Regardless of your income and debt, having the right financial plan is crucial to grow your money in your savings account. If growing your savings is one of your financial goals, here are seven tricks that will help you achieve it.
This article was first published in September 2018 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.
It can’t be denied that cash is king, but let’s all agree that having cash on hand is the fastest way to spend it.
But with these few tips and tricks, you can save instead! Follow these seven cash tips to help you build your stash of dough!
1. Limit your ATM visits
Find out how much you need to spend in a week and stick to a budget. It will also help to calculate your necessary expenses for transport, food, and other necessities.
One good practice we can recommend is to withdraw only the amount you NEED from the ATM at the beginning of every week, for that week. Be mindful that the cash you withdraw should last you throughout the week to avoid constant runs to the ATM.
Most of us usually make an ATM run when we run out of cash and need more, but that habit can make it harder to keep track of our money. Setting a specific day to withdraw money from the ATM can help you be more financially disciplined.
When you have less cash in your wallet to spend, you will need to adjust your spending accordingly. Having less cash on hand will also be a tangible reminder on the importance of proper money management.
You may spend more, unconsciously, when using smaller bills.
2. Carry large bills
“You should take care of small, loose bills as large bills take care of themselves” – Mexican folk saying
According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, shoppers are less likely to spend their money if they are carrying the cash in large denominations.
It’s known as the denomination effect, a type of cognitive bias that makes people less inclined to spend with larger bills compared to the equivalent value in the form of smaller bills.
In visual terms: Say you have a single RM100 note versus a mix of RM10 and RM20 that add up to RM100, you will be more inclined to spend the RM10 and RM20 bills as you don’t need to break the single RM100 bill.
Try carrying around larger denominations, it might help slow down your spending next time.
3. Cuba try test your budget
If you are contemplating a large purchase, such as an apartment or a new car, the first step is to save the amount of money you will need to pay for the monthly installment every month in cash. This is to see how it will feel when you have to service the loan.
For example, if getting a car means you will have to pay an installment of RM600 every month, set aside that same amount every month for a period of time.
This way, you can truly put into perspective as to how the purchase will affect your finances. It’s a good way to assess if you can maintain your current spending levels or if sacrifices need to be made and you have to cut corners. Plus, this won’t cost you money; it’ll save instead!
Got spare changes? Don’t throw them away or leave them hanging around the house - save it!
4. Keep the change
Tell that to yourself, not the cashier!
At the end of the day, make it a habit to gather all your loose coins and put it into a designated place like a coin jar. You’re bound to get change from your daily spending.
For example, after you pay for your RM7 nasi campur with a RM10 note, make a mental note that the RM3 change will go into your coin jar at the end of the day.
Don’t underestimate how much money you can save up this way, especially if you are consistent about it. If you don’t set aside your loose change, it’s highly likely that you will make unnecessary purchases because you want to get rid of the coins anyway.
If you want, you can also invest your small amounts of money or changes, into micro-investing platform Raiz. It’s an incredibly efficient way of making the most of every cent being spent, so rather than waste your cents away, why not stretch your Ringgit and have it saved and invested instead?
Keep RM10 a day, and in a month you can save up to RM300, and RM3,600 in a year!
5. Save a specific denomination
You may have noticed that you tend to come across RM5 notes much less than the other denominations, like RM1, RM10 and RM20.
You can make saving cash fun, almost scavenger-like, by setting aside all the RM5 notes you do come across. If putting aside all RM5 notes is a struggle, you can opt to only set aside the RM5 notes you get as change every other week or when you make certain purchases.
This way, you will have some flexibility and won’t limit your spending too much.
6. Do the 52-week Money Challenge
This is a saving tip that should ideally be done during the first week at the beginning of the year because you can end up with RM1,378 in savings, or even more depending on your creativity!
You don’t have to wait until next year, you can start now!
How it works is by saving RM1 in the first week of the year, then gradually increasing the savings by RM1 every week throughout the year. So, you will need to set aside:
- RM2 in Week 2
- RM3 in Week 3,
- RM4 in Week 4 and so on.
At the last week of the year, you will need to put aside approximately RM52!
Don’t limit yourself, however; if you want to go beyond that, start with a higher amount! The more you set aside, the more cash you’ll have at the end of the year!
7. Delete the auto-fill forms
It may be convenient, but sometimes too much convenience can actually backfire.
This is especially true when it comes to storing your payment information at online shops. Frictions or obstacles - that extra step - will provide you with more time to make you second guess a purchase.
Reduce impulse purchases by removing the auto-fill forms and saved credit card details on all of your favourite online stores. Make it less convenient; manually fill in your payment details etc. Hopefully this could help you be more mindful of what you are getting yourself into. It basically acts as a deterrent.
Bonus tip: Use an app to track your spending!
We carry our smartphones all the time anyway, why not use it to track your spending too?
Budgeting apps are invaluable tools that could help you manage your finances better. Check out our list of budgeting apps you should use: 5 Budgeting Apps You Can’t Live Without.
Having an overview of your finances all laid out on an app at the end of the week or the month is useful, especially if you’re wondering where all your money has disappeared to.
There you have it, our top seven money saving tips! Did we miss out on anything?
Growing your money isn’t easy - but it doesn’t have to be a painstaking or dreadful experience.
Lastly, don’t pressure yourself to save up a lot right away because it takes time (years) to grow your money akin to how it takes time for a seed to grow!