How to prioritise savings daily, monthly and long term

Everyone has goals - something we would love to achieve in the long or short term. Saving for them, however, isn’t such an easy task. The cost of living is so demanding on our pockets each month, often our dreams take a backseat.

So, how can I save money, you ask? The answer is surprisingly simple. Making small changes to your daily and monthly spending, ultimately allows you to save for long-term plans. This is called prioritising your savings goals. Below is an easy-to-follow guide on how to save money and make your goals a reality.

Getting started

The first step for any savings plan is to have clear goals in mind. Your next move is to set up a budget. Remember:  your commitment to saving and budgeting will determine your success in saving money.

Once you’ve decided on your goals and have drawn up a budget, the real work can begin. Not only will you be able to make some adjustments to your spending, but you can also start looking at other ways to invest and save the money you’ll have left at the end of the month.

Daily savings

Simple changes to your daily routine can give you small savings that add up over time. Here are some ways to save on everyday activities.

  • Take stock of change — Empty your pockets each day and start collecting that extra change. Then put that money into a savings account that will give you the best returns.
  • Pack lunch for work — The money you spend on lunch at work or school may not seem like much, but it will add up over time. Rather make your lunch at home and put the money you would have spent into a savings account. You’ll be surprised by just how much you can save in this way.
  • Make your own gifts — The cost of a birthday, wedding or graduation gift can end up hurting your finances. So why not make a gift instead? Take a look at these cheap but beautiful gift ideas.

Monthly savings

Cutting down on monthly bills may require some diligence, but the potential savings make the effort worthwhile. Here are a few ways you can save money every month.

  • Monitor your electricity and water usage — Small changes in your consumption can help you save.
  • Have a grocery shopping list — A little homework before you go to the grocery store will help you stay focused on what you need and avoid the temptation of expensive impulse buys.
  • Allocate the balance towards a savings account — The money saved from making these changes can be deposited in an African Bank Notice Deposit account. If you want the best investment rates in SA, with access to your funds at short notice, this account is for you. Open this account with just R500 and make deposits as small as R100 each month. Grow your money as you go!

Long-term savings

Some dreams take longer to come true. But, the extra work you have to put in makes the end goal so much more rewarding. Saving over the long-term — to take your dream vacation, to make the down payment on your new home, or to send your child to university — requires planning and discipline. Here’s how to do it.

  • Track your spending — Where does your money go every month? Tracking how you spend money and what you spend it on can give you a better picture of your monthly cash flow. This will also make it easier to identify the areas in which you can cut back on your spending.
  • Set long-term savings goals — Think about why you’re saving. Is there a wedding coming up? Are you getting ready to become parents?
  • Open an Investment Account — As you work towards your ultimate financial goal, make sure to put your money in a high-yield investment account that will grow your money. Want the best interest rate? Read here.

Plan for major purchases — Time your purchases of appliances, furniture, electronics according to sale periods like Black Friday.

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