’ll need to move money at some point. Decide which categories are off-limits in this situation. If saving for a new boiler is your highest priority don’t let that category come under consideration when it is time to move money. Know which categories are up for grabs and which aren’t. If you budget with a partner, make sure you’re on the same page and then be disciplined throughout.