Save money fast – 17 clever tips to increase your savings

No matter what your savings goals are, these tips will help you save money faster!

01 October 2021

Reading time: 10 min.

Reach your savings goals in no time with these 17 money-saving tips. Particularly in uncertain times, a firm goal can act like a sure rock in the surf. In addition, it will help you imagine a happier future, which can significantly improve your overall well-being. So if you’re wondering how to rake in some quick cash, here come our top 17 suggestions for increasing your savings.

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Here’s how to save money fast

Before you can start setting aside money each month, you need to get a handle on your cash flows. So you should keep track of all your income and expenses, including any debt repayments, monthly bills and deposits into your savings account. Let’s break it down step by step.

1. Learn to budget and get an overview of your finances

The most important tip to save money fast is to learn to budget. If you’re on a budget, you’re on top of your finances too. This is very important if you want to achieve your short and long term savings goals. Here’s how to create a savings plan to get you started saving fast:

Get an overview of your finances over a 30-day period. Under this will fall all your income and expenses.

Compare your monthly income to your monthly expenses to determine how much you can currently put away or how much you go overboard each month.

Divide your expenses into fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs are expenses that are usually hard to shake, like rent or utilities. Variable costs, on the other hand, can be easily adjusted. This includes spending on food, entertainment and subscriptions.

Identify all variable costs where you can apply the savings pencil to increase the amount you can set aside each month for your savings goals.

Check your progress regularly and make adjustments as necessary. If that overwhelms you, there are a number of money-saving apps and tools available to make sticking to your budget plan effortless.

2. Out of debt

Before you can start saving, you need to pay off all outstanding debts. The longer you are late in paying off a debt, the bigger it gets – and that’s because of interest accumulating over time. Therefore, any savings you make will be eaten up by the amount you owe your creditors. So make debt reduction your top priority before tackling any other savings goal.

For this you can apply the 50/30/20 saving rule. The 50/30/20 rule was established by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren during her time at Harvard as a professor of bankruptcy law and offers a simple method for reducing debt. And this is how it works:

50% of your income is set aside for your needs, d. h. for your fixed costs like rent and utilities.

30% of your income is available for your desires, d. h. Your variable costs like restaurant visits and subscriptions.

20% of your income goes first into debt repayments, then later into savings. When you 2.500 € net per month you earn, you should therefore put 500 € aside. So in just one year you will have debts of 6.have paid off € 000.

3. Create a savings account

To save quickly you need to separate the money for everyday expenses from the money you want to put aside. For this you should open a savings account. This way, you minimize the risk of having to dip into your savings to cover your daily expenses. Instead, you’re encouraged to stay within your running budget.

4. Automate your savings

If you have a fixed monthly income, consider automating your monthly savings amounts. This means that you set up a standing order under which a certain amount is automatically transferred from your free checking account to your savings account every month. Automating your savings will reduce the temptation to nibble away at that nest egg for your daily expenses.

5. Automate the payment of your bills

While we’re on the subject: It’s worth automating the payment of your bills, too. Companies often charge reminder fees when customers fail to pay their bills on time. So if you pay your bills before the due date or set up direct debits, you avoid unnecessary costs.

6. Set a spending limit for card payments

A great tip to save money fast? Set a limit on payments with your credit or debit card. This keeps you from spending too much money and makes you think about your daily expenses in advance. Many banks offer this service. With N26, for example, you can set a daily spending limit and choose whether to allow yourself ATM withdrawals – all in seconds, right from your N26 app.

7. Use the envelope method for budget planning

Another excellent life hack to save money quickly is to use envelopes to budget according to Dave Ramsey. In doing so, you withdraw your entire monthly income in cash at the beginning of each month (yes, all of the money!) and divide it among different envelopes according to your savings goals.

So you have different envelopes for fixed costs like rent and utilities and envelopes for variable costs like clothes, restaurant meals and groceries. The disadvantage is of course that you have to make cash deposits – nowadays digital transfers are much easier and safer.

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8. Pay less rent

Paying less rent is one of the fastest ways to save a significant amount of money. If you still live alone, you can easily get a roommate or flatmate. This cuts your rent in half immediately. With two roommates, you pay only a third of the rent you currently pay alone.

So if you currently have 1.If you pay €300 for a three-bedroom apartment, having a roommate will save you €650 per month. With two roommates, you’d save around €870 a month – that’s almost 10.500 € per year!

If you already live in a shared flat, you could move into a smaller room. The amount of rent you pay is usually based on the size of your room, so you can make significant savings here each month.

9. Save on your utilities

Another great tip for accumulating money quickly is to lower your utility bills. Your electricity and gas bills make up a large part of your fixed monthly costs. If you can reduce this, you can put a lot of money in your pocket:

Switch your energy provider. With a cheaper tariff you can save hundreds of euros every year.

Replace your light bulbs with LED lights. Not only are they 75-85% more energy efficient than traditional light bulbs, they also last 15-25 times longer!

Invest in a smart thermostat. This will set your central heating intelligently, which will probably save you a lot of money.

Prevent air leaks: Leaks in windows and doors can drive up your energy bill, since your heating system has to run at full blast to keep the room warm. Seal these places with pressure-sensitive sealing strips instead, so that no warm air can escape.

10. Get a part-time job

"Schaffe schaffe, Hausle baue" is the motto. To supplement your monthly savings, a side job is a good idea. In addition to your regular office job, you could, for example, land a few freelance jobs or get a job as a virtual assistant or even a pet sitter.

If you can manage that, try transferring your income directly to your savings account through extra earnings. Be careful, however, that you don’t overextend yourself and end up facing burnout! Your mental health comes first and is more important than your savings goals.

11. Cancel unused subscriptions

Many companies are making a killing with subscriptions. That’s because cancelling a subscription once it’s been taken out is simply too much work for many customers – even if they hardly use the subscription at all.

This is due to what is known as the sunk cost fallacy. Applied to a subscription service, the sunk cost fallacy means you’ll have a hard time canceling a rarely used subscription because you’ve already paid a lot of money for it. On the other hand, if you delay canceling your subscription, it’s often because you hope to use the service again someday after all. As a rule, however, very few of us make full use of our subscriptions. It’s therefore more cost-effective to cancel all unused subscriptions on the spot than to hope to use the service again someday.

This is how you can quickly save money for a car

To quickly save up money for a car, you have several options. But of course, the following money-saving tips can be applied to any other savings goal as well!

12. Try to fix things yourself

A good way to build up reserves is to fix broken things yourself. Thanks to YouTube and the internet, you can find out how to fix just about anything yourself online. From leaky pipes to the zipper on your jeans, it’s always cheaper to fix things yourself than to pay someone else to do it or replace things with new ones.

13. Think before you spend your money with full hands

Before you make a big expenditure – be it an impulse decision or not – you should take at least three to four days and think it over carefully. This prevents the impulsive part of your brain from taking over through the immediate release of happy hormones, tempting you to make a purchase.

If you want to put yourself on the line, it’s a good idea not to make an expensive purchase until 30 days have passed. This is a surefire way to keep impulse buying at bay. In addition, you get enough time to find out if there is a better offer somewhere else.

14. Buy your car at the end of a fiscal quarter

If you want to get a real bargain, the best time to buy your car is usually late March, June, September or December. And why? Because most car dealers are given certain sales targets they must meet in order to get their financial bonuses. While these sales goals are set weekly and monthly, the big bonuses are paid quarterly. Consequently, you’re more likely to get a better deal on a car at the end of each fiscal quarter, as the dealership will be eager to meet its sales target for the quarter.

15. Cut back on your food spending

If you reduce your weekly food expenditure, you will be amazed at how much money you can save up over the course of a few months. One of the best ways to do this is to plan your meals in advance. This allows you to accurately calculate the cost of these before you head to the supermarket, reducing the likelihood of going over your budget.

Another tip: give up meat once a week. Since meat is usually more expensive than vegetables and plant-based products, it’s worth choosing at least one day a week when you don’t eat meat. These small weekly savings add up over time.

In addition, you should go for products that are on the lower shelves. Supermarkets often place their most expensive products at eye level, tempting you to spend more money. The cheaper products are usually at the bottom of the shelf and often overlooked.

16. Designate one day a month when you don’t spend any money at all

To make saving a habit, you can set aside one day a month on which you don’t spend any money at all, apart from your fixed costs. For example, you could prepare all your meals from the ingredients you already have at home, meet friends in the park or at home, or spend a cozy evening with a good book or completely relaxed in front of the TV. Once you get used to it, you can expand it to two days a month – or even one day a week to maximize your monthly savings as a true money-saver.

17. Sell things you no longer need

Want to save up some quick cash for your vacation, it’s worth taking a look at your unused possessions and selling them on an online marketplace like eBay. Not only can you clear out your home, but you can also put a nice chunk of extra cash into your vacation fund!

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With our online checking account, not only can you set yourself daily spending limits, but you’ll also receive a push notification right after each transaction. This makes it easier to keep track of your savings goals. Signing up for an N26 checking account requires no paperwork, is 100% online and takes just a few minutes. Compare the different N26 current accounts now and get instant access to our budgeting and savings tools, like our statistics feature.

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