Learning how to better manage your budget and save money are important goals for many people. But finding ways to save money on a daily basis cannot be improvised.
Because if on paper, it seems easy to reduce your bills and control your expenses, it is much less so in practice. You need a good dose of organization and above all good consumption habits. Especially if you also want to build up savings for the future.
So how do you save gently and enjoy your money with peace of mind?
Here are our 12 ways to save money every day, classified into 5 main categories:
- budget management
- consumer habits
- everyday savings
- good reflexes
- mastery of temptation
Learn to better manage your budget
1/ Establish a monthly budget and savings goals
Saving regularly means first and foremost having a clear view of your financial situation. Managing your budget each month then becomes simpler and much less anxiety-provoking.
To start :
- List all your fixed expenses: rent, credits, insurance, mutual insurance, taxes, etc.
- Do the same for your regular cash inflows: salary, pension, allowances, other income
- Make a subtraction: you will get the amount you have each month for your variable expenses: food, clothes, leisure, extras, and holidays
Variable expenses can be managed in two different ways. Either by spending without counting until you reach the bank overdraft or by intelligently controlling your expenses to put money aside each month.
Which option do you think is the most desirable for your peace of mind?
2/ Write down all expenses, even the most trivial ones
Controlling the variable expenses is one of the best ways to save money on a daily basis.
Look at your bank account over the last three months and calculate the amount you have allocated to each of the following expense items:
- water, electricity
- telephone and internet plan
- grocery shopping
- home maintenance
- clothes and cosmetics
- leisure and outings
What are the most important positions? Are you surprised at their amount?
Write down your daily expenses, even the most trivial ones, in order to identify those that you can easily limit. You can then determine a specific amount not to be exceeded for each of the expense items you have listed.
It may seem tedious at first, but it only takes a few weeks to get used to it. You will become aware of your possible “financial leaks” and will be able to control them.
Change your consumption habits
3/ Take the time to analyze your purchases
The small daily expenses that we do without paying attention to them are often the ones that generate the most money at the end of the month. They are also the easiest to restrict or simply remove.
Observe for example the amount allocated daily to your lunch break: a sandwich at 5 euros and a drink at 3 euros each day, it seems trivial. And yet, it represents a budget of around 160 euros per month.
How could you avoid this expense? Why not prepare your lunch at home and bring a water bottle?
Saving money on a daily basis does not necessarily mean consuming less, it often means consuming better or differently.
For each purchase, ask yourself if it meets a real need. And if you want to please yourself, never give in to impulse buying, such as the purchase of comfort or consolation.
Start by stepping back, and comparing prices. Wait a bit and see if your craving doesn’t just pass… You’ll quickly get into the habit of spending your money more wisely.
4/ Use cash rather than a credit card
We live in a world of technology where everything is done to make our lives easier when it comes to our means of payment. Online, via our smartphone, it’s so easy to click a button! But it is also very dangerous.
The best way to realize the value of the money you spend is to pay for your purchases in cash.
Paying with a credit card makes it easy to forget the amounts committed. On the other hand, withdrawing cash to last all week and seeing the bills disappear one by one makes things much more realistic.
To go even further, you can also set up an envelope system to manage your budget with precision. Each month, you will place an amount of cash planned in advance in envelopes denominated by category of expenditure: outings, shopping, restaurants, decoration, etc.
Once the envelope is empty, you see that you have reached the limits of your budget. It may seem restrictive, but it’s a very effective habit. With practice, you’ll soon come to the end of the month with a little extra money to spare.
Treat yourself to a nice piggy bank and start building up savings!
Save money on day-to-day expenses
5/ Smart cooking
To avoid compulsive purchases and unnecessary expenses when shopping for food, the ideal is to know exactly what you need. Here too, good organization is the key to saving money.
Establish in advance the menus of the week and list precisely the ingredients and the quantities necessary before going to do your shopping.
Learn about the joys of batch cooking! Cooking several meals in advance at the same time does not take more time and helps to limit waste.
For example, you can plan a half-day on the weekend to prepare your menus in advance. And get the kids involved, they love it! Cook in larger quantities and then divide the dishes into portions that you put in the freezer. Also, remember to freeze leftovers and foods that are approaching their use-by date to avoid losses.
By doing so, you will save money, but also time and above all mental load!
6/ Make your own household products
For your household, there is no need to spend a fortune on chemical cleaning products. You can clean your whole house effectively with just these 3 economical and 100% ecological products:
- white vinegar
- Marseille soap
- baking soda
These 3 basic products are perfect for saving money on a daily basis. Indeed, you can make your own household cleaners in a few minutes from very simple recipes, all accessible via tutorials on the internet.
Your annual maintenance budget will be divided into 5 and your interior will be much healthier.
Adopt the right reflexes to save smart
7/ Renegotiate your telephone and internet packages
Is your phone plan costing you too much? If you’ve been loyal to your operator for several years, it may be time to renegotiate your contract. For example, ask for a package allowing you to pair your mobile plan with your internet box.
The “historic” telephone operators all have an official commercial offer to which one subscribes by taking out a subscription. However, it is often possible to obtain great promotions by contacting the sales department.
Compare with the competition’s offers, see if it’s cheaper elsewhere. If you tell your operator that you are thinking of switching to the competition, it is very likely that they will do everything to keep you!
8/ Check your insurance contracts
Chances are that you are covered for the same risks by different organizations. Take the time to go through your insurance contracts for your home, your civil liability, your bank accounts, your loans, etc.
Example: I bet that when you last purchased a smartphone, the seller sold you specific breakage, loss, or theft insurance. But weren’t you already covered elsewhere for the same risks?
And if you have to buy plane tickets, check the guarantees offered (cancellation, refund, etc.). You probably already have them in your bank card pack; if you pay for your trip with your credit card, these guarantees will apply in the event of a problem with the company.
9/ Renegotiate current loans
When you have a long-term loan for the purchase of your house, you are used to seeing the monthly payments of your credit go away. And we don’t even pay attention to it …
But after a few years, the rates at which you borrowed at the time may have fallen. Ask your advisor to take stock of your situation to see if it would not be more advantageous for you to buy back your credit at a better rate. Or to consolidate various credits in progress under the same new loan. This is a way to make substantial savings.
And there too, do not hesitate to play in the competition if necessary.
10/ Reduce your electricity and water bills by avoiding waste
Reducing these expenses can be done very easily and effortlessly by tracking down waste. For this, there are plenty of little habits to adopt in everyday life :
- prefer showers to baths
- do not let the water run when you do the dishes or brush your teeth
- dry your laundry in the open air instead of using a dryer or the drying function of your machine
- turn off the lights when you are not in the room
- unplug electrical and electronic devices at night or when you are away, to avoid letting sleep mode consume energy unnecessarily
- run your washing machines at night to take advantage of the “off-peak” rate if you have one
- wear clothes suitable for the temperature of your home instead of turning up the heat or turning on the air conditioning
In addition to saving money on a daily basis, you will help protect the environment. And we all know it, every little bit counts for the planet.
Avoiding the pitfalls of the consumer society
11/ Resist the sirens of marketing
We live in a consumer society where everything is done to push us to buy. Being aware of this allows you to make your choices freely, without being fooled by marketing techniques.
The products of major brands are sold thanks to advertising and the particular care given to the packaging. However, all this has a cost which is reflected in the end on the selling price of the product. And for every branded product, there are often much cheaper equivalents of the same quality. Learn to read labels carefully to identify them better.
Also, be wary of promotions that encourage impulse buying: most are aimed at selling off products you don’t need. But that you might be tempted to buy just because they are temporarily cheaper.
You’ll feel like you’ve gotten “a good deal” but in the end, you won’t use the product.
12/ Avoid credits, loans, and overdrafts
Large retailers often encourage people to buy on credit. What seems to be done to make your life easier is actually a trap: all credit has a cost.
Don’t forget that the money that finances your loan comes out of your pocket (application fees, insurance, interest, etc.) but that you won’t use it. Carefully avoid the temptation to buy on credit if you can.
Similarly, your bank overdrafts are actually loans that incur fees. Your bank bills you for your overdraft in the same way as any creditor. By controlling your budget and carefully monitoring your expenses, you will now be able to avoid bank overdrafts!
What to remember to save money every day
To start, it is essential to adopt good spending habits and learn how to manage your budget. Good management of it will allow you to control expenses and achieve significant savings.
Then, having the reflex to write down your expenses and pay in cash is also behavior to be favored. It allows you to materialize money by making you aware of its value and therefore limit your compulsive purchases
Finally, avoiding waste and spending wisely will also go a long way towards improving the state of your finances.
All these actions and these small savings will allow you to clean up your finances, and also gently build up regular and controlled savings. That you can then grow without depriving yourself by investing in the right financial products.