Ways to Improve How You Save Money

Saving money is difficult. Take it from the hundreds of thousands who are still in debt even after finding a stable job and source of income. The regular methods you use, whether it is using a savings account or investing it to earn greater interest have become outdated to an extent. There are now clever techniques, government initiatives, and creative ways to improve how you save money.

These ways not only improve the way you save your money, but they are also a basic finance method: save more, spend less. All saving methods must follow this principle for effective output. The general tendency of the modern world is to spend more, save less, particularly considering the rise in cost of living and increased desire to buy goods and commodities. This makes it difficult to keep up with your savings goals and hampers your financial plans.

Impulse buys, thought-out major purchases, vanity spends, socially influenced spends, and material desires are the five chief areas of spending in the modern day. Rewiring yourself and following new techniques in how you approach spending can help conquer the first principle: spend less.

Spend less

The obvious technique ranges from compiling a list of your purchases and tracking them, to assigning limits to your spending. Spending less is the baseline that allows you to save money. The magnitude of your expenses determines how much you save. To improve this, you must understand the key types of spending that need to be reduced or eliminated.

Impulse buys:

You’re walking down the street and you see a black suede jacket in a store window. You’re immediately drawn to it; it’s a must have. You go ahead and buy it even if you have quite a few jackets at home. You make the decision without considering your needs or finances; you’re purely driven by your impulse. Sound familiar?


The easiest solution to impulse buying is to simply insert some time before going to the counter or hitting that “buy now” button. Think about having to make that credit card payment later. Is the item an actual need right now? Is it worth the cost? What do your finances look like this month? Can this type of purchase wait? Taking the time to think through your purchases can help you identify when you’re being impulsive and will truly help to eliminate buyer’s remorse.

Thought-out major purchases:

These are buys that you’ve been planning for a long time. From new furniture for your living room to a mantelpiece for your newly installed fireplace, thought-out buys are where long-term planning meets heavy spending.


Just because thought-out buys involve more planning doesn’t mean they can’t lead to debt struggles later. That’s why it’s important to spend just as much time on:

Exploring cheaper alternatives – The item might not be of the same quality, but you might discover a fantastic alternative that comes close to your original idea.

Waiting for offers - Timing is critical. You might find the exact object you wanted at half the price and end up saving a large chunk of your originally planned spends.

Buying second-hand - A bit of luck and searching can get you a used product that can satisfy your needs at a fraction of the price. This helps you a) save more and b) get it faster than if you were to wait for offers.

Vanity spends:

Vanity spends are expenses that make you feel good but don’t fit into the category of necessity. Expensive salons, high end facial products, relaxation massages… While these costs aren’t essentially bad, it can become a tough habit to break when you’re trying to save more money.


There’s only one way to counter vanity spends: stop them entirely. These type of purchases feed you from the inside in such a way that you’re never truly satisfied with one buy. Identifying your vanity spends, which often cost the most, and eliminating them from your budget is the easiest way to stop excessive spending. You will find that you are able to save a large percentage of your money if you stop vanity spending entirely.

It also helps to be accountable with your partner or a friend. Reaching out and consulting them before making a vanity spend can help you put things into perspective. It is important to choose the right person to be accountable with, and not someone who is likely to encourage your habits.

Socially influenced spends:

This is the age of social media, and digital media ad revenue that has generated in 2020 alone more than $5.9 billion. Socially influenced spending, a category unto itself, is responsible for a large chunk of those dollars. Socially influenced spends are those spends that wouldn’t otherwise happen until you come across a product or an accessory owned by someone from your social circle. It follows the theory that you want what other people have and is a major tax on your savings.


Essentially, you need to use the inner voice of reason as you scroll through the potential buy. Remind yourself of what you have, what you want, and your current financial situation immediately after looking at a potential object that someone you know is flaunting on social media. It can keep you more aware of your desires and where they’re coming from. You can also go through all the stuff you own that you’ve barely used that were socially influenced to give you a picture of necessity.

Material desires:

Material desires are the catch-all category. As a society, we just want more stuff! We believe more material things mean more happiness, more fulfillment, more prestige...  When in fact, material things can simply mean more stress, more clutter, more debit.


Admittedly, material desires are unavoidable. But what if they were? What if you stuck to what you needed and didn’t go after everything you wanted? What about homemade meals instead of dining out every night? What about a trip to the local park instead of splurging at the mall? Or, even visiting your parents instead of going on a world tour. The ideal way to go about material desires is to replace them with something cheaper and more fulfilling.

Another method to counter these sorts of spends is to leave your credit card at home or far away from your computer or mobile device. The lack of access to money will prevent you from spending regardless of how much you want to buy it, and irrespective of what kind of spend it is.

Countering your spending is more than half the work done!  Now let’s look at saving more.

Saving more

Ensure that you save on an incremental basis. This is to say you add more money to your savings account every month as compared to the previous month. You can dovetail this with spending less and transfer the money you save from that practice to your savings.

Tracking your savings:

It is important to track your savings, collecting as much detail as possible from your account before organizing it into multiple categories. Once done, you can focus on where you can save the most, and how best to eliminate needless spends. Getting an overall picture of your income and expenses is the best way to build a framework for saving less and spending more.


You can also look at a TFSA or an RRSP account that are savings vehicles focused on the short and long term. The TFSA allows you to save without withdrawal taxes while the RRSP is perfect for a retirement savings plan.

You are already in a good place if you are debt-free. But saving money becomes more difficult if you have accrued debt. It also becomes more necessary to pay off the debts before you can begin to think about ways to improve your savings. Once debt-free, you can focus on maximizing your savings.

Keeping in mind the key principles behind saving and spending can help you improve the decisions you make financially. Eventually, you will reach a point where your decision making has improved, and it reflects in your bank account every month. Consistency, composure, and confidence in yourself to execute all your plans, while constantly monitoring your spending habits will help you reach your savings goals, every time.