Ways to Save Money
Whether you have lots of disposable income or find there isn’t enough money at the end of the month, it’s always a good idea to save when you can. Even if it’s just putting a little aside each week, it will eventually start to build up, and having a lump sum set aside could come in very handy further down the line. Cutting back or saving here and there might be easier than you think, and if you put your mind to it, you might be surprised at how much you have managed to accrue.
You may think that you have plenty of time to consider how you will manage financially when you are older or are considering retirement, but if you have a game plan now, it will make a huge difference when the time comes. Here are 6 ways to save money for your financial future.
Cut down your electricity consumption
Powering a home can be expensive, but there are ways to reduce your bills. Switching to LED lightbulbs is a great way to save energy. Not only are they even more efficient than standard energy-saving lightbulbs, but they are far brighter too. Another way to save on lighting is to have motion sensors installed. These are particularly useful if your family struggles to remember to switch lights off when they leave the room.
Another way to reduce bills is to switch sockets off when not in use. The amount of electricity saved may be minimal, but when you consider how many sockets you have potentially wasting energy, it all mounts up. Not only will it benefit your pocket, but it’s better for the environment too.
Sell stuff you don’t use or need
If you are anything like the majority of the population, you probably have loads of belongings in your home that you no longer like or no longer use. If this is the case, it might be worth considering selling them. It’s a great way to declutter your home and make money in the process. Many people use the likes of Facebook marketplace to sell unwanted goods or, if you have a fair bit, why not think about hosting a garage sale?
Be realistic about how much each item is worth, and bear in mind that it is money you wouldn’t otherwise have had, so if someone tries to haggle with you, don’t be too quick to say no. The more stuff you can sell, the more money you will have to put away in a savings account.
Are you getting the best return on your savings?
If you are lucky enough to have savings already set aside, it’s worth checking whether you could be getting a better return elsewhere. If it’s sitting in a current account, for example, you would most likely get a better rate by putting it into a fixed rate or notice account. That is only a good idea if you don’t need access to your cash straight away, so if you are in any doubt, it’s best to hold off.
If you have a lot of money saved and are unsure what your best investment options might be, either talk to an independent financial advisor or use the many online resources available. From investing in real estate to locking your cash away in a high-risk stocks and shares ISA, many avenues can be pursued. Just make sure that any decision you make is an informed one, or you could regret it further down the line.
Pay off credit cards
If you have loans or credit cards with high balances, paying them off should be one of your main priorities. Find out the annual interest payable on each and work on paying off the highest percentage first. Plough any spare cash you have into paying off the remaining balances and try to remain focused.
There are loan consolidation companies who may be able to help but do so with caution, as many of them charge fees and interest, which could increase your debt even further. Another option is to transfer your balances onto a 0% credit card, but this will only be useful if you can pay it off within the specified timescales set by the credit card company.
Take out life insurance
It’s not just your financial future that needs to be considered, but that of your family too. If you don’t already have life insurance, then it’s worth looking into. Many policies will also cover you for critical illness, so if something unexpected happens, you know that your family will be provided for.
Many policies are not end of life policies and so lapse with a certain amount of time, so make sure you are aware of the timescales before signing up. You must also check the level of cover that will be paid out in the event of your death. Your premiums will usually determine the level of cover, so make sure that you feel it’s adequate before signing on the dotted line.
Look to paying off your mortgage
Your mortgage is probably your biggest outlay each month and so paying it off sooner rather than later is another great idea. If you can overpay each month, then it’s a great way to reduce your outstanding balance – just be sure to check with your lender if there is a maximum amount you can overpay in any given year.
Another way to clear your mortgage quicker is to reduce the outstanding term. Your monthly payments will, of course, increase, but you could potentially save thousands in interest by paying it off quicker.
If your current mortgage product is nearing the end of its term and you are at all unsure of the best options, speak to a mortgage broker who will guide you in the right direction. You may be able to secure a mortgage at a lower interest rate, which will make it more affordable.
Being mortgage-free is a big step towards securing a healthy financial future so try to make it one of your priorities, and you won’t regret it.