Saving money can be challenging, no matter what approach you take to doing it. While ever you’re putting aside funds to boost your bank balance, you’re inevitably going to be spending less overall, which usually means cutting back on luxuries and being strict with yourself.
Yes, it’s not much fun, but most of the time, you’re going to have a good reason to want to set some extra cash aside, whether it’s saving up for a holiday, a mortgage deposit, or your dream car. It might not be enjoyable in the interim, but we can tell you now that it will definitely be worth it in the long run.
That being said, there are ways to make saving a lot simpler. While you will still have to make the odd sacrifice here and there, one easy method to make your money mount up faster is to work out whether you’re better at spending less when you use a card or cash.
Here are a couple of points to consider.
Paying by card: it can be easier to track your spending
One of the keys to successfully saving is to monitor what you’re spending, and this is often easier to do if you make a habit of paying by card. Allowing you to track your purchases one by one, your statement offers a great insight into where you’re doing well – and also, where you’re going very, very wrong. This means that while it’s easy to dismiss your morning coffee as insignificant if you pay in cash, you have to be far more open with yourself about how much your Americanos cost per week when you can see the purchases adding up on paper.
Paying by cash: what you have is what you can spend
While paying by card can be a great budgeting tool, it does have a major drawback: it gives you access to your entire bank account, making it eminently easy to add an extra treat to your breakfast order or to slip something that’s not on your shopping list into your trolley. An easy way to avoid this? Carry cash and limit the amount you’re able to spend. While an increasing number of us now use digital methods as our preferred payment option, global payment trends nonetheless indicate that cash remains king, meaning you won’t be on your own if you opt to do the same while saving.
When it comes to deciding which option is best for you, it’s important to be realistic about your weaknesses. Are you someone who likes to bury their head in the sand, handing over your hard-earned cash and then feeling mystified at your inability to save? If so, paying by card is probably the better option. If, on the other hand, you’re someone who lacks self-control and is likely to splurge at any opportunity, turn to cash instead, setting yourself a budget at the beginning of the day and taking only what you intend to spend out with you. Be realistic, be self-aware, and you’ll meet your savings goal in no time!