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Tuesday, March 14, 2023

With these tips you can save money invisibly

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Declan Foster
Declan Foster
I'm Declan Foster, and I write about information technology and politics. I'm certified in cybersecurity and networks.
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Many people save for retirement, a buffer, or a long trip. But saving and keeping it up is not always easy, especially with the expensive December just around the corner; the money is flying out. Experts share their best tips to save ‘invisibly’ and build a buffer.

1. The cheese slicer method
“Automate saving,” advises chartered accountant and blogger Marjan Heemskerk of The Happy Financial. “Then you don’t have to think about it anymore. That way, it’s less noticeable.” One of those ways to automatically transfer money to your savings account is the ‘cheese slicer method.’

Calculate how much money you need to make ends meet. You enter that amount into your account. Is more coming? It will be automatically transferred to your savings account.

“This method is especially useful for people with a fluctuating income, such as self-employed persons or employees with a 0-hour contract,” says Heemskerk. With most banks, you can set this up utilizing a variable transfer.

By transferring the money immediately after it is in your account, you also save more than transferring the money that you have left at the end of the month. “If it’s in your bill, you’re more likely to spend it.”

If you save at the same bank, you often see your savings and current account in an overview. Then the temptation is great to return the saved money.

2. Open a new account
“Start with small amounts,” advises budget coach Marianne Bodenstaff of Household in Order. “That also helps. It doesn’t have to be hundreds of euros all at once.” And transfer those amounts to a savings account at another bank.

“If you save at the same bank, you often see your savings and current account in an overview. Then the temptation is great to transfer the saved money back to your current account if you want to buy something.”

3. Pin savings
Suppose you buy a sandwich for 4.75 euros. When you use a debit card, you pay this amount; at the same time, a percentage of this amount goes to your savings account. It is also possible to put the ‘change’ aside. In the example above, you save 0.25 cents on the purchase.

ABN AMRO is one of the few banks that offer these so-called Save Money. You can, of course, also calculate and transfer the change for all your purchases once a week. Debit card savings go almost unnoticed due to the small amounts, but the method also has disadvantages, warns Heemskerk. “It just might boost your spending.”

Put some change in a saving bank, at the end of the month you may have a nice amount to go out for dinner.

4. The piggy bank
Especially people who pay with cash can put money aside in a piggy bank, says budget coach Bodenstaff. “For example, by throwing in the change at the end of the week or after every day. At the end of the month, you may have a nice amount to go out for dinner.”

In her practice, Bodenstaff often sees people feeling like they’re denying themselves something when they save. “That’s not the case,” she emphasizes. “You’re doing yourself a favor with it. You’re putting money aside for something that makes you happy, like a trip or your home.”

5. Sale
stamps It sounds old-fashioned, but sale stamps at supermarkets can be a very suitable method to put some money aside. In addition, you receive interest on the stamps. At Albert Heijn, for example, you will receive 52 euros (6 percent interest) for a full savings account (costs 49 euros). Jumbo has savings books with 250 stamps (cost 25 euros), for which you will be paid 26 euros (4 percent interest).

You can, of course, use the full savings cards to pay for your groceries. Heemskerk: “But you can also set it aside for the holidays, for example. This way, you build up a small piggy bank when shopping.”

6. Secret savings
When you save secretly, you fool yourself. You transfer random, small amounts from your current to your savings account a few times a month. You set these transfers to random days in advance.

For example, on the third of the month, you transfer 4.87 euros. On the twelfth, 11.66, and a few days later, 5.20 euros. “Those random expenses don’t stand out between the daily groceries, lunches, and other expenses,” says Heemskerk. “But if you do this as standard, you can still have saved 1,000 euros at the end of the year almost unnoticed.”

7. Saving with sales
Grown out or tired of things and clothes? Many households sell their stuff via, for example, Marktplaats or Vinted. That can also save money. Bodenstaff: “Put half or a third of every item sold in your savings account.”

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