It’s a number of years since we originally proposed the “Value Ireland Savings Plan” but it’s worth looking over it again given the way our economy is going at the moment. The plan is a simple idea which revolves around monitoring your expenditure and income on a monthly basis, but with a little twist.
Through the Value Ireland Savings Plan, we propose an idea that will help you save money on a monthly basis, but will also help you cut down many unnecessary expenses that you may incur in day-to-day life. A successful application of the Value Ireland Savings Plan to your day-to-day life will reduce your outgoings and increase your available cash, to do with as you choose.
There are 2 key concepts to the Value Ireland Savings Plan. Firstly, reduce all unnecessary outgoings. Secondly, reward positive money incoming.
Reduce Unnecessary Outgoings
Do you regularly go overdrawn on your bank account and end up paying interest or penalties at the end of the month? Could you be more careful about how you conduct your bank business and reduce the amount of bank fees you pay? Do you find yourself wasting money because you’re too lazy – taking a bus instead of a taxi, or paying for parking instead of walking?
Do you end up paying for plastic bags when out shopping instead of reusing old bags or having a “bag for life”? Or are there other areas in your life where, after spending money on something, you think to yourself, “I wish I hadn’t done that”? It could be as simple buying an occasional packet of cigarettes if you normally don’t smoke.
The first part of the Value Ireland Savings Plan is to keep track of all of these unnecessary outgoings on a weekly basis, and total them up at the end of the month. This total amount is what you should match and put away as savings for that month.
So, if your unnecessary outgoings are exceedingly high, you’ll end up having to put away large amounts of money each month. This may be a difficult thing to do – but while you’re trying to keep your expenditure under control, you’ll be adding decent amounts of money to your savings pile. However, if you stick with it, you’ll find ways to reduce these unnecessary outgoings, reducing the amount of money you waste on a monthly basis.
But you may say, won’t this reduce the amount of money I’m saving each month (because you’ll like the idea of saving money by now)?
Not if you’re following part two of the Value Ireland Savings Plan.
Reward Positive Money Coming In
Through this part of the plan, any money that you receive in a manner that you may consider a bonus, or extra, is recorded on a monthly basis.
So, if you keep your current account in the black, you may receive (probably very small) interest on your money. Or you may explicitly save money though having shopped around for a particular item.
You may have won money on the horses, or the football (though if you loose money, maybe it should be noted in the Unnecessary Outgoings). Or you could have won money on the Lotto or scratch cards (though again, your stake money could be considered an unnecessary outgoing).
The second part of the Value Ireland Savings Plan is to keep track of all of the positive money coming in on a monthly basis, and total them up at the end of the month. This total amount is what you should match and put away as savings for that month.
You may also receive interest on your savings. This is where you’ll win both ways with the Value Ireland Savings Plan.
As you decrease your Unnecessary Outgoings, your Positive Incomings are going to increase – either through money you consider you’ve saved, or through an increase in the interest you receive as you begin saving more and more money. Either way, you’ll be putting away sums of money each month.
Monthly Savings and Spreadsheet Assistance
At the end of each month, you total your Unnecessary Outgoings and your Positive Incomings and put that money away as savings for that month.
How you save that money is up to yourself. Ideally it should be put into an account earning a decent rate of interest where it is relatively difficult to gain access to it. If your savings targets are relatively long term, you might think of putting the money into Prize Bonds (and have another potential for positive incomings if you win).
The spreadsheet, available by clicking here, can help you keep track of your Unnecessary Outgoings and Positive Incomings. You can either manage your money through using this spreadsheet on your PC, or just print out the sheet and fill in by hand.
There is an example page in the spreadsheet also to give an idea how the Value Ireland Savings Plan may work for you.
So, by adding together the money deemed Unnecessary Outgoings and Positive Incomings on a monthly basis, you’ll gain the following benefits –
- You’ll begin to identify money you’re wasting and start to eliminate it
- You’ll begin to identify more and more ways to save money in your daily spending
- You’ll develop a stronger interest in your day to day financial well being
Through the experience of the promoter of Value Ireland, following this plan has built up a sum of €3500 over the past 4 years. This is purely through following the ideas set out here and is completely independent of any other type of savings or investments.
A nice little sum based on putting away amounts of money each month that you’ll hardly notice, while also helping you manage your expenses.