Saving money isn’t easy for everyone, especially if you have become accustomed to a certain lifestyle. However, with a little prior planning, it’s still possible to set money aside without giving up your favorite luxuries.
Let’s take a closer look at how this is done …
1) Only Save Windfalls
One way to ensure you make some savings while not changing your lifestyle is to only set aside windfalls.
Simply put, a windfall is any income that you wouldn’t typically expect, such as bonuses, financial gifts, winnings, money from the sale of belongings etc.
It’s quite surprising how much of this you will experience in a year.
You can even come up with your own definition, such as any money that doesn’t come from your main wage or salary.
Either way, it is much easier to enjoy regular luxuries when saving in this manner. Of course, you won’t be saving at the rate you could do, but that’s the trade-off you’ll have to make.
2) Find a Second Source of Income
If you want to save while maintaining your current lifestyle, which will obviously be based on your current income, then logic suggests that you could increase your income to make this possible.
While that may be easier said than done, it’s not difficult to freelance online alongside your regular job if you have a marketable skill like graphic design or coding.
There are also many traditional ‘side jobs’ that you could do in the evenings or on weekends, such as handyman work, dog walking, trading, babysitting, tutoring etc.
You might not earn great money, but it might be enough to set aside for savings.
3) Invest Savings to get More Return
Following on from ‘increasing your income’ is using that income in a better way to increase returns. If all you do with your savings is leave them in an account to gather a small amount of interest, then it may be time to think about other investment opportunities, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, currencies, or even starting your own business.
When your wealth compounds you will have more than enough luxuries to enjoy.
4) Get Rid of Unwanted Stuff
You might want to keep your luxuries, but what about all that unwanted junk taking up cupboard space?
Don’t be a hoarder–offload you unwanted belongings once or twice a year and put any money you make straight into the bank!
5) Budget Luxuries but don’t Impulse Buy
We all probably have our own idea of what luxuries are, but there’s no reason you can’t plan them out and include them in your budget.
Instead of splurging randomly on ice cream and clothes, set yourself a monthly ice-cream and clothing allowance. Limit yourself to one takeout or restaurant meal a week, instead of binging three days in a row.
You’re not doing without, you’re just being organized!
By budgeting your luxuries you’re much more likely to avoid impulse buying and have money left over for saving.
6) Get Better Deals
Just because you’re spending x amount on your groceries, cable bill, or cell phone plan, doesn’t mean you have to. There are many ways to save money without cutting down on the underlying product.
For groceries consider coupons, planning around sales, and splitting your shop between stores when items are cheaper. You might also buy certain items in bulk to make savings in the long run. If you do the sums, it might even be beneficial to buy in bulk on credit. There are services that offer access to quick online loans, even for unemployed borrowers.
For contracts like cable, there are always better options out there if you look. In fact, simply calling and threatening to leave can result in them offering you a discount deal to stay.
7) Consume Less Energy
Basic energy conservation habits like turning off lights when you leave the room, unplugging and powering off appliances, and waiting to use washing machines and dishwashers when there’s a full load, can save you hundreds a year. That’s without mentioning switching over to energy-efficient light bulbs, saving you around $75 a year.
You’re not doing without, you’re just being smarter.
While cutting back on spending will always help you save quicker, a more measured approach might actually help you in the long run. Got any tips for saving without cutting down on luxuries? Let us know in the comments below!