The road to healthy financial behavior: saving

By Jessica Ruelens
Cake banking app tips and tricks

No pain, no gain? Not always! Saving doesn’t always have to hurt. We’ll give you tips on how to save on spending that must and may and where you can find help to manage your budget.

Tips & Tricks by CEBUD

No pain, no gain? Not always!

Saving doesn’t always have to hurt. In this blogpost we give some tips on how you can save on spendings that must and may and where you can find help to manage your budget.

Step 1: Save on essentials and needs  

Your fixed costs and certain living expenses are also called the spending you must make in order to live, work and not get into trouble. Think about food, car costs, the house rent or the gas and electricity bill. If you don’t pay the rent, your landlord will eventually evict you, and if you don’t pay the gas or electricity bill, you will be disconnected. 

But it’s not because you must pay these costs that you have to pay this much. Moving to a cheaper house or paying off less is not obvious (although registering for a social home definitely pays off if you have a limited budget), but you can save on telecom and energy. 

Energy

How long has it been since you changed your energy contract? Many families concluded a contract a long time ago and pay much more than the current rates. You can save hundreds of euros a year by choosing a cheaper supplier or rate. Fortunately, you don’t have to develop any mathematical models yourself. You can simply fill in the V-test. With this test you can calculate who is the cheapest supplier based on your actual consumption. In the overview you can not only see the cost price, but also how green the electricity is. The V-test is updated every month by VREG, the watchdog of the Flemish energy market. 

Telecom

You can also save easily on your internet, TV and cell phone or landline phone expenses. Use the price comparator Best Rate of the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) to quickly check which tariff plan best suits your habits. Telecom suppliers are obliged to enter their tariff plans in this comparator so you can be sure that you always get the most recent offer. Too much hassle? Changing operators is very easy, since the telecom operators themselves have to do all the administrative steps in case of a switch. All you need is your Easy Switch ID. You can find it on your phone bill or in your operator’s customer zone. Just search for it, but after that, easy!

You can also take a look at your grocery budget. Think about it. Do you plan which meals you will prepare in the coming week? Do you mainly buy branded products? Do you go shopping in an expensive supermarket? How often a week do you do your shopping? Do you buy impulsively or only what’s on your shopping list? The way you do the shopping and the way you eat has an influence on the bill at the checkout. By thinking in advance about a weekly menu, drawing up a shopping list and going to the store only once a week, you can limit supermarket expenses. 

Step 2: Save on wants 

In addition, there are the expenses that may. These are the expenses you choose for yourself, such as funshopping, cigarettes, branded products, going out, eating out (as soon as it is possible). For these expenses you can actually choose how much you want to spend. But that does require that you know where your money is going and that you can set priorities. Check the Insights section of your Cake app to know how much money you spent with your top merchants over the past few months. Then find out how much you spend in total on expenditures that are not strictly necessary, such as restaurants, clothing, concerts, gifts, and so on. 

It is important that you choose for yourself where you want to save, because then it is easier to maintain. Every little bit helps, so even small savings can really make a difference in your wallet. So decide for yourself: which spending is important to you and which less? In the spending that you find less important, there is probably an item that you can and want to save on. 

Step 3: Need help? 

In spite of everything, do you spend more than comes in? Or do you apply all possible saving tips and still have a shortage at the end of the month? Are there bills you can’t pay (every month)? Can’t you make a budget plan or stick to it? Do you have a fluctuating income? Don’t wait until you have debts or serious financial problems and make a timely move to assistance. You can always contact the OCMW or the social service of your municipality and the CAW in your region. For young people there is also the JAC. No idea where you can find these services? You can find all contact details via the Social Card.

Guidelines for saving

The best way to save is to choose what you will save on.  

Saving doesn’t always have to hurt. 

Check every year if your energy and telecom contracts can be cheaper. 

Check out the nice movie that VRT NWS made about saving, with a lot of tips & tricks from CEBUD. 

Looking for more tips to save? Check out this brochure

Our next post will help you turn good intentions into deeds. Who knows, you might find the last push to start saving in 2021. 

Well saved, done! Piece of Cake 😉