Thousands of times we have wanted to start saving. If the pandemic has enabled people to save the same amount of money as in 1999, does that mean that a change towards a good personal economy is not possible? We have chosen 10 tips to help you find solutions to improve your economy.
How many times in our lives have we thought about improving our personal economy? No need to look further: the pandemic has caused savings of 14.8% in Spanish homes in 2020, according to data from the National Statistical Institute (INE). There were no such savings since 1999, and the fact that they have been possible due to the confinement and the various restrictions on mobility makes us understand that change in our personal economy is possible. That is why we have drawn up a list of 10 tips to start reversing this economic handicap and making a good personal economy possible:
- 50/30/20: This first piece of advice is very simple. It is about spending 50% of our salary on basic needs (light, water, rent, mortgage, telephone, food, studies, and so on), about 30% of our salary on leisure (out-of-home breakfasts or lunches, holidays, gifts, and so on), and the rest, the remaining 20%, it goes to savings.
- Cancel unnecessary subscriptions: To how many digital platforms are we subscribed? Do we use them all? Should we continue to pay them? What about that subscription to that magazine we never read? All automatic subscriptions must be reviewed, and we must choose whether they are necessary and useful for us to continue paying. Today there are several online content platforms that are legal and free, you just have to look them up on the Internet. And remember that libraries are also a major source of books and also audiovisual content.
- Review your electricity, gas, and phone contracts: We need to look very carefully at the contracts we have with the various electricity and gas companies, and also at the type of contract we have in our mobile and home telephones. This is one of the factors that makes us spend money without being aware of the total expenses at the end of the year, as these are expenses without which we cannot live, but we can indeed reduce them.
- More meals at home: Reducing the number of times we go out to eat or buy take-away food can become a very good source of savings. We must not stop going to restaurants either, but we must reduce meals outside, especially if our family is large; our pocket will appreciate it.
- Reuse: When something gets damaged, see if you can repair it and extend its life before throwing it into the rubbish. Buying second-hand clothes, books, furniture, and even household appliances is also a good saving tool.
- Impulsive shopping is forbidden: One of the main reasons why we do not make good use of our money is compulsive shopping. From now on, when you want something, give yourself time to think whether you really need it. You will find out that you do not need much of what you want to buy.
- Compare prices: How many times have you bought a mobile phone, for example, and the next day you see an offer for the same product in another shop? That’s not comparing. We must learn to compare everything we buy, including food when we go to the supermarket or when we buy in superstores.
- Use the car less frequently: The car is an expense many people cannot do without, but we can reduce it. If possible, try to share a car or make use of the means of public transport. As far as possible, use a bicycle, and above all, use your legs, for walking is healthy and free.
- Choose a good bank: How many credit cards do you have? Should you have so many? What commissions does your bank charge? We think having a bank is enough because we keep our money there, we get our salary there, we pay all our expenses there, and we also pay our bills there. But we need to check whether the bank we have had so far will help us to have a good personal economy, or whether, on the contrary, we need to change. There are currently many banks that have tools that help control your expenses and, at the same time, help you save: choose a good bank for your future.
- Adapt to your pocket: If you earn a certain amount of money, do not do more than your economy can afford. You do not have to go all out; make responsible use of your money according to your earnings.
Money does not create happiness, we know this already. But we can transform our money into a tool that can bring peace of mind to our personal economy. In these uncertain times, we should remember a sentence attributed to Senece, who said: “It is not poor the man who has little but the man who desires too much”.