This Women’s Month, we’re exploring great money-saving tips for women – from setting a 48-hour rule, to handling store accounts, managing debt, and more.
Don’t take on your partner’s debt
When entering a new relationship or if you are in an existing one, the exchange of cash flow within family units and couples sometimes involves taking on a partner’s debt in the event that they are unable to afford regular repayments themselves.
If you haven’t jointly taken out a form of credit, your partner’s debt is not your legal responsibility – and it is important to ensure that you do not spend large amounts of your own money in an attempt to repay your partner’s debt.
Instead of making repayments on your partner’s behalf, consider speaking candidly about their financial situation and – depending on their circumstances – rather recommend seeking out a financial advisor or invite them to approach a debt counsellor if they are in legal jeopardy.
Maintaining a focus on your own financial health is important, and prioritising the management of your own debt and savings goals can help you get ahead.
Set a 48-hour rule
If you find that you often make impulse purchases or end up ‘splurging’ when you know you might not be able to afford to, consider setting up a ’48-hour’ rule before you commit to large purchases or buying an item that might be more of a ‘want’ than a ‘need’.
With a 48-hour rule, you commit to giving yourself at least two days to fully consider the financial impact of making a large purchase – and often, this gives you the time you need to weigh up the positive and negative aspects of such a decision.
Using the 48-hour rule also gives you the time you need to consult your partner, friends, and family, and can often lead to reconsidering what you’d prefer to spend your money on, or whether you’d prefer to save it or spend it elsewhere instead.
Build a rainy-day fund
Everyone faces an unforeseen expense at some point whether it’s an emergency or simply an unplanned expense. Managing your cash flow is vitally important to ensure that you don’t spend more than you can afford to, and setting manageable savings goals can help in setting money aside for when you really need it.
If you find yourself often encountering unplanned expenses, consider setting aside small amounts of money each month into a ‘rainy day’ fund; where, over time, you can set up a savings account in the event that you need to make a large purchase which you might not be able to cover on your monthly income alone.
If you need some help to get started, why not take our 52-week savings challenge?
Pay off your store accounts
Store accounts can be an attractive way of managing your purchases when it comes to buying clothes, furniture, or even food – but left unmanaged, debt can quickly escalate.
Before committing to any savings goals, rather pay yourself first – that is, make monthly and timely repayments on all your outstanding debt. You will gradually decrease your total repayment amount (and potentially your interest rate) by making regular repayments on your store cards.
Once you have successfully paid off the remaining balance on your store cards, consider cancelling them entirely – this will prevent the temptation to purchase items on credit in the future. Focus on setting practical budgeting goals (more on this below) to purchase items that you need upfront and in cash.
Set practical budgeting goals
If you find yourself spending varying amounts of money each month and hoping for the best, consider making a healthy budget your priority.
By setting practical budgeting goals, you can develop a realistic view of what your financial situation looks like, and which direction you’d like to head in going forward.
Budgeting involves looking into your cash flow and understanding how you spend your monthly income. By tallying up your major expenses and what income you receive, you can quickly determine what you need to do to either maximise your savings or reduce your spending.
Keeping to a monthly budget can also help you set realistic savings goals, as well as manage your debt – by setting aside what money you need to repay as well as what will meet your savings goals, you can then decide how much you’re willing to spend on necessary expenses as well as how much you’d like to spend on entertainment.
Create policies for saving for retirement
Managing monthly savings goals can help you prepare for the future and even ‘rainy days’, but ultimately you’ll need to prepare for retirement – where, near the end of your life, you will need to ensure that you have enough money to cover your regular expenses when you are no longer able to work or achieve the same level of income.
By creating retirement policies and preparing for your future plans now, you can set yourself up for success later in life.
Creating a retirement policy doesn’t have to be expensive; in most cases, you’ll be able to set aside small monthly amounts and change this to either more, or less, as your financial situation changes. Most policies only mature at the retirement age of 65, meaning that your money will be kept secure until you really need it.
Why not read more about saving for retirement here?
Read more from our blog:
- How to Stop Spending Money
- What are the Cheapest Types of Loans?
- Learn more about Wonga's Affordable Loans