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Saving money has to be one of the most unnatural things any of us have down since we flew abroad (flying is pretty unnatural as far as we are concerned).
In fact, we met someone last week who had gone as far as hypnotism to trick himself in his search to become better at saving money, which is pretty extreme.
Luckily for you, there are some less intense and far-fetched ways of improving your self-discipline that will ensure you aren’t always struggling at the end of the month, and aren’t always so broke-broke. So, smile, save your money and read on.
No, this doesn’t mean what you earn after income tax, or after you’ve had another student loan installment get sucked out, or national insurance or whatever. We’re talking about what your income is after you add up all your monthly expenses, the stuff you know you have to pay.
These are things like rent or mortgage, phone bill, cable bills, average water and electricity, council tax, fuel or travel; those sorts of things. Once you have done these sums, you’ll have a better idea of exactly how much you are left with, and then you can work out how much you can save. If you’ve got a few hundred bucks leftover, why not put a hundred of that into savings each month, maybe even a bit more.
Yup, we’re talking about taking your head out of the sand, leaving the house and talking to a tax prep expert. Yes, this will come with a cost, but chances are they will be able to save you money each year too. This is especially true if you are self-employed, or a freelancer.
They will be able to talk you through all sorts of tax deductions you never knew existed, and those can account for hundreds each year, at least.
Don’t be fooled, and don’t fool yourself; just because you may not be able to save a lot doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be saving at all. Sure it would be nice to put aside $500 every month, but most of us can’t. However, even $10 a week will add up to $520 a year, that sounds good huh. Well imagine if you save on eating out once a week and put $40 away.
That’s over $2000 a year. Wowzer. But let’s talk long-term now. Et’s say you are 25 years old and can put $3000 aside each year for a decade. If that was in savings account with 8% interest, by the time you are 65 you could have almost half a million as a retirement fund. Now that is a big number.
We don’t mean become a total recluse that eats nothing but cuppa soups. We just mean find those real luxuries that you could probably skip buying. Take coffee from Costa, for example.
Stop buying it, especially if you buy it every day of the week. That’s probably about $100 bucks a month you are saving right there. Couple that with your cable package. Now put that into savings and you are laughing all the way to the bank.