If you or your children are thinking of going to university then you may be thinking about saving up. This is a sensible idea because although there will be a loan on offer and also sometimes a grant as well, there will still be a lot of things to pay for and these may not be enough. It can also be good to get into the habit of thinking about budgeting and minimising what you are spending because this is something that you will need to do when you are studying. So, what sorts of things should you be doing to help?
Save a Certain Amount Each Month
It is good to start by putting away some money each month. Many people will save by putting anything they have left just before they are paid into a savings account. While this is better than saving nothing, it can mean that you will not save very much because you tend to spend all the money that is available. It is therefore better to set up a transfer so money goes into your savings account as soon as you get paid. Then you know that it is there and you will have to manage on what is left. If you still have some left at the end of the month you can still move that into the savings account as well but it is likely that if you save some at the start you will put away more each month.
Cut Back on Spending
It is wise to start cutting back on the money that you spend. This is easier for some people than others but there are a few tricks that you can try. Firstly, make sure that you compare prices of things when you buy them. This will enable you to be able to see whether you are paying more than necessary for items. For example, we all tend to pay for utilities, insurance, phone contracts and things like this and often will just continue using the same provider all of the time. It is worth comparing prices between providers as you will then be able to see whether you can save money by switching. It is easy to switch and you could end up saving quite a bit of money which will add up to a significant chunk if you switch all of your providers. Compare prices in shops as well and you could find that you will soon be spending significantly less and therefore have more money available to save. You can also try to buy less items and this will save money too.
You may find that this is not enough as you want quite a bit of money or you already compare prices so cannot cut back very much. If this is the case, then you may need to look and see whether you will be able to earn more money. There are different things that we can do to increase what we are earning. Some people get a second job and work extra hours, but not everyone will have the time or stamina to do this. Some are able to change jobs, get a promotion or ask for a pay rise. However, most people would just have the option of earning money in their free time. This is a lot easier than it used to be because there is online work that you can do. It is easy to pick up freelance jobs, although they will not pay as highly as regular jobs, but you will often be able to pick and choose between jobs to find one you like and do it at home.