Financial struggle can affect us all, whether you’re a young nipper or have reached a ripe old age. The truth is, once you reach a certain age you gain a certain amount of wisdom and experience that allows you to make better financial decisions and pass on your wisdom to the younger generation. If you want to save for a holiday, take control of your household finances, or simply have money saved for a rainy day, then check out some of the best money saving tips below.
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Clear Your Debt
Before you start saving, you need to make sure than any outstanding debts you have are cleared. Credit card debt is one of the biggest financial burdens you can have, and can affect your credit card rating and can spiral out of control. A low-cost loan can often work out more economical if you do find yourself consistently struggling to meet your credit card payments. More and more people are using loans as an alternative to credit cards, and despite the misconception of there only being bad credit payday loans, more people than ever are using them. If you are smart and are careful with the way you use a loan, you can use it to clear your overall debt, making it much more economical in the long term.
Cut Down On Your Grocery Costs
Make sure you make a list and stick to it when you go shopping. As a result of advertising and the supermarkets retail strategy, it can be all too easy to be sucked into buying things you don’t need. If you write a list with a clear budget in mind, you will be able to have control of what you do and do not purchase. Making simple changes such as choosing supermarkets own brands over popular brands can help you save money without necessarily compromising on quality. Consider switching basic products that you use on a regular basis such as pasta, flour, toilet paper, for own brand alternatives which can be bought at a reasonable price and are usually of a similar quality.
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Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk is another way to cut down on your grocery costs, particularly if you have a large family but also if you are a student and want to share the costs of shopping with friends. Costco and other wholesale brands offer good quality products that work out far more economical as a result of purchasing in bulk. If there are products that you use on a regular basis, and are nonperishable, such as toiletries, you can save a considerable amount of money by buying a month, or even several months supply. This might not be a good idea for fresh produce, however, unless you are planning a party, or use a great deal of a particular product in a short space of time.
Find Alternatives to Expensive Clothing
Buying good quality clothing and shoes can help you save money in the long run, but the only thing is, if you have growing children you’ll need to buy new clothing on a regular basis, which can make this quite expensive. If you have friends or family with slightly older children, see if you can use their hand me downs, which most people are more than happy to offer particularly when it is an item of clothing that has only been worn for a short period before not fitting. This works on both sides, and you can do the same for other people’s children.If you are handy with a sewing machine, it might be worth making your own clothes, or even revamping an old item of clothing and transforming it into a new one. Finally, you can find some real bargains in affordable supermarkets, or second-hand stores without having to pay the real cost!
Be Comfortable Turning People Down
You might find yourself caving in to a young child, who wants a new toy every time you go shopping, or it might be friends who are always doing new activities and planning outings and holidays. While having a social life is a wonderful thing, if you are trying to save money this can get quite expensive. Don’t be afraid to say no to people; most people will understand if you politely let them know that you are trying to save money. Societal pressure is something you care less about, the older you get, and one of the best ways to live an authentic (and financially secure) life, is to do or pay for something that you can afford, or want to do. A simple no can allow you to empower yourself and save money while doing so.
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Don’t Worry About ‘Keeping Up Appearances’
In a similar vein, feeling pressure to do the same things or buy certain products because of fearing the judgment of people around you, can end up being very expensive indeed. Let go of the fear of being judged by others, and instead, focus on the things and people important to you. Buying the latest car, or going on expensive holidays to impress other people will be detrimental to your finances, and not be worth it in the long run. Even if it seems that people around you are doing well financially, you don’t know the state of their finances, and whether their lifestyle is causing them to be in debt.
Cut Down On Travel Costs
Start walking or cycling instead of paying expensive fuel or travel costs. Exercising regularly, even if it as gentle as walking will help you cut the costs of travel, as well as keeping you fit and healthy, which is just as important as having good financial health. If you have young children and need to drive them around, consider car pooling with other parents. Another option is to take it in turns to drive the children to school or after school clubs. The small changes you make can often be the easiest ones to stick to.
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