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Over the years I have become very interested in building healthy finances. From the advice of money bloggers, to the shared stories of the debt free community on Instagram and the tips from financial guru Dave Ramsey, I have learnt a lot. One important lesson I have learnt is that saving money is incredibly important. Whether it is for a big purchase or simply a rainy day, it’s always a good idea to have some extra money in the bank. I have gained knowledge on a number of easy ways to save money and wanted to pass on some of the things I have learned to you.
In this post, I want to talk to you about skimming.
How does it work?
As the name suggests, imagine literally skimming the change off the top of your own money. Whether that is the physical cash in your pocket or the small change sitting in your bank account. It’s the same as emptying the change from your pocket or purse at the end of each day and putting it in a jar.
At regular intervals, perhaps daily or weekly, take a small amount from your pocket change or bank account and transfer it to your savings. The amount you move will be personal to you and your financial situation. As an example, let’s say you check your current account one evening and see a balance of £52.36. Depending on how relaxed or tight your budget is you could move 6p, 36p or £2.36 over to your savings.
If you’ve never tried skimming before, I can imagine that even the largest amount of £2.36 sounds tiny. Trust me, it is not. If you skim on a regular basis the total will build up quickly.
What does it work well for?
Skimming works incredibly well as a money saving technique for long term goals. Things which you are not in a rush to save for. Christmas is a great example. Your skimming efforts across the year could form your budget for December, making the saving itself manageable and relatively unnoticed and taking all the stress out of the expensive festive season.
An emergency, or rainy day, fund would work well with skimming too. Building a pot of savings for unexpected costs is always a good idea, especially if money is already tight. Doing it this way means that you’ll barely notice the money moving out of your account.
How can you start today?
Begin by emptying your pockets. Keep it really simple. By pockets I mean anywhere you store your change from the day; bags, purse, dish on the side table all included. If you pull together all of the spare change in your house what and put it together in a jar, how much do you have? Fifty pence maybe? A couple of pounds even? The point isn’t to find huge amounts of money. Just to collect the pennies which you aren’t likely to use tomorrow. When your jar fills up, take it to the change machine nearest to you and then make sure to put that money straight into your savings account.
Next look at your online banking. If you have a savings account attached to your current account, simply move over the spare change. As I mentioned before, spare change means different things to different people. You might choose to move ten pence across, you might choose to move ten pounds. This is beauty of skimming. Transfer an amount that works for you. I personally round my account to the nearest five pounds.
Give skimming a try and make sure to let me know how you get on with it. Happy saving!