Dive your feet into the turquoise blue sea in the Seychelles, rent the chic sports car for a weekend or replace the old rattletrap with a real computer. What would you do if you only had the necessary change for it. But you can save that up. For example by putting these simple good intentions into practice.
Important for your financial resolutions: Set a goal.
It is often difficult to save just like that. The best intentions are therefore usually gone quickly if you have no precise reason to continue. Therefore set yourself a goal. This can be anything, such as a trip to the Seychelles.
It is best to set a budget for your wish first. And plan by when you want to reach it. Getting one step closer to your goal every month motivates you. And it might also make you want to do without the expensive coffee to go or the latest computer game in order to keep your good intentions.
1. revive the piggy bank
Paying with NFC and mobile payment is practical. But the piggy bank at home is usually sitting on dry land by now. Only rarely do coins migrate into its belly, and so the annual yield of savings from it is rather small. The piggy bank has many advantages if you want to put your money aside:
- You can’t see how much money is in the piggy bank. How close you have already come to your goal, you will only find out when you count it at regular intervals. That makes it exciting.
- It is difficult to pay with a pile of small change. This reduces the risk of spending the savings before you reach your goal.
- Saving makes practically no effort.
Saving can be worthwhile in several ways. For example, always throw the change from your wallet into the piggy bank at the end of the day. Or you can throw in one-euro coins whenever you have them. You don’t think that doesn’t help much, do you? If you have two euros a day, that’s 730 euros in a year.
For your dream trip to the Seychelles, you should be able to get the flight together with that, but you will still need the necessary change for hotel and leisure. But the Euros for this can easily be saved with a few more financial resolutions.
2. allocate fixed budgets
How much money do you need for flexible expenses like food, clothing and cosmetics? And how much more than you actually should or want to spend per month? Can you not save this “surplus”? This good resolution is particularly suitable for those who like to plan.
Here you set a fixed budget per day, week or month for different areas. The division of the budget can be very detailed, for example, in the case of food separately for basic foods, sweets and eating or drinking out. For cosmetics, toiletries, make-up and hair care. And so on.
You will then have to note down the expenses individually in order to monitor the adherence to your budget. But of course this is the best way to get the best overview of your expenses and savings opportunities. A budget book in paper or digital form can help here.
Save more easily with a digital budget book
If you usually pay by card, you can let an app take care of monitoring your expenses almost independently. It not only tells you how much budget you have left in which area, but also where you could save even more. But which are the best apps for this? Find out here: “The KlarMacher test financial apps: What can digital budget books do?”
Not quite as precise, but also very helpful, is a coarser division of the budget into, for example food, household, clothing, cosmetics and leisure. With this you will not get everything that is possible out of the good intentions. But you save time because you have to plan and monitor much fewer categories and therefore budgets.
In addition, always include a budget for special items. You can use the money for smaller purchases or other irregular expenses. For example, for birthday presents, new windshield wipers or even visits to the hairdresser. The budgets are always put to the test, especially in the first few months. Because only if they are realistic will they be useful in the long run to save you more money.
Extra tip: Subtract the fixed budgets and your fixed costs from your income. Put the rest aside at the beginning of the month, for example in a savings or call money account. This makes it easier for you to keep to the budget you have set. The black zero is often more of an obstacle here than if there was still money freely available in the current account.
3. track down and get rid of money-eaters
Those who spend less have more money left at the end of the month – so far, so logical. But monitoring yourself while shopping is not for you? Nevertheless, you may be able to save a lot more in the new year than before, and only with a one-off effort. And you can do so by reducing your monthly debits. This can be done, for example:
- housing costs: Moving to a smaller apartment would be a big step in saving, but it would also be very drastic. Perhaps you should start by looking for a cheaper electricity provider. Or you could turn down the heating by one degree everywhere and buy economy nozzles for all taps.
- Multimedia: The old cell phone contract, the overpriced TV package or the whole range of streaming services – maybe that’s cheaper. Take your time and compare the offers.
- Insurance: Too many or the wrong ones: Most of us don’t pay much attention to our insurance policies and lose a lot of money every year. How to avoid this, read here: “Verified: You really need this insurance.
- Leisure: The black holes for your money usually appear here as subscriptions or annual tickets. You pay in advance or permanently, but you may only use a small part of the offer. An example: the useless fitness subscription, which over the years costs as much as a luxury holiday.
Do you also have a car? Then you could save a lot of money over the year by driving the right way, carpooling for commuting or renting your car temporarily. Or you might even find that your car no longer pays off at all. Often mobility is cheaper. Find out more in the article “Car sharing vs. own car: Who wins the value for money Grand Prix?
With these other good intentions you will certainly be able to finance the hotel in the Seychelles. But maybe you can get one more star. And the change for the leisure time is still missing. So on to further financial resolutions.
4. Renounce without missing much
Often we do not spend money because we absolutely need or want something. But because we listen to others, smell a bargain or simply act impulsively. Here, saving money depends on what is really important or unimportant to you. Here are a few examples:
The gift frontier: When it comes to giving, it’s often said: More is better. To avoid this competition, set a maximum value for gifts with family and friends. In the best case scenario, this will save everyone a lot of money over the year.
Super savings list for shopping: Make a list before you go shopping, whether it’s for a trip to the supermarket or for hunting for clothes. This often helps to save a lot of money. But of course only if you take the list with you. And stick to it. This way you don’t have to do without anything and avoid impulse purchases that only annoy you afterwards.
For once without a lot of fuss: Are the firecrackers on New Year’s Eve, the confetti cannons on your birthday and the blinking party hats at carnival really important to you? If not, just leave them out – and save several hundred euros a year in no time at all.
Trick 17: Outsmart yourself when saving
Your intentions are good and your will is great? But the inner bastard is even bigger? Show the scoundrel. You can do that by, for example:
- by voluntarily raising your utility bill. If the bill comes, you’ll get a fat refund.
- the desired savings amount from your account at the beginning of the month.
- reward yourself every time you put something in the piggy bank (for example, by noting the amounts you have saved so far on a weekly or monthly basis).
5. trust – and still control
Do you already have your finances well in view and have all regular expenses up to date? That’s great and will certainly save you a lot of money. Nevertheless, you should keep control of your debits as a premeditation.
After all, it can happen even within the year that you don’t use a mobile phone subscription properly and forget about it. Or ordered daily newspapers and magazines are more and more frequently being sent from the letterbox directly into the waste paper. Depending on how eagerly you use subscriptions, it can be worthwhile to put certain term contracts to the test more often than once a year. Especially if they do not have annual notice periods, but monthly or three-monthly ones.
It is also advantageous to check your account statements at certain intervals. For example, every half year or once per quarter. Perhaps you will notice something that is an unnecessary money guzzler.
If you stick to all previous resolutions for one year, you should be able to get the whole Seychelles trip together. But maybe you would like to treat yourself to a few special treats while you are there. Two more financial resolutions could provide the necessary change.
6. taking in even more than you spend
A salary increase is of course the most convenient way to improve your finances in the future. And the turn of the year is usually a good time for it. For example, when you have an annual feedback meeting in January anyway. In order to convince your boss, it helps to point out your merits from the past year. In what areas have you shown particular commitment? How have you helped the company move forward? If that’s not enough, you can also agree on goals that are linked to a bonus payment.
If a salary increase is not an option, you could earn something in your spare time instead. This is relatively easy with these 6 unusual side jobs, for example.
7. making a lot out of little money
Even those who already have a rather full savings stocking would like to increase their money even more. Those were golden times for savers, when the savings account still earned a lot of interest. Today there is nothing more to be gained from it. In the worst case, your money can even lose value over the years thanks to inflation on the savings account.
But there are alternatives that continue to provide at least some interest. One of them is the savings bond. Disadvantage: You invest your money with it for several months or years. Advantage: money is just as secure as on the savings account. If you are more courageous, you can also invest your money on the stock exchange and thus get an even better return. However, there is always the risk of losing the entire savings.
A decent profit, however, could give your leisure planning on the Seychelles trip that little bit extra. For example with a diving course between corals or the wild ride on a jet ski.