As we face upcoming challenges in the weeks and months ahead in winter, we have to start to budget now so we’re ready for whatever comes down the pike. Most people realize that they don’t have the skills for excellent budgeting. We all have the basics down, i.e. grocery shopping, saving for bills, and saving for holidays.
But this does not take into account the long-term longevity of our lifestyle. These are all short-term solutions. They are great but they don’t cut the mustard if you want to have a way of life that is constantly providing you with a surplus. You can save for your retirement, holidays, travels, a new house, or an operation, all thanks to these insightful saving tips.
We shall go from beginner, intermediate, and then finally, advanced saving techniques.
New family saving
If you’re saving up for a new little one to join you and starting a new family is your top priority, these are some of the things you can do to save on your new job as a parent.
- Pushchair. Rather than getting a pram, it’s best to buy a pushchair. The reason for this is, the pram will not last as long. It will only be useful for 1 or maybe 2 years. However, buying a good pushchair will allow you to use it for your baby and toddler. The important thing to remember is, to wrap your baby up warm as you go outside in the pushchair.
- Cotbed. Instead of buying a crib, consider buying a cot bed. These are just like cribs but they can also be used for toddlers. They have higher bars and a mattress which can be switched out. Cribs often have this feature too but they usually have fixed mattresses as they aren’t intended to be used for more than 1 year.
- Nappies. See if you can buy eco-friendly nappies that have been made from recycled materials. Not only will these be cheaper but you would be doing your bit for the environment. If this is important to you, buy nappies such as Kit & Kin.
- Buy a car seat that can be adjusted for your baby and toddler. This means that as the baby grows into a toddler, the same chair can be used. Good car seats can cost hundreds of dollars. So buying one which can serve you for 1-3 years, is so crucial to making a good saving.
Research avoids overspending
The main reason why we don’t stick to our budgets is that we unintentionally put ourselves into a pickle. We are often in situations whereby we should not be spending as much as we have done. This is why researching what you’re buying is so important.
- Grocery shopping. Usually, you can research the price of products online! You don’t have to go into a store to find the price of a tin of beans or a whole chicken, as every item is listed online on the brand’s website. Select your location to make sure the prices are accurate.
- New car. When buying a new car, you should do research in three key areas.
- Know which model you are getting. The factors that change the model, will be the engine you choose, the interior and electrical package systems such as computers and software.
- Know which car dealer you’re going to. You might find that your local car dealer has a price that is far higher than a car dealer which is in another state. You can have the car shipped to your location so why not buy it wherever is cheapest?
- Research the factory problems it may have. Some cars depreciate quicker because of faulty designs. You should always read user reviews of cars and not always reviews from car magazine websites.
Weekly meal plan
Instead of making whatever is in your fridge, concentrate on building a weekly routine for your meals. You can switch around the weeks once you have designed them but the first job is to make the plans.
- Monday – Pasta and pan-searched chicken with green beans or other vegetables
- Tuesday – Asian inspired noodles, with boiled egg, crispy seaweed
- Wednesday – Mashed potatoes and meatloaf, along with sweetcorn or carrots
- Thursday – Fish pie with potato croquettes, and mixed vegetables
- Friday – Quiche with mushroom risotto
- Saturday – Pizza, garlic sticks, mozzarella balls
- Sunday – Barbecue ribs and potato salad
- Monday – Beef ragu with Rigatoni pasta
- Tuesday – British fish and chips
- Wednesday – Ramen noodles along with sushi rolls
- Thursday – Thai green or red curry, with golden sticky rice
- Friday – Peri-peri chicken wraps with a summer salad
- Saturday – Cottage pie along with traditional buttered mash potatoes
- Sunday – Italian sausage and peppers, with garlic bread
Create weeks like this, and alternative them whenever you wish. You could create 10 different weeks and alternative them one after the other every single week on Sunday. It gives you much more focus on what to make, save money when you shop and search for the right ingredients.
You can save up 4 weeks at a time, using them for particular months. Seasonal cuisine is very much a thing as produce in the summer is rare to find in the winter.
How much do you earn?
How much do you really earn? Most people don’t actually know for certain! This is not funny but true. Many people think they earn what it says on their contract, but actually, no one ever really gets the exact number. The reason for this is the economy is always changing, so employers use their salary as a benchmark.
If you have a salary of $40,000, usually, you’ll earn $38,900 or $39,500 or $38,750, etc, etc.
So use a paycheck calculator which can work out how much you have earned weekly or monthly. It’s dead simple to use, just put in your details and see how much tax you will be paying on either your monthly or yearly earnings. It’s quite useful because it’s absolutely free and you can accurately see how much you are taking home and not just how much you are earning.
There’s a big difference as taxes change and yet, your salary might stay the same from year to year.
Ignore your urge to fly
Most people won’t be going on holiday for quite some time due to the pandemic. But there are literally millions of people waiting for their chance to hop on a plane and fly away. It’s going to cost a lot because the demand is so high. Why not save up for another year and not go on holiday?
- Staycations are really popular now because it’s cheap to travel at home and there are many things you haven’t seen. So why not book a trip to your nation’s capital? Do you have some friends you could stay with for a weekend? You can also camp by your car as there are many areas you can park your car and pitch a tent.
- Go island-hopping instead. Do you have an island which is near you? Florida has many islands which can be visited for their natural beauty and also, a cheap hotel room is always available. If you live in the UK, why not visit the Isle of Wight or the Isle of Man?
- Go Airbnb! You can book some very cheap rooms on this website and because it’s local people who want to make a few bucks while sharing their city or town, you get a kind of free tour guide as well.
Buy off the rack
Besides shopping for groceries and paying the bills, the other large monthly expense is usually clothing. We need to approach clothing in a different way. We have to stop buying a brand that we like just because of its prestige. Let’s not see brands but see quality instead. It’s something that you have to learn how to do.
- Look for cotton. Rather than wool, cotton is a better alternative for most of our clothing. It may not be as warm but it will usually last longer. Cotton fibres are able to flex and bend more than wool. So buy products that are made from cotton instead of wool, and you could end up saving a lot over the course of the year.
- Buy products which aren’t from your usual stores. So look at thrift stores, charity shops and micro-brands. Micro-businesses are often very boutique and they have designer clothing that is very affordable.
- Another option is to buy clothes from yard sales. Jackets and jeans are usually the best bet because they can be watched and not be damaged. You should also try to buy shoes from markets instead of large shoe stores. You never know you could find a bargain for some great clothes.
Budgeting is a serious issue now, as many people find themselves without a job due to the economy after 2020 wreaked havoc. You can do any or all of these things and watch how much more money you have at the end of the month!