Recently I realised that I have no safety net, and with a study finding that most Americans are one pay check away from living on the streets, I know Im not alone.
Our culture has taught us to value things more than financial security, and were constantly trying to keep up with the Joneses. But if youre hoping to save some money this year (maybe for a house deposit, a holiday, or just a rainy day), here are some tips:
Get rid of those credit cards
When it comes to debt, credit cards are some of the worst. The interest is high and they can be like a black hole wen it comes to paying them off. Many people try to pay them off but dont quite pay the whole balance, adding interest to the problem and never feeling financially secure.
If you havent yet heard, there are some banks and credit cards which allow you to consolidate all of your current credit card debt onto another card which has a period of no interest. That means that for however long (usually around 6 months) you can knuckle down and focus on paying off the actual balance of your debt, and not just the interest.
Make it a family thing
No kid wants to hear that you cant afford to go to the movies because youre trying to save money. Instead, have a family meeting and talk to the kids about financial security. This is a chance for them to learn the realities of life, and that sometimes you cant have everything you want and instead must be responsible.
Make it a game or a competition and see who can come up with the best ideas for saving money. Its a good idea to have rewards for milestones reached, so maybe once youve saved a certain amount of money you can take the family out for a dinner or to the zoo.
Transfer your money
If youre transferring money between countries, you probably know that the fees can quickly add up. Try Currency Fair which allows you to transfer your money without as many fees, and is a great option for when youre traveling and dont want to exchange money at the airport.
Examine your lifestyle
One of the most important things you can do if youre aiming to save money, is to look at the way youre spending your money. Take a look at your bank statement and work out exactly where all your money is going. Youll probably find a bunch of charges that you had forgotten about, or have just kept paying even though you dont really use them.
Gyms are a good example of this, and many people get tied into memberships and then never go. It becomes one of those things youre just paying for. But did you know that many gym memberships allow you to sell your membership to another person? And many people are also out of the initial subscription period and can then cancel any time.