Saving is something that each and every one of us aspire to do, but circumstances can make it difficult. Over the years I’ve studied my money habits and have found a couple ways that allow me to save for the short-term. They have allowed me to travel, and to reach goals that I wouldn’t have achieved if I didn’t have the funds. Here’s how you can turn your small change into real money, and actually put it to some good use.
1. The Rule of 10
The Rule of 10 is a saving plan that I developed once I observed my behaviour with money. I found out that when I would break a note to buy something and I had loose change remaining, I was more likely to buy something else I didn’t really want or need, because I had that money on my person.
I was wasting money that I could have been saving, and that’s where the Rule of 10 came in. I decided that for a period of three months, I was going to save 30% of every physical £10 note that I used to buy something.
For example, if I spent £40 in a week, then I would put £12 in my saving box.
If I spent £80 in a week, then I would put £24 in my saving box.
This saving technique worked for me because it allowed me to still have money, but I was making sure that I was saving at the same time. Doing this over a period of three months meant that it was a very flexible approach to saving, but it took discipline.
For every £10 note that I spent, I would automatically take out my £3 before I had the chance to spend it. Whatever I was left with is what I had left to spend.
How much I spent would vary every week, but the rule stayed the same. After a period of three months, I had saved over £180 by saving £3 a few times a week. If I did this for 12 months, I would have saved £720. It may not seem like much, but it adds up.
It can be difficult to focus on saving when we all have other financial commitments that often take priority, however the flexibility of this technique allows you to save at your own pace. You can adapt the Rule of 10 to what best suits you.
For example, someone may choose to set a time frame of 12 months, and save £1 for every £10 they spend. If they spend £30 a week, then that’s £3 over 52 weeks.
3 × 52 = £156
This person will have saved £156 in a year just by saving £1 three times a week.
Someone may choose to set a time frame of six months, and save £5 for every £10 they spend. If they spend £80 a week, then that’s £40 over 26 weeks.
40 × 26 = £1040
It’s important to be realistic about what you can afford to save, and still have money for your commitments. Many people pay their bills and other priorities via direct debit or card payment, so this technique is to manage the money that you’re physically spending. The more money that you’re earning, the more money you’re likely to spend physically.
Think about your money habits and draw up a plan that works for you.
2. The Every Day Save Plan
Another money management technique that I use to save is the Every Day Save Plan. This is a short-term saving plan that I developed when I was saving towards a particular trip. I had four months to save £250 after covering all my travel costs. I always like to have more money than less when travelling, so I had to save for it.
I bought a money box, and every day I made it a priority to put money into that box. Sometimes it was £5, and other times it was as little as 50p, but every day I was saving some of my small change to reach my big goal. Each pay day I would put in what I like to call a bulk payment. This would be between £20-£30.
Once I came up to my four month deadline, I had saved £311. I didn’t save anything less than 50p per day, so that’s what I would recommend as a starting point, but again, this technique is adaptable.
For example, if someone saves 50p per day for a period of 12 months, they will have saved £182.50 without breaking a sweat.
If some saves £2.50 per day for a period of six months, they will have saved £450 in 180 days. £2.50 is the price of your average daily coffee. £450 can treat you to a well deserved city break.
With the Rule of 10 and the Every Day Save Plan, I think it’s significant to physically save. As the weeks go by, you feel your money box getting heavier and heavier. This fuels the motivation for you to keep going until you reach your goal. Banks take bagged or rolled coins which makes it easy to change your money into notes.
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