With prices skyrocketing and most salaries practically frozen, 35% of Spaniards claim to have difficulties making ends meet, according to the DYM Institute survey for 20minutos . Banqmi’s financial expert, Antonio Gallardo , offers 20 tips to save each month. For example, as a general rule, Gallardo recommends: “Compare between different products before buying or contracting anything, and even be aware of new offers that may arise because surely we can detect something better on the market and save some money.”
This 20 savings tricks focus on five major categories: in the shopping cart, in housing expenses, in banking products, in leisure, and in transportation and travel.
Savings in the shopping cart
Most of the basic products that we buy in the supermarket have raised their prices and now, therefore, with the same money as a few months ago, we can buy less food. Therefore, it is convenient to take into account the following indications to save or, at least, not to spend more than expected.
-Make a shopping list: Before going to the supermarket it is key to write down the things we need to focus on that. This way we will avoid buying unnecessary whims. Antonio Gallardo adds that “if we want to allow ourselves whims we must set a limit: at most two per monthly purchase or one per weekly purchase.”
Do not go to the supermarket with someone or buy on an empty stomach: It is to be expected that if you go to the supermarket on an empty stomach, anything you see will appeal to you more. In addition, explains the Banqmi financier, “going to the supermarket with children is ‘dangerous’ for the pocket because they always want something that is not on your list, so it is best to go alone, when they are at school or with a family member otherwise you’ll end up buying the things they want.”
-Compare the price of single units with the packs: The shops, normally, make offers if you buy something in large quantities. “The best thing to do is to compare the price of the packs with that of the individual product and calculate if the savings are real, because many times it is not, but since it says the word ‘offer’, we think that we will not save something,” he declares. In case it turns out profitable and you have a good freezer, take the opportunity to take the food in large quantities.
-Compare the price of different chains: If you buy everything in the same supermarket, it is likely that you are spending more than if you compare the prices with other chains: yogurt, milk, meat or fruit may be cheaper if you buy it In other site. “It’s important to do the comparison work because, although you lose some time, the savings can be significant at the end of the month,” he says.
-Buy in neighborhood stores: The prices of fresh products are the ones that have increased the most in recent months, so buying in some neighborhood greengrocers, fishmongers or butcher shops could help you save money, since they usually sell the products without going through so many intermediaries.
Electricity and gas prices are skyrocketing. Therefore, savings in the consumption of household appliances is key when it comes to reaching the end of the month. It is also very important that the house has good insulation so that the air conditioning and heating devices have a better performance and a lower cost.
-Quick washes in the washing machine and dishwasher: Both the washing machine and the dishwasher are appliances that consume a lot of energy by heating the water. In addition, if we reduce the temperature of our washes, the energy consumption will also be less. “If your washing machine and your dishwasher have an eco program, with it you can save good money on energy. If they do not, it is best to put short-term washes and with low temperatures,” he explains.
-Turn off the oven or the fire 5-10 minutes before: Fast or pressure cookers reduce energy consumption by up to 70% and, if we leave them covered, we can turn off the fire 5 or 10 minutes before and use the heat generated to finish cooking. cook. The same goes for the oven: in addition to making the most of its space, that is, cooking several things at the same time, we can also turn it off 5 or 10 minutes before to take advantage of the heat generated.
-Regulate the temperature of the refrigerator: To consume less energy, the ideal is for the refrigerator to be between 3 and 7 degrees and the freezer at -18. “For each degree less we can save up to 5% on the electricity bill,” says Gallardo.
-Be careful with telecommuting: If we work from home, most likely the cost of electricity will skyrocket by keeping the computer connected during the entire work time. One of the ways to save is to turn off the computer during lunch and after work time is over.
-Insulate the house well: If the windows do not insulate well, the cost of heating in winter and air conditioning in summer will skyrocket.
Savings in banking products
There are banking products that can reduce our savings and others whose objective is to increase them. For this reason, from Banqmi they advise “reading the fine print of all the financial products that you hire to get to know them well and not be surprised.”
-Avoid paying unnecessary commissions: Depending on the procedure that the entity has to carry out, it may charge you commissions. To avoid them, the most appropriate thing is to know the product you contract well and negotiate with the entity if they are imposed on you without consulting. For example, it is common for banks to eliminate some commissions associated with their accounts or cards whenever the client makes several operations or has a payroll or direct debit.
-Not having savings stopped: “Most citizens have their savings in an account that does not bring them any benefit, but simply have their money there,” says Gallardo. However, there are entities that have remunerated savings accounts with which they can give you up to a 3% return on the money you have in them. “You can also put your savings in investment funds where, although the risk of losing money is greater, you can also earn more if you keep it for a long period of time,” says Gallardo.
-Rounding up purchases or creating goals: Many financial institutions already offer rounding up purchases to their customers: it gives you the option of putting the remaining money in a savings account. That is, if you make a purchase of 55.95 euros, the remaining 4.05 euros (up to rounding up to 60) will go to a savings account. There is also the option of creating goals: saving to buy a car, for a trip, for a gift… you set the term and the amount and the bank notifies you of the money that you must allocate each month to achieve it.
-Follow an effective saving method: There are many ways to save that, if you follow them, are very effective. Among them are the 50-30-20 method or the Kakebo method . The first consists of allocating 50% of your salary each month to fixed expenses, 30% for your whims and 20% for savings; the second is to record all your expenses and benefits for the month so that you can cut back on those that are not essential the following month.
-Use applications to control your expenses: One of the most effective saving methods is to set limits on your spending. You can do this thanks to the multiple applications that notify you when you exceed those set limits.
savings in leisure
It is clear that leisure is necessary in the life of any person: going out to dinner, going to the movies, the theater or partying with friends is always a good way to escape from routine. However, “it is best to do it in moderation, not go out to dinner every day or go to the movies three times a week,” explains Gallardo.
-Avoid the ant expenses: That coffee in a work break, the daily beer in the bar… “These expenses that, a priori, it seems that they are not going to suppose anything in your economy, in the end they are decisive so that your savings are reduced considerably,” says the financier.
-Look for offers in culture: If you want to consume culture, you can look for offers such as the day of the spectator in the cinema or discounts on different websites to see theater shows. Also, if you go in a group, depending on the number of people you are, you may find very interesting offers.
-Do not go to the “fashionable” sites: the more a site becomes fashionable, the more its prices will increase. Therefore, if you do not want to spend more than necessary, look for less frequented places, since their prices are surely lower.
Savings on transportation or travel
The price of gasoline is also through the roof , so the less you use your own car or motorcycle, the better. To avoid taking your vehicle, we suggest:
-Using public transport to go to work: One of the most affordable options, especially in big cities, is to use the subway or the bus to go to work. In addition, most companies include the transport pass in their flexible compensation plans, so their workers will not have to pay the taxes corresponding to the amount spent on it and it will be even cheaper.
With regard to medium-distance and suburban trains, since last year, frequent traveler passes have been free. “There is also the option of going by bicycle or walking, although for this option to be feasible, the distance between the home and the workplace has to be low,” Gallardo qualifies.
-Traveling by shared car: With the pandemic, long-distance travel in Blablacar or by shared car came to a standstill, but now that normality is returning, this is also a fairly efficient way of saving both for the driver and for travelers.