Whether you are just starting out in the first year of your first career or whether you are coming towards retirement age, there’s one thing that everybody who’s ever taken part in the so-called rat race shares in common.

What is it?

The desire for increased savings.

Money doesn’t grow on trees, unfortunately, and saving more of what we earn can often seem like a choice between going without the things that we wish to buy or rather saving the money and not touching it and therefore having no fun in life. Today, we’re going to look at ways to increase our savings in ways that make smarter use of our money.

First, if you are ex-military, you may be surprised to hear that you might be missing out on certain funds that you could be eligible to receive. For example, check out this information on veterans disability for PTSD for more details.

1. Pay Off Debt Faster (Consider Consolidating)

Credit cards come with different agreements. Depending on your circumstances at the time of taking out the credit card, you could find that your interest rate falls under one of three categories: average, relatively high, or relatively low.

The aim is to take stock of which credit agreements are charging you the most money (i.e. note down which credit cards are charging you the most interest on the money you have borrowed). By paying off the bills with the highest rate of interest faster, you will save more money in the long run.

If you have many credit cards (and loans), you may wish to speak to a financial advisor about your eligibility for a consolidation loan. This style of loan combines all of your credit card payments into one lower monthly payment, saving you money.

2. Pay Attention to Your Spending (Use the 30-Day Rule)

We are all accustomed to our spending habits. The problem is that we often can’t spot where we are overspending. The 30 day rule is a tried and tested method of considering your purchases before you make a final decision. The rule is simple enough.

All you have to do is put off making any large purchases for 30 days. By waiting for one month before committing to the purchase, you are more likely to understand whether you really need certain items, such as a new car or even an expensive coffee machine, for example.

Remember the old saying: have nothing in your home that you do not find to be attractive or useful. By waiting 30 days, you could find that you spend less on things that you don’t really want or need.

3. Pay Attention to Your Grocery Bill (Plan Your Meals)

This is a quick tip that can save anybody untold fortunes on their weekly grocery bill.

Plan your meals (including snacks) and purchase only the food you need for the week.

This sounds simple, but by avoiding the attractive packaging along the supermarket aisles and only picking up the things you have planned, your grocery bill should come down significantly.