Muriel and Aurélien have just bought a three bedroom apartment in Esch. There’s just one small hitch: one of the bedrooms needs renovating. There’s no rush, but they need to find the funds. And of course, they’re running low on cash after buying their home. It’s hard to save when there’s not much left at the end of the month! Here are some great tips that should help our young couple.
Step one: get on top of your budget. Muriel downloads a simple worksheet from the internet, one of many versions available. This online worksheet can be accessed from their mobile phones and the tablet they keep on the coffee table. It’s very handy for keeping an eye on their budget and entering purchases and recurring expenses. Our lovebirds now have a clearer view of their budget and spending, helping them decide what can be cut back or dispensed with altogether. That’s a great start!
By setting up a standing order that pays into their savings account at the beginning of each month, Aurélien and Muriel don’t have to remember to put money aside. It’s also easier to avoid unnecessary spending since there is less cash on hand. They’ll skip the fashion bracelet that was headed straight for the jewellery chest, which is already overflowing, and pass up on the umpteenth pair of shoes destined never to be worn.
When getting ready to move, Aurélien was stunned by how much stuff they owned. This gave him the great idea of selling some of their things and putting the proceeds into their savings account. He decided to do some spring cleaning, including in Muriel’s wardrobe. With her consent obviously, he’s not crazy! Using social networks and second-hand websites such as www.luxbazar.lu and the www.leboncoin.fr in France, they manage to offload three-quarters of their possessions in just under a week! Old video games, clothes, books… they got rid of almost everything. But these websites aren’t just great for selling your old stuff, there are also some really good deals to be found for buyers, which means further potential savings.
After deciding to buy things second-hand, our young couple had another brilliant idea: renting instead of buying! While Aurélien has his eye on the new multifunction XDG3000 drill, how much use will it get once the bedroom is renovated? Not sure. With its price tag, it’s smarter to rent it. The plan is to drill holes in the walls, not the budget!
By lowering the thermostat from 20°C to 19°C, they manage to reduce their energy consumption by 7%. Another win for the savings account.
“And what if we tried reducing our water, electricity and heating bills?” Muriel suggests. Leaving the tap running while brushing your teeth, and leaving the lights left on when you’re not in the room… that’s more money down the drain. Investing in plug-in timers is also a good solution. By paying a bit more attention and taking some simple measures, our couple do good by their wallet… and the planet! By lowering the thermostat from 20°C to 19°C, they manage to reduce their energy consumption by 7%. Another win for the savings account.
By checking their insurance policies and affiliations (health, house, bank, credit cards, LAR, ACL, CMCM, etc.), our lovebirds realise they have duplicate coverage in some cases. Insurance is important, but there’s no need to go overboard! This warrants a conversation with your insurer to find out if some options can be cancelled. That’s more savings every year!
Another tip for avoiding “frivolous” spending: always make a shopping list before going to the supermarket. And stick to it! That way, you won’t be tempted by all the goodies on discount. Thanks to all this, the monthly spending budget has shrunk by 15%! “That’s another EUR 90 for the savings account!”
Aurélien makes another big discovery: his favourite magazine is much cheaper if he gets an annual subscription. Since he can’t do without it, why not go for the cheaper option! It’s better to get a discounted subscription than pay full price for each issue.
(…) driving 10 km/h slower reduces petrol consumption by 30%. When you can help protect the planet and save on money, count us in!
For commuting every day, car-pooling is cheaper than taking the train or driving alone. Do you have a co-worker who lives close by? Then you’ve found your car-pool partner and a sure way of saving money on transportation. The proverbial win-win. Muriel’s only option for getting to work is the car, but she has found out that driving 10 km/h slower will reduce her petrol consumption by 30%. When she can help protect the planet and save on money, count her in!
But there’s more to life than going to work. Book your holidays well in advance to get the best deal on hotels and transport. You’ll save about 16% on plane tickets if you book five months before flying. “So Muriel, when do we head to Ibiza? It’s time to celebrate our savings success!” Aurélien is right, saving doesn’t mean giving up on everything!
Just six months after moving, Muriel and Aurélien have managed to reduce their monthly spending by 20%. That’s nearly EUR300 in savings every month. Renovation work on the bedroom has begun. Just in time! They’ll want it to be ready when they welcome their new arrival. We’ll need to come up with new tips for saving even more.
On the same topic: 10 great ways to save big!