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9 easy ways to save more and spend less

Whether you're finding it challenging to keep up with your monthly expenses, saving for a large purchase or waiting to take a much-needed family vacation sometime in the future, you need to start saving now to achieve your goals. Click here to read how these simple tips can help you spend less on things you don't need and SAVE more to strengthen your financial health.

Introduction


Spending and saving routines are typically a result of one’s habits. But if you feel helpless in your spending habits, the good news is you can now coach yourself to spending less and saving that cash. Let's look at nine easy ways in how to trick yourself into spending less, saving more and paying debt smartly.

Easy Ways to Save More & Spend Less

1. Create a visual reminder of your financial goals


Make a colourful chart of your financial goals and paste it where you can see it often. Perhaps you want to save for a family trip. Or you want to eliminate all your consumer debt to zero. Making a visual chart of your financial goals and keep it within your eye view to allow you to create a thoughtful and mental decision in avoiding the urge to spend and save the money for what you need the most.

2. Stay true to your budget


If you've created a budget on a spreadsheet or using a tracking app to control your spending, you've taken the right step in starting to control your finances. But most people tend to lose the excitement once they look at the real figures on their budget. Perhaps, your budget may show you that you've veered from your goals, and that could cause you to get depressed. But notwithstanding where you stand, continue to use your budget faithfully to track your money.

Stick with your plan like it's an exercise or diet regime. At first, it may appear to be uncomfortable and challenging, but once you get used to it, budgeting can become enjoyable. Spending money is not as painful as repaying the debt when the due date arrives. But having a budgetary plan in front of you can show you what you need to stick to and what you need to erase to stay on track.

3. Wait 48 hours to buy a 'want'


Retail therapy sounds good when spending time with friends. But it can have one of the most detrimental effects on one’s money situation. If you see something that you like and think it may make you happy, but it's not an item you need, take a mental rain check on it. Revisit the decision to purchase it after 48 hours to see whether it really makes sense to purchase.

The happiness that comes with a new purchase usually dwindles in a few minutes, hours and sometimes in a day. But what you could be left with is a crippling debt that comes from these purchases and fewer savings. Less money brings more stress, and hence, don't allow your emotions to ride over your purchasing decisions. When you take 48 hours to mull over any buying decision, you deliberately make a conscious effort of keeping your emotions at bay.

Additional Read: Meet your Long term Goals without a Worry

4. De-clutter your life


Many of us are already drowning with way too many things and items around us in our lives. Take time off to clear the space in your room or home, and you will be surprised to find the things you don't need.

Clearing your living space not only helps you free up your area, but also helps you to manage less stuff. Besides, you can also make some extra money by selling the things you don't need anymore.

5. Compare prices before buying


The best way to avoid the temptation of making an impulse purchase is to wait for a good deal or sales offers that may come your way. Take advantage of promotional codes, discounts, coupons, cashback offers, online sales, and similar savings deals to spend less and save more when purchasing a big-ticket item. And to do that, you need to compare prices on several shopping websites and dig a bit deeper into consumer research before buying.

When you spend some time researching on what you’re looking to buy, you could find a good deal at a very low price, thus helping you save a good amount of money.

6. Don't ignore those small expenses


Every tiny expense adds up to a large amount. Some costs may often go unnoticed, such as streaming subscriptions that you no longer use, several mugs of coffee you order at your regular café, dining out regularly and others.

Look for ways to trim those costs and cut back on unnecessary subscriptions. Similarly, late payment fees and ATM charges could also eat into your money. Planning ahead can help you avoid several of these minor expenses.

7. Set up automatic savings deposits


If you're not already doing this, it's time to set up a systematic investment plan [SIP] in a mutual fund that goes out from your paycheck and puts it directly into a financial goal of your choice. This takes the effort and emotion out of manually saving money and helps you inculcate discipline in your savings habits. Use SIP investment buckets based on your goals and time horizon and watch your savings grow with time.

8. Pay off your credit card bills on time


To avoid paying high interest on delayed payments, it can be a good idea to pay off your credit card balances in full every month. If you're unable to pay them all off, use the debt snowball strategy to get rid of your credit card debt one step at a time. With the debt snowball method, you start by paying off your smallest credit card debt as soon as you can. Once that is cleared, you use the money to pay off the next smallest debt. And so on and so forth until you repay all your debts from the smallest to the largest.

Additional Read: Investing in mutual funds? Here's all you need to know

9. Make use of ready-made investment mutual fund packs


When saving for your goals, take advantage of a ready-made portfolio of leading mutual funds picked by financial experts and analysts who know the best performing funds for short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. When you have investment buckets or packs for every goal, it becomes your one-stop plan of achieving them faster. It also takes away the time and effort needed to individually select mutual funds by allowing you a curated and handpicked portfolio of funds periodically reviewed by the research team to ensure that your investments are on track.

Conclusion


Give your money the chance to grow in the background through automatic SIPs before you get the opportunity to spend it. And at the same time, you can train your money habits by following the above easy steps. Once you make small positive changes, you can quickly get your spending and savings on track. Start by saving spare change and accumulating the amount to begin investing in a low-cost passive investing approach such as mutual funds that can grow your money over the long run.

Disclaimer:
ICICI Securities Ltd.( I-Sec). Registered office of I-Sec is at ICICI Securities Ltd. - ICICI Centre, H. T. Parekh Marg, Churchgate, Mumbai - 400020, India, Tel No : 022 - 2288 2460, 022 - 2288 2470. I-Sec is a SEBI registered with SEBI as a Research Analyst vide registration no. INH000000990. AMFI Regn. No.: ARN-0845. We are distributors for Mutual funds. Mutual Fund Investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully. Please note, Mutual Fund related services are not Exchange traded products and I-Sec is just acting as distributor to solicit these products. All disputes with respect to the distribution activity, would not have access to Exchange investor redressal forum or Arbitration mechanism. The contents herein above shall not be considered as an invitation or persuasion to trade or invest.  I-Sec and affiliates accept no liabilities for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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