1. Find out where your money’s going
Start by finding out where your money’s being spent. It sounds obvious, but most of us don’t realise exactly how much we’re spending each month – and what we’re spending it on – until it’s laid out in front of us. Keep a money journal for a month where you write down everything you spend, or monitor things using your phone.
2. Don’t ignore small change
If you keep a money journal, remember it’ll only work if you write down everything – even the chocolate you bought with your spare change. Recording all your spending helps you to see how easy it is for the small change to add up.
3. Go through your statements
Grab your last three bank statements and credit card bills and spend some time going through them, highlighting any areas where you think you’re spending money unnecessarily or spending too much. This could be large insurance premiums or a magazine subscription you don’t have time to read.
4. Cancel old subscriptions
The most common wasted money is on gym memberships, followed by TV streaming plans like Netflix or Amazon Prime. Take a few minutes and cancel any subscriptions you don’t really use to save yourself a bit of cash.
5. Give yourself a money makeover
Gather together your latest bills for all your utilities, from gas to broadband to your mobile phone, and then set yourself a week to cut your bills. Tackle a different bill every lunchtime, shopping around on comparison websites like Bonkers.ie to see if you could get a better deal.
6. Break any bad habits
Take a look at your spending and see if there are areas where you’ve fallen into bad money habits, such as buying a coffee or lunch every day. Cutting that takeaway coffee to once or twice a week, or preparing a few of your meals at home, will add up to meaningful savings over a year. Reducing your spending by just €2 a day could save you over €700 a year.
7. Draw up a budget
Budgets aren’t just for the Chancellor. Drawing up a weekly or monthly budget will help you get your finances under control. There are plenty of templates online to get you started, for example the budget planner on the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission website www.ccpc.ie.
8. Use a money management app
Budgeting apps can also be used to plan what you want to spend and keep track of it. There are plenty available, including Spendee, Money Lover, Mobills, Expensify and Moneyhub.
9. Start a savings habit
Once you’ve started managing your money and you’ve cut back on unnecessary outgoings, you should find you have a little more left over each month that you can start saving. It doesn’t have to be much – the smallest amount will start to add up over time. Just get into the habit of putting some money aside regularly so that it becomes a habit.
10. Find a good home for those savings
Finally, shop around for the best home for your savings. Take the time to research and get advice on different options for your savings. You can contact us at Gallivan Financial for more information on the options available that would suit your budget.