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Don't panic: 10 top tips for terrible savers

Poor broke girl having financial problems while shopping. Photo: Getty Images

Are you terrible at saving? Do you wonder why you never have any money put away for a rainy day?

Maybe you’re forgetful, maybe you’re careless with your money, maybe you never really thought about it before.

Whatever the reason is you’re not saving enough money, here’s a handy guide to help you save some of your hard-earned cash—good luck!

Save on payday

As soon as your salary hits your account, put a chunk aside into savings and forget about it. By getting ahead of your spending every month you will ensure that some of your pay will be saved. Otherwise you’ll just fritter it all away and end the month with nothing only to start the process all over again.

READ MORE: Five easy ways to cut down your day-to-day spending

Automate it

Set up a standing order into a savings account so the money automatically leaves and you don’t even have to think about it. This way you don't need to remember to save every month, it’ll be happening in the background and before you know it you’ll have a nice little pot going on.

Use apps

In this digital age of ours it’s so easy to save money. There are a whole load of savings apps out there designed to make it easier to put money away, to help you budget properly, and to give you some investment options if you want your cash pile to grow. Some apps, such as Moneybox, track your spending and allow you to round-up the difference to the nearest pound and put it into a savings account.

READ MORE: Five easy money-saving apps to download

Audit your spending

Mother teaching daughter depositing money into savings jars on bed. Photo: Getty Images

How many times have you really say down to look at where you are spending your money in detail? Give yourself a full audit. Take a deeper look at your spending habits to understand just how much you are spending each month and on exactly what. Some digital-friendly banks now have great visualization tools for exactly this purpose. You can only start saving when you’re on top of what you’re spending.

Set clear budgets

If you’re a careless spender, give yourself a fixed total budget and area-specific budgets. Let’s say you bring home £2,000 a month after tax. Deduct whatever you need to on essentials and what’s left is your disposable income. Now clip a chunk of that for savings, then what’s left is your total for spending on leisure or whatever else. Break that down into budgets. For example, are you a big spender on nights out? See how much you’re spending on each night out and cap it.

Take cash out

It’s so easy just to mindlessly hold out your contactless card or mobile phone and spend money. If you’re really struggling to keep a lid on what you spend, even down to the little transactions, go old school. Take cash out and stop using your card altogether. Whatever hard cash you have is what you have to spend and that’s that. Then at the end of each day, put anything left into a jar and save it like we used to.

READ MORE: Five easy ways to save money on food

Switch your accounts

There are loads of switching services available to consumers these days, as well as price comparison websites. You should be checking for the best deals on your energy bills, your internet provider, your mobile phone contract, and so on. Don’t be complacent—get the best deals you can and switch providers to whoever is offering the best. It’s your right to do it and you’ll save bundles of cash.

Write lists

Lists are another great way of encouraging discipline. Don’t go shopping for food on a whim. Write a list of exactly what meals you’re going to eat that week then the ingredients you need for each. And check your cupboards to make sure you don’t double up. The same for Christmas shopping—set a budget, write a list, and stick to it. No impulse spending.

Bulk and batch

Go wholesale—bulk buys and batch cooking. Buying on bulk is always cheaper and so is batch cooking meals because you benefit from the savings from buying family-size products. Think of the long run. It’s probably cheaper to buy nine toilet rolls now than two roll packs every so often.

Delay spending decisions

Set yourself a rule: No buying on impulse. Whenever you feel the urge to make a big purchase, calm yourself down and hit pause. You’re not saying no. You’re just saying wait a few days and see if you still want or need whatever it is. Give it a week then make the call. This will help you to really think about purchases rationally and make the call that’s right for your finances.