Saving your money can be tough at the best of times, but being in the midst of a global pandemic — with the added stress of missing work, university and people — makes it even harder. No need to stress though! I have you covered with some finance-savvy hacks to get more coin in the bank.
- Budget for your woes
The first step to making sure you can boost those savings is to figure out exactly what you have to save. The basics of budgeting is to write down all the expenses you pay for monthly, including your phone bill, eating out, groceries, transport, and rent. Subtract this from your total amount of monthly income and figure out what’s left that you can put away monthly for saving instead of spending.
A good aim for your savings is about 20% of your income. If you don’t have a steady income, try using what you spent last month on essentials as your budget and pocket as much of your surplus income for savings.
Try to cut back on unnecessary expenses (coffee, I’m looking at you) or set tighter budgets for open expenses (like groceries) to free up more cash for savings. Do you usually spend an extra $50 a month buying coffee for work or school? Try making coffee at home instead and save that extra cash. Do you usually buy all of your makeup and skincare from a name brand store? Try finding drugstore swaps or find a store that sells it for cheaper.
On open expenses like your phone bill, internet or water and power, try swapping to cheaper plans or use cost-cutting methods to use as little as possible. For your power bill, switch to energy-efficient lighting or adjusting your thermostat and for the water bill, take shorter showers and run full loads of laundry.
- Try a side gig!
Starting up a side gig may be the perfect way to hustle your savings account. Babysitting, tutoring, freelancing, running an Etsy shop, and virtual assisting are all great ways you can earn more money to put towards your savings. During this pandemic, most of your side hustles will be online, but there is always a hustle for every person.
Tutoring can be great for college students to run online with other students in their classes or to tutor in classes you feel skilled in. This is a hustle that is easy to run in online and is simple to set up. For a more creative side gig, why not try opening an Etsy shop? You can sell jewellery, cards, stickers, art or anything that you find fun to do, and can channel your creative energy into something that will make you money! Most importantly, find a side hustle that you can work on without a lot of hassle, but can continue to work to bring in more savings.
- Set-up automatic transfers
Another way to make sure that you are always building up savings is to have an automatic amount taken out of your checking account every week, two weeks, or monthly — whatever suits you best.
This is when a budget comes in handy. Knowing exactly what bills you have to pay and what you have available to save means you can automatically put aside those savings so the temptation is not there to spend. Money straight into your savings account, what could be easier?
- Round up
If you can’t automatically put in some savings or you have no time for a side hustle, try the simple tip of rounding up when spending. Depending on how much income you have and how much you spend, you can choose to round up your purchases to the nearest one, ten, or hundred dollars — whatever works best for you. Everytime you purchase something or spend, whether that is on bills or shopping, whatever total the spend comes to, round that total to your nearest five, ten or fifty dollars. What you round up from each purchase goes into your savings.
If rounding to the nearest ten dollars, your five dollar coffee every morning now means you could round up the cost an extra five dollars and be putting five into your savings for every purchase.
Each of these different hacks can help you put extra money into your savings, and ensure that over time you’ll be a saving queen. Every dollar counts!