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How to Increase Your Savings Without Being Too Frugal for Your Own Good

Saving up is one of the things we ought to do but have little motivation or focus to do so. Why? Well, there are just too many things you can spend on. Think gadgets, getaways and gastronomic adventures. Not to mention the usual expenses we take care of on a regular basis such as rent/mortgage, utilities, food and groceries, insurance… the list could go on and on.

But, as the old saying goes: hope is never lost.  There are simple ways you can do to better manage your finances and boost your savings so as not to make your life too difficult… Here’s how:

Image Credit: Ken Teegardin (Flickr)

How to Increase Your Savings Without Skimping Your Way Through Life

  1. Plan Smart.

The first thing you need to learn is how to plan your budget. Doing so will enable you to monitor your spending. A simple record of your earnings and spendings can help you review all your transactions. If your purchases go over your budget, then you would have to come up with alternatives on how to remedy the situation. Otherwise, you’re already seeing yourself heading for a cliff without doing anything about it. The key is to identify which activities you are spending most on or above your budget.

 

If you have enrolled automatic payments or deductions to your bank account, and identify services that you no longer need, you can simply stop your paymets for them so as to cut down on your expenses. Also, reviewing insurance policies and unit trusts may help you realize that you are paying above 1 per cent on annual fees, so you can decide to limit your expenses by switching to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or lower-cost funds.

 

Image Credit: Tax Credits (Flickr)

  1. Spend Smart.

Let’s face it: it’s not going to be all “save, save, save” because honestly, that’s not living and that’s also bad for the economy. So as you plan your expenses, take advantage of resources available to you such as mobile apps and cards to snag cool discounts. By doing so, you get to shop for quality products and set some money aside without skimping. This could even give you a better lifestyle, focusing on the quality of your purchases and experiences and not on the quantity.

You would be surprised at the number of mobile apps designed to give you discounts and rewards for your purchases. You can get almost 50 per cent discount on every purchase that you make from restaurant payments, flight bookings to trendy gadgets and other new services.

Many people are still on the fence when it comes to using credit cards, but if you stick to the “smart” way of doing things, then you’ll learn that they can be a source of good things, too, like rebates and huge discounts.

And lastly, for more practical purchases such as grocery shopping, consider going for house brands over name brands. House brands are typically of high quality but are sold at a lower price.

  1. Save Smart.

Did you know that supporting the “greener Earth” cause or reducing the effects of climate change can help you save money? This is just one of the benefits of adopting an environment-friendly lifestyle.

How so? Start by choosing cloth napkins and reusable water containers over paper napkins and disposable bottles, for instance.

Another way to conserve on your resources is by setting your water heater at a lower temperature and installing a low-flow shower head to cut down on your electricity and water bills.

Similarly, remember to turn off the lights and other appliances when you leave the room

And if you’re using an air conditioner, the National Environment Agency (NEA) shares this tip: try to set the temperature at about 25 degrees Celsius, and you would be surprised that you can save up to $25 a year for every degree you raise in the temperature setting of you’re A/C.

Finally, remember to reuse, reduce, and recycle. While this really takes some conscious effort, the rewards will not only translate to higher savings but also to a clutter-free home space.

 

  1. Allocate Your Savings Smart.

Following all the points detailed above, you should now find more savings in your stash. The next smart thing to do is to spread the wealth in terms of putting the extra money in a separate bank account for the purpose of accumulating your excess funds that you can use for your retirement, your children’s education, or other investments.

Shop around for banks which can help you set up an investment-savings account such as the POSB Invest-Saver and the UOB Regular Investment Savings Plan which offers automatic transfers via Giro on a monthly basis to allocate your funds in the form of investments in bonds or shares.

 

As a final point, do not fall prey to the idea that you don’t have enough funds to save or that you need to bring down your spendings to a maximum level. The reality is, any intentional albeit small change you make can bring a difference in your finances to enable you to still live comfortably and save at the same time.