A penny saved is a penny earned, so the old adage tells us. It’s quite true, especially if you go on to use all the pennies you saved to do something useful, like buying silver eagle coins from Golden Eagle Coin. In the long run, those coins will give you a better return than the caffeine from your daily takeaway coffee. Eyes down for some brilliant ideas.

Monitor your savings

You should sit down once a week to look at what you’ve spent, look at your account balances and how far away from your various goals you are. If you can always say, to the nearest dollar or so, what your balances are, you’re in synch with your money.

Start meal planning

Meal planning really does work. Not only does it justify buying that bulk load of ground beef, but if you have a good idea what’s for dinner each day, you’re much less likely to give in and order a delivery. Plus, the only person you have to tip is yourself!

Make your own coffee

That daily coffee stop during the commute is really racking up your spending. If you buy one on the way in and on the way home, you could be spending $5 each day. Don’t deprive yourself altogether, just reduce the number you buy. Commit to taking your own coffee in on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and treat yourself on Monday and Friday. That could save $60 a month.

Give yourself a cooling-off period

Don’t just hit “buy now”. If the purchase is more than, say $60 (the amount you’re already saving on coffee, right?), then wait for 48 hours if it’s not urgent. You may well find that some of these purchases were wants and not needs. Think instant savings rather than instant gratification.

Opt for quality rather than quantity

It doesn’t always pay to choose the cheaper item. When it comes to things like shoes, clothes and even things like pens, you should switch up. Think about the cost-per-wear or the cost-per doodle – quality items last longer. This philosophy can also apply to food as cheaper foods are often stuffed with fillers and water rather than, well, nourishing food.

Regulate your emotions

This ties in with the 48-hour waiting period. Are you using shopping as an emotional crutch? Are you bored, frustrated or sad? If shopping helps you to escape emotions that you could actually conquer in other ways, then it’s not a cost-effective form of therapy.

Read about finance

The more you learn about personal finance, the more you’ll value money and take care of what you have. You’ll also learn more about investing and money-saving strategies.

Don’t just have goals, have roadmaps

Say you’re saving for a house deposit – you shouldn’t just write down “I’m saving for a house deposit,” and leave it at that. List the things you’re doing to bring this money into the fund – eschewing midweek coffees for a start – and how much each method will mean at the end of each month and each year. It’s not just a destination, it’s a journey.