Living in 2020 is expensive. It can sometimes seem that no matter how hard you save or how sensible you are, there’s never enough money to do all of the things you want to. Whether it’s saving for a sports car or simply making ends meet, many of us feel like we’re always coming out a little short of where we want to be.

So what’s the solution? While we’d love to be able to wave a magic wand and make all of your money worries and their associated anxiety disappear, the reality is that saving can be difficult, and it takes a lot of long-term dedication before you’re likely to see your sacrifices pay dividends.

But, here’s a secret you won’t hear very often: you don’t have to forgo fun while you save. It’s perfectly possible to find a balance between having extra money to set aside and still enjoying some everyday pleasures – you just need to know how to do it.

Here are four simple money-saving tips to help you.  

Choose your bank account with care

Did you know that sometimes you don’t have to make any sacrifices in order to save money? If you like how that sounds, then we’d advise you to spend some time researching bank accounts. That’s because those who have a savings account will often pay a monthly fee for the privilege, so by simply taking a look around, you may find that you’re able to either minimize this or get rid of it entirely.

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Not only this, but it’s possible to get a sign-up bonus from certain providers, while interest rates also vary widely between banks. These are all perks that you can easily take advantage of – so long as you spend an hour or two online researching your options and working out what’s best for you.

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Create budget plans for long-term investments 

One of the reasons that a lot of people struggle to save is because they try to be too strict with themselves. This can make them miserable and often leads to them giving up on their savings goals entirely.

One of the best practical examples of affective budgeting is trading and investments. In this sector of the finance industry, investors are well aware that returns are not always expected, hence the need to construct a healthy and substantial budgeting plan. With any purchase, investment or material product, risks must always be calculated in relevance to your plan also.

For example, if you’re thinking of buying a new phone, or switching contract dealer, it’s best to do your research, the same goes for mortgages, and using brokers to evaluate the market for you, so you know you’re getting the best deal. Again, in trading markets such as the foreign exchange, while there are risks to calculate and the need to budget, it’s best to find a safe and peer-reviewed forex broker to trade through.

In doing so, you’d ensure that, no matter the outcome of your trades, your finances are not endangered. It also ensures that you’d have the best possible chance of your gamble playing dividends in the long run, similar to investing in property you intend on refurbishing and selling on for profit, even in the distant future.

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Essentially, it’s about being sensible with what you spend and invest in, rather than forbidding yourself from spending any money at all.

Sell what you don’t need

When we think about saving money, we often focus on how we can reduce our outlay, but rarely on how we can increase our income. One easy way to top up your bank balance is to sell on what you don’t need.

While most items experience a significant decrease in value over time, you’d be surprised by how quickly it adds up once you start putting your unwanted pieces of furniture and old toys on sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace.

In fact, you might even find some treasures hidden away in your attic, such as Beanie Babies or My Little Ponies. Both were very popular in their time and can still go for significant sums online, especially if they attract the attention of a collector.  

Sell your old bed for £50, a few pairs of second-hand jeans on Depop, and that painting you picked up during college, and you could soon have a tidy sum to add to your savings.

Follow the 30-day rule

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In addition, we recommend that you have a go at implementing the 30-day rule. The 30-day rule is aimed at stopping needless impulse buys, and the concept behind it is very simple: the next time you want to buy something, you force yourself to wait 30 days before deciding whether or not you need it.

In that time, you’re able to mull over whether it’s actually worth the money, as well as being something that you really want and/or would enjoy. If, after this cooling-off period, you still want to buy it, give yourself permission to do so; if, instead, you’ve realized that it’s not worth the money, you’ve already saved yourself the purchase price.   

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Why not try applying these four simple money-saving tips today?