A good way to get an overview of what comes in monthly and what goes out again is to write this down literally. You can do this simply with pen and paper or possibly in a program such as Excel.
Step 1: Write down your income
First of all, you will write down your income. What comes in every month? Also write down the amounts that you receive in any surcharges to get the most complete overview possible.
Step 2: Calculate your fixed costs
Then you write down all your fixed costs. How much money goes to your energy company every month? What do you pay for your internet and TV? How much rent or mortgage do you have to pay monthly? And what amount do you spend on average on groceries? Record all these amounts.
Step 3: What are you left with?
If you subtract all expenses from your income, you know exactly what you have every month. This is the amount you could save. Is that amount not high enough or would you like to be able to save more? You can proceed to the next step.
Step 4: See what you can save on
Now that you know how high your expenses are, it’s time to take a look at how to save on that. Do you spend a lot of money on your groceries? Then here you will find 41 useful tips to save on your groceries . You can reduce your energy costs by, for example, taking a shorter shower and lowering the heating. And you could cancel or replace subscriptions for cheaper alternatives. On this website you will also find many more articles with tips to save money.
Step 5: Save per year
After completing the above steps, are you unable to save (sufficient) money every month? Then you could choose to set a certain amount annually, such as your holiday allowance or a possible thirteenth month. That way you can still save.
4. Seek help with (saving)
Are you not successful in saving or are you not sure how you could best save on your expenses? Then you can find all kinds of useful tips and tools on the Nibud website . This way you can see where you could save by using the Personal Budget Advice. And the savings plan helps you to save on your expenses. Would you prefer personal advice? Then you can possibly hire a budget coach who can help you further.
5. How do you put your savings aside?
If you are going to save, you can do this in different ways. Automatic savings is often the most convenient way to transfer a fixed amount to your savings account every month. It is best to set this so that the amount is transferred to your savings account on the day that your salary comes in. The nice thing about this is that you don’t have to think about saving and so you can’t forget it. By transferring it directly to your savings account on the day that your salary is paid, you avoid spending the money on other things.
Book yourself over
Another way to save is to transfer an amount to your savings account yourself. You can do this at the end of the month, for example, by transferring (part of) the amount that is left over to your savings account.
Pin your savings
You can also choose to pin a certain amount every month and keep it in your ‘piggy bank’ at home. That way you can avoid transferring the money back to your payment account anyway, because you spent more than necessary.
Which method you prefer to use to save is of course a personal choice, although automatic saving is often the most convenient.
6. Make various money boxes
Saving just to finance any unforeseen expenses is not really motivating. After all, you don’t really enjoy it. Therefore, you could choose to make two different piggy banks. This is often possible in the online environment of your bank. For example, make a jar for the unexpected expenses and make sure that a fixed amount is included. In addition, choose a jar of savings with which you can do fun things, such as going on holiday or buying new clothes.
It can also help to link savings goals to the jars. For example, you can make a jar for a new car or for your wedding. Or a game for the children, or for that one long journey that you would like to make together. That way you have a savings goal and that often makes saving easier (and more fun).
7. Saving a little is also saving
Are you really not able to put that 10% of your income aside? Don’t let that stop you from saving. After all, saving a little is also saving. Put aside what you can put aside to get a nice amount of savings, even if it is slow. There are a lot of people who cannot put that 10% in their savings account. The average percentage saved by the average Dutch person is approximately 6.5 percent of the net wages. So you really are not the only one who cannot set that 10% apart.
8. Provide extra income
If you would like to save more money than you can do now, you may want to consider ways to generate more income. You can do this, for example, by looking for opportunities to earn extra, or by looking for a job that pays better. You can also ask your current boss for a pay raise to earn more.
Sell unnecessary stuff
Take a look around the house to see if there are items that are unnecessary and that you could possibly sell. You could then put the money from that sale into your savings account.
Saving money is easier for some than for others. Not only because one person earns more than the other, but also because some people are better at saving. Fortunately, if you are not good at saving, you can learn that. By paying attention to your expenses, by transferring a monthly amount to your savings account and by making it a sport to save or save as much money as possible, saving becomes a lot more fun and easier. Do you need help? Then check the Nibud website or, for example, contact a budget coach.