How to Save Money Fast For 2020. Jeff’s 15 Simple Ways to Start Saving Money For 2020.
“Money makes the world around, the world go round, that Clinking Clanking sound”
I think that’s what they were singing in ‘Cabaret’.
And how right they were.
Everyone seems obsessed with money these days, either they don’t have enough or they like to flash it around to impress others.
But I suppose this has been same for people since money was invented, thousands of years ago.
Let me ask you a personal question….
How many times over the past 12 months have you been paid at the end of the month, but by the middle of the month it’s all gone?
But you still have bills to pay, things to buy, holidays, birthdays, Christmas to pay for.
Many people have debts mounting up, however, they don’t know how to pay it off.
I have worked with many people over the years who are not just a couple of 100 pounds in debt but 10’s of thousands of pounds in debt.
Scary, but true. Maybe you have been one of them?
How many of you reading this today have debts that you’re not sure how the heck to pay off?
If you have, you’re in the right place. This article is looking at trying to help you manage your money better, for the longer-term future.
This process may actually help you you to turn things around a bit and pay off your debts and set up more successful money patterns of behaviour for the future.
Note: there is always help available at your local Citizens Advice Bureau, they can support with advising on debts and management of debt.
Money can be our friend and our enemy.
We need to be the master of our money, not the slave to it.
But stop for a moment, there are those in society who always seem to have enough money, who are quietly confident in their financial status, sometimes starting with very little but amassing a great fortune.
How do they do it?
What are their secrets?
I’m going to tell you.
I know, because I’ve been researching and putting into practice what I’ve learnt.
If it can work for me, it can work for you.
Yes, it takes some work, it takes focus, organisation, determination and motivation.
The road to success is never easy, however, you can change your mind to create the success that you need, and here I’m going to give you some tips on how to do it.
It will be worth it to have more money in your pocket, less stress and worry over debt and more freedom to do what you want to do with your life.
This blog article is called; How to Save Money Fast For 2020. Jeff’s 15 Simple Ways to Start Saving Money For 2020.
So let’s crack on and get it done.
Much of this information is so simple, you will kick yourself for not having thought of it yourself.
Don’t be hard on yourself: put everything you’ve done before down to experience and move on and change going forward.
“Isn’t it better to be an unhappy rich person, than a poor happy person?”
That is what Marilyn Monroe said in Gentlemen Prefer Blonds, a Hollywood film from the 1950s.
I’m not sure if this is exactly true, but I do think not having money worries and not having this hanging around our neck is a great reliever of stress and worry.
I have seen so many people over the years worrying about money and fretting about it, it often destroys any glimpse of happiness or light they have in their lives.
If this article can help just a few people improve their lives then it is worth it.
This article isn’t about becoming really rich, it about being realistic and putting simple things in place to help you save and be more creative with the money you have.
It might help you, generate some more money in your life.
As I said before these fantastic saving money hacks, does mean that you have to take action yourself for it to succeed, and look at your relationship with money in different ways.
It is about reprogramming your brain really about how it interacts with money and the flow of money in your life.
*Disclaimer, this is advice, your level of success is dependant on getting off of your pert derrière and doing something about it.
Have some fun, enjoy the process.
You never know you might flipping well enjoy it!
If you find these tips useful please share them with others, everyone should know how to better manage their money.
If the average person in the street doesn’t manage their money better, then we continue to live in a befuddled ignorance of how our lives could be.
The bank’s and loan sharks are the only winners for debt.
And we don’t want that!
These first few tips are some of the biggest, most important ways to save money, and have enough left over to enjoy their life with your family.
1. You need to to be doing …Online Banking;
This is the basis and foundation for the following tips, if you aren’t banking online why not?
Yes, there are some people who worry about security, but as long as you’re not doing it on a public access computer, and you have decent firewall protection, you should be fine.
I know quite a few people who still go into their banks are few times a month to pay bills and sort out their finances, but if they have consistent eyes on their money, where it is going and how it is going, they have more control over it.
I don’t know about you but I really dislike going into banks, queueing up, and talking about your personal details to the clerk for Mrs Miggins behind you, to hear.
By banking online you control your money from the comfort of your armchair.
You can see who and what is being paid.
Again…You have control.
You have more control over your debts and your credits, what you have coming in and what you have going out.
Sometimes I feel that looking at my accounts is like jumping into a swimming pool that’s a bit too cold, it’s hard at the beginning, but once you are in, you can make progress.
I always make it a rule to pay myself my savings, before I pay my bills.
Bills can come at various points during the month, so if you put your savings money to one side at the beginning of the month and lock that down, you don’t spend it.
This soon grows.
If it helps you can’t set up a direct debit to take out a bit of money every month as a ‘bill’, so that pays into an investment account, premium bond or is Savings’ account somewhere that you don’t see on a monthly basis.
Do whatever you needed to, to save some money.
Another tip for banking online is having multiple accounts;
Such as an account for your holiday, your pets, your car, household expenses such as repairs or buying something for your house, food and clothes.
You can find sometimes that you don’t always use some of the money in these accounts to pay for the above. Then you can accumulate money and roll it forward to the following month.
You can use this method to pay off debts too, for example, the car loan or student loans.
On your payday logon and go through each area that you pay money and work out how much you can move into these accounts.
I usually have some type of spreadsheet table with set amounts for each account say that I stick to that every month.
Some of you may say ” Jeff what planet are you on mate? I barely make it, to pay for food and rent, I can’t save anything”
I reply with…”I have also been on low income and I was always told…you cut your cloth based on what you have. Keep reading the tips to help you with other areas of your spends and money life”.
Anyone can do this with some focus and motivation.
In reference to having separate accounts for your bills, I like to think that the money going out anyway but pay it now.
Pay it forward.
Paying out your bills consistently and frequently means that you don’t notice the big payouts. For example, car insurance.
These lump sums you owe jump out at you like a Dr Who monster from under your bed when you least expect it.
Plan this forward.
Work out how much you pay on average each year for your car insurance.
Then spread that cost equally over the months. Pay into your car fund, then when you have to pay the bill, you have the money there already.
The same for Christmas. Work out on average how much you pay out for Christmas, then put that money aside each month before Christmas arrives.
You’ve got to pay it anyway, why not pay it out earlier.
There is nothing worse than starting the new year with a huge Christmas debt.
Yes, this part takes a bit of setting up, but WOW…it gives you much more control over your finances. This really does work. I’ve been doing this for 23 years.
2. Save it Forward: this follows on from the tip above.
By having some money going out every month as a ‘Bill’ either in a trust fund, an ISA, a Premium bond (it doesn’t have to be a lot £20/£30) can make a world of difference over a couple of years.
Because it is smaller, but you do not notice it leaving your account.
For example, you could do it when you aren’t paying something else, for example, a loan has finished for your car, transfer that bill money into saving, even for a year.
You may find that your mortgage rate has dropped and you have a bit of extra cash, save it, don’t spend it.
Every bit helps over the years.
It may be enough for a big holiday in a couple of years, it may pay for that new kitchen you’ve always wanted, or help you get a car.
For the longer term, it may mean that you retire earlier
3. Thinking longer term.
Rich people do not think of their money as just the money they have for this month, they plan things forward, they invest their money, they grow their money for the longer term.
Do not get me wrong I’m not saying you have to live like a Scrooge, of course, you have to live and enjoy life.
But have your eye on a longer-term plan, as well as the shorter-term plan.
Think to yourself, if I planned this money right I will have a nest egg to cushion me further down the line.
If you have followed the above tip of the separate bank accounts for your savings, to meet your shorter-term goals, but you need a backup plan for the longer-term bigger savings goal.
What I have done over the years is when we get a salary increase, because of a better job or a natural pay increment, that we keep our basic salary that we need to live on, and put the increase into a savings account.
Over time this really mounts up.
It means that if you need to pay out on something bigger, you can turn to your savings rather than a high-interest loan.
This is one way to beat the banks!
For example, you get paid £1000 a month in 2010, you pay all your bills and do OK on this, but as your salary goes up, keep the net salary as £1000 and anything above this becomes savings.
By 2022 you are to earning £2000 a month. The additional money can be saved for the future.
Simply put …don’t spend what you don’t need to.
I always think of goldfish growing to the size of their bowl. We do this as well, with the homes that we buy and the money that we earn.
I never understand why people complain that they don’t have enough money to go on holiday or buy a new car.
However they earn more money than I do, but they seem to spend money all over the place without thinking it through and nothing really to show for it.
Now, this is fine if they’re happy, I’m not judging them. But do not complain about it.
This idea works because your mind thinks that that’s all you need, the excess money is saved and you make do with the net amount (the old salary).
If you start thinking…
“hmmm I’ve got £2500 a month now”
Your brain kicks in and starts spending all of that.
Remember: Like Goldfishes we grow to the size of our bowls (money coming in).
Yes live for the moment, but don’t forget the future.
It will be here quicker than you think.
4. Stop and Think…Do You Need to Buy That Coffee?
” well I no actually I don’t, I’ve got this nice bamboo cup with some home-made coffee in it”
Smug face…I’ve just saved £3.00
This tip is not just about coffee, it looks about how you spend the money that you do have in your pocket.
Write down for a moment how much money do you spend each month on the little things.
No, I’m not talking about your children.
It is the coffee here, chocolate bar there, that download Ring App, the magazine, the posh haircut.
The little things that add up to quite a bit of money.
For this section, an idea is to allocate yourself ‘pocket money’ or an allowance.
And do not spend above it.
An idea is to draw the money out at the beginning of each month and keep it in your purse/wallet.
Then you have your money for the month.
At first, it can be quite hard to do, to but it can also be fun and made into an activity with your partner. Who has money left at the end of the month type of thing?
Don’t buy lunch out.
Take a packed lunch.
Think about how much a decent sandwich costs? £4.00 meal deal? The soft drink, the crisps, the cake.
You do the maths here for a moment.
Times £4 by 5 days, = £20.00 a week.
Times by 47 weeks in the year (inc. minus holidays) is about £940.00
Yes, £940.00 a year. Blinking Heck. That’s a lot of food.
If you include also;
Drinks with your mates
The cups of coffee!
It all adds up.
That is where your money is going.
I know I’ve been there and I see it still with my mates.
How much does a decent cup of coffee cost from that well-known coffee place?
For example, I buy a white Soya coffee each morning on the way to work.
It is about £2.50
£2.50 * 5 = 12 * 48 weeks again = £600.00
I know. It all adds up.
Throw in a snack bar a day and is it any wonder you have no money left at the end of the week?
Go ON…Record your expenses.
It sounds boring, but it’s hard to save if you don’t know what’s moving in and out.
If you need help budgeting there are budgeting App’s available that you can use on your phone to help.
5. Spend on the FUN times wisely.
Yep, I know… Saving money isn’t particularly sexy.
But if you think about getting one over on the banks, or ‘the system’, not having to take out big loans, less worry, less stress and more freedom with your money then saving money can at least be exciting.
Another expense which can run away with us is spending on the fun times.
When I say fun times I mean out drinking and eating with friends, activities with the kids, massages, Spa’s, that type of thing.
How we spend our money on all of this can eat into our monthly money.
We need to approach how we spend money differently.
For example, we go out on a Friday night for dinner and a few drinks with friends.
For the 2 of us, a two-course meal costs about £45.00. Then a few rounds of drinks, say £30.00.
Total = £75.00.
And that is just one evening.
If you throw in a taxi as well you can talk about spending for the evening at about £90.00.
Maybe you do this four times a month that is £90.00 * 4 = £360.00 a month.
Maybe you have a few takeaway meals as well during a month, add another £40.00.
That’s £400 a month.
Chuck in your Netflix subscription, gym memberships, yoga lesson, coffee and cakes on a Sunday afternoon.
You see where this is going.
Now I’m not saying you don’t go and enjoy myself, but space it out, to mix it up.
Think about things differently.
Limit it to a few times a month, rather than every week.
Think of other ways of meeting up with your friends.
Go to each other’s houses, everyone brings a bottle of wine.
Watch a film at home. Get a bag of popcorn.
Have a box set evening.
Play Board games.
Go Hiking together.
Take Picnics, or bring and share meals.
Buy a Local supermarket meal deal rather than a takeaway or eating out.
Have a ‘Cook from scratch evening’ and everyone brings a dessert type of thing.
You can make it fun.
You can save money in the process.
Look on ‘Group On’ for savings; online vouchers.
Collect coupons for holidays away.
Buy a family railcard for a family, this can save a lot of money for trips away.
Go Camping instead of a trip abroad, it can be fun and it saves a lot of money in the process.
6. One Person’s Junk is another Person’s Gold: Sell it.
There is a booming soft economy out there.
It is TAX free and it is money in your pocket.
It is called selling your stuff online.
Look around your home, I bet there is lots of stuff just lying around you haven’t used for years.
Pairs of shoes you have only worn once, handbags you never use, golf clubs in the loft, kids toys they never play with.
You have money just lying around.
Get rid of the stuff you don’t want, it will make you feel better as you are decluttering your life. But it also means that you are freeing up the cash you have in your home.
It is great recycling… for others to make use of what you don’t want.
How do I sell online?
Use…eBay, online Facebook market place, are the main places at the moment for things.
It takes a couple of hours to get your head around doing it, but it can be quite easy when you know-how. Take some good photographs of the object and write a bit about it, choose a realistic price to attract a good buyer and get selling.
I love it because it’s money in your pocket which we use to pay for meals out when on holiday or even a short trip away with the kids. You also meet some really nice people who are buying the objects from you.
7. On Your Bike: Travel costs
How much do you spend each month on travel?
When I say travel, I mean the commute to work or the trips out and about at the weekend.
Have you considered doing things differently?
For example, is there a scheme at work where you can car share?
Can you walk more places rather than drive?
Can you use a bicycle?
There are many ideas that you can use to save money on your travel.
Not only will it save your money, but it’ll also save the environment.
If you can work from home.
Even if you’re just working from home one day a week, it’ll save your fuel over a month.
Yes, you are using electricity by being at home, but it adds up to pence rather than pounds using the car.
I worked out recently that for one trip to work for a 35-mile round trip, and car park, I was spending £6.00 a day, including some wear and tear on the car. Four days a week equals £24.00 a week, that is £96 pounds a month.
Yes, it all adds up.
8. Work That Body: Gym Memberships and other fees;
How many of us start off in January with a gym membership, with good intentions, but by March, we have given up?
But the fee’s still keep coming out of the bank account, just in case, we change our minds and suddenly feel motivated again.
Money Motto: If you don’t use it, lose it.
Gym memberships and other memberships are all very well if they are being used and you’re getting results.
But you can get fit in other ways, if you have a shed or garage buy some second-hand weights, rowing machine, step master and put some music on and do a bit every night.
If the motivation issue is your thing, rope in your partner or friend.
You save money.
You get fit.
You feel better.
There are so many free alternatives to being fit or other activities which you pay money for.
Go for a run or a walk.
Join a free club to meet people.
Did you know that you can get as much exercise having a brisk walk every day than you do at the gym for an hour a week?
Save your money.
Work your body at home.
9. Save Your Pennies to Make the Pounds:
Pennies do turn into Pounds eventually.
Putting your loose change into a large money box or one of those pottery pots you need to smash open at the end, will soon add up over time, to a nice bit of cash.
We have done it and often you get a nice lump sum which can pay for a camping trip, trips out with the kids over the holidays, new tyres for your car, or saving for Christmas food and drinks.
Make it a fun activity with your kids/partner, see how fast you can all save up.
Personally speaking, I’d stick to the silver coins though. The copper coins are a pain to take to the bank.
10. Set those Goals and save with Purpose.
Having a clear saving goal gives you motivation and this can propel you forward with great speed.
For example, you want to go on holiday with the kids next year or maybe that Cruise you have always talked about, taking a trip to Thailand or New Zealand to see some relatives, or maybe a new car in two years’ time.
But I’m sure for you it will be something different but equally motivating and exciting.
Having a clear goal like this, that you need to save your money for will help you keep focussed and meet that goal.
Remember don’t get into debt or take out a loan unless you need to, you can do it. Do it yourself and save it forward.
By putting into practice what you’ve learned above, you have some excellent tools for being clever with your money, now all you need is some great motivation.
What I do is create an emotional story or visual for this goal. I make a picture board of what I am aiming for; it might be pictures from the Internet or magazines that I have cut out and stuck on a piece of paper next to my desk or bed.
If you can see it in your mind, you can with focus and motivation materialise it in your life.
Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
Use your savings accounts and go for it.
Work out how much you need to save up, how much you can afford each month and just go for it.
Some projects can take a few years to save up, but if you keep focussed and keep going you can do it.
Don’t give up.
11. Shop Smart, Shop Clever, Reduce those food bills.
Have you ever nipped into the shops to get something quickly, and come out an hour later having spent £50.00?
Those shops are clever.
They are designed and marketed to make you spend your money.
And that is a good point…everyone wants your money.
If you are not careful, they will get it.
And who can blame us with tempting offers such as buy one and get one free, 50% off, penny sales, buy three and get three free.
Shopping tip: go in with a shopping list, and stick to it.
Only go shopping when you need to, go in focussed, possibly go in alone (kids can distract).
Do not go into a food shop hungry!!
Do a big shop every two weeks, preferably shop online where you can be more objective about what you need and get it delivered to your door. Reducing the temptation of their marketing.
12. Shop Smart and Shop Cheaper:
This tip relates very closely to the one above.
Did you know that the average family of four spend between £60.00 to £80.00 a week on food?
And that is not including takeaways, alcohol and other bits and pieces.
When you are feeding a hungry family you need to shop smarter and cheaper, wherever you can.
Keep an eye out for the selling off sections in the supermarket, sometimes going shopping at 8.00 PM you can get some good bargains on fresh food, marked down.
Use that opportunity to stock up on expensive marked down goods and put them in the freezer, where possible.
Consider shopping at cheaper supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl.
Often you can save up to a third off of your shopping bill. I know because I have done this. Try it out and see for yourself.
The food is usually non-brand, and they keep their prices down by having less selection and less waste. They can be often less overwhelming because there is less choice, I personally prefer this.
I often get to the checkout and look at the huge trolley worth of food and am amazed at how much I can get the price.
You can also get fresh, sometimes organic items at the cheaper places, a lot of them do food allergy needs and vegan, so catering for all tastes.
If you do a big shop every 2 weeks, and then do a focused pop in for the fresh top-ups.
It works, it can be done.
13. Go second hand: Recycle and Refresh.
Ethically and morally for the green agenda, I like to Recycle and upcycle where possible. To reduce my carbon footprint on this planet.
You may not have the same burning passion but the benefits of second-hand goods, whether they are from E-bay, Facebook market place, or your local charity shops or recycle centre, can make a great saving for you.
Anything from books, DVDs, chairs, clothes, and shoes, toys, and everything in between. Use your local recycling centre and charity shops, they are like Aladdin’s cave.
You can turn it into a fun activity with the children who love looking for vintage DVD’s or books for their favourite subject.
Not only that as a responsible parent you are teaching them the benefits of not buying new all the time, so educating them to be shopping smart too.
14. The Good Life: Grow your Own.
Now before we start you don’t have to have a big garden to grow your own.
Someone living in a flat can grow something, even on a windowsill
Even if it is some expensive herbs you will use, get a packet of seeds for 50p and get planting. Every bit of saving helps.
If you have the benefit of a bigger garden, make some growing beds, and get growing.
You don’t need lots of time, you can grow things from seed on your windowsill; lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, courgettes, French beans and much more.
Plant them out, water them well, then wait for the harvest.
If you plan it right and grow enough produce, you may not have to spend much money on fresh produce for about 5 to 6 months of the year.
If you have chickens, then you get fresh eggs.
They are easy and cheap to keep and pay for themselves 10 times over in eggs.
15. End on a Bright Note: Saving what you consume at Home.
You may have gathered so far, I am a bit of an ECO warrior.
Trying to save the environment and planet in my own way.
Part of that is about saving energy, only using what you need, and what you use, use it in a good way.
If you haven’t already… start replacing items in your home as they break down, with energy-saving replacements.
The main ones really are light bulbs. LED lights bulbs are much better than the previous energy-saving light bulbs 10 years ago.
These save even more energy and are much brighter.
They are good for the planet and good for your purse.
When buying your new appliances look for the A+++ energy rating. Turn off electrical goods and lights when they aren’t being used.
Stop draughts by your front and back doors, close your windows when it’s cold.
Where you can, put a jumper on, not the heater.
Saving money on your electric and gas bills is also a priority, shop online each year for the best deals that you can get, you can often save a couple of 100 pounds a year by shopping for your utilities in a clever way.
Another possibility is to get some solar panels and look at other energy-saving solutions.
It all adds up.
Well, I am spent out!
We have just gone through 15 helpful hints and tips about saving your money and getting you to a more financially secure position for the future, for you and your family.
If I can do it, you can do it.
It just needs some focus, motivation and action.
Start today and good luck
If you want to read more of my musings and articles have a look here on my blog on the Think Your Happy website.
So, what else can you do to change your life around?
What are you changing in your mind to create change within for success in your life?
Leave your comment below and let me know.
The Think community would love to hear your thoughts.
Take back control.
Create Your Own Success.