Saving money for the future not only allows you to enjoy greater security in your life but also helps you pay for bigger purchases, pays off your debt, and gives you the flexibility to pay for emergencies that might come up.
As we live in the consumer world flooded by so many ads that induce us to get new stuff, it’s hard to resist and say “no”.
But the devil’s not so black as he is painted.
Sometimes the hardest thing about saving money is just getting started.
This article will provide you with 18 money saving tips that will help you set a realistic strategy for saving money.
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Table of Contents
1. Record your expenses.
The first step to start saving money is to figure out what your expenses are and how much you spend on each of them.
Keeping track of your bank account statements regularly will give you a picture of where your money is going and where you would like it to go instead.
Once you have your data prepared, start grouping your expenses by categories, such as groceries, utilities, transport, entertainment, insurance, etc.
2. Budget for savings.
Once you have an overview of how much money you spend each month, you can start creating your budget, which will be your monthly money plan.
To make one you need to identify your expected net income, organize your expenses in categories, and set a clear financial goal that you want to achieve with this budget.
Being aware of how much you have coming in each month and knowing your expenses will help you estimate the amount of money you can save and limit unnecessary money spending.
This article will help you make a personal budget in just 6 easy steps.
Also, read about the best budgeting apps here.
3. Cut out your spending.
If your monthly expenses are too high and you can’t save as much as you would like to, it might be time to start cutting your spending on things that are nonessentials and only ripping you off.
Here are some ideas:
- Cut out the takeaway coffees. The average price of a Starbucks coffee is $2.75. Getting yourself a flask and making coffee on your own will save you at least $60 a month.
- Take your own lunch to work. There are tons of 10-minute recipes on the internet that you can find and prepare at home. Not only cooking your food may be healthier for you, but also your budget will love it when you keep an extra $100 in your pocket each month.
- Re-evaluate your insurance. Compare prices of life, health, and travel insurance, and make sure you’re getting the best deal for the money that you’re paying.
4. Set saving goals.
Before you even start saving money, you need to have a clear goal that you want to achieve. Think of what you might want to spend that money for if you start saving it now. Perhaps you want to go on vacation, save for the house, or invest money in your business.
Having a clear, achievable goal will give you a direction to focus on the endpoint. Also, you’re much more likely to succeed and stay motivated on your target if you’re working towards something that you truly want to achieve.
TIP: Start with setting small, more manageable goals that will be achievable for you.
If you’ve never had experience with saving money, long-term goals can be too overwhelming for you and it’s more likely that you won’t stick to them. Reaching small goals will boost your confidence and motivate you to achieve more.
5. Pick the right tools.
If you want to save a small amount of money consider allocating it in deposit accounts, such as saving accounts, or a certificate of deposit that is a low-risk tool that can boost your interest earnings and keep your money invested in a safe way.
Read more about certificates of deposit here.
If you’re aiming for bigger, long-term goals, then consider:
- FDIC-insured individual retirement accounts (IRAs) that are tax-efficient saving accounts
- Stock or mutual funds, which are available through investment accounts with a broker-dealer. However, remember that these investments are not guaranteed by a bank and usually have a higher risk. Read more about stocks and mutual funds here.
You can pick more than just one account. And remember to always look carefully at your options and consider things like balance minimum, fees, and interest so you can make sure that you’re choosing the best opportunity that will help you save for your goals.
6. Always create a shopping list.
Having a list of products that you want to buy will reduce your food expenses.
It will prevent you from impulse purchases and help fit you in the budget that you set for your grocery shopping.
Shopping lists can reduce your food expenses by 25-30% and will help you stick to the aisles that you want to buy food from.
Remember to always write down a shopping list before heading to the store and buy only things that you know are going to be eaten.
Keep in mind what meals you can make from the ingredients that are on your list and don’t buy anything that you haven’t included in it.
Also, if you don’t want to go beyond your list never go shopping when you’re hungry as then you can become less thoughtful about what you should be eating and focus more on satisfying your whims, instead of properly nourishing your body.
The list of the best shopping apps here.
TIP: Choose one shopping day when you go for groceries and stick with it.
By doing so, not only you will save a lot of time, but also money as you’ll have a long list of items needs to last until the next week, which will prevent you from doing shopping every day.
7. Cancel memberships and subscriptions that you don’t use.
The list of recurring expenses that we often forget to unsubscribe after stopping using them goes on and on. Chances are you don’t remember how many memberships you have signed in.
Once you subscribed, the recurring payment is occurring on your bank balance, without even you realizing it!
If you forget to cancel you are no longer using it will cost you over and over again!
8. Spend less than you earn.
Spending less than you earn is THE MOST important financial concept that you should live by. If you don’t live below your means, you will never get ahead with your financial situation.
In the beginning, it may require some life changes and analyzing your financial habits, but the longer you do it, the easier spending less will become for you.
9. Use 30 day-saving rule.
Instead of making some impulsive and unplanned purchases that can hurt your budget, put off this shopping for the next 30 days, and deposit the money in your saving bank account.
Chances are, in 30 you’ll likely forget that you ever wanted to buy this item. However, if you still want to buy it after 30 days, go for it.
This rule will help you curb your spending impulses and buy only things that are necessary.
It will also help you build better habits and identify whether you buy something because you genuinely need it or because you can.
10. Save automatically.
Setting up automatic savings is literally the easiest and the most effective way to save money. As the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind. Once you set it up, you can save a certain amount of money at regular intervals, whether it’s weekly or monthly.
You can ask your employer to do that for you. That way, each pay period a certain amount of money will go from your paycheck to your saving or retirement account.
However, if you have inconsistent income or your sources of income vary, choose a day of the month to transfer a set amount from your checking to a savings account.
Even if you don’t save much money every month, over time these automatic savings will add up and, in the future, they can cover some unexpected expenses that will come your way.
11. Make a saving plan.
By creating a saving plan, you are twice as likely to save successfully.
Identify how much money you want to be saving every week or month.
Match the costs of your unplanned, nonessential expenses.
So, if you splurge on something that you weren’t planning, put the same amount into your savings account.
12. Calculate your purchases by the hours that you worked for it, instead of cost.
This psychological tactic is really going to help you think like a saver. Just take the amount of the item that you want to buy and divide it by your hourly wage.
So, if you considering buying the newest pair of shoes that cost 300$ and you earn 15$ an hour, ask yourself if these shoes are really worth your twenty hours of work and if you really need them right now.
13. Unsubscribe from marketing emails.
Avoid the temptation of buying something new and unsubscribe from marketing emails and newsletters from the stores where you spend the most money.
Each marketing email has an unsubscribe link either at the top or the bottom of the message that should opt you out of their list.
Remember, that it’s better not to put your strong will on the test as constant resisting new offers can make you fail over time and start compulsive buying unnecessary things.
14. Pay your bills automatically.
Auto-paying your bills can help you ensure you pay on time and that you won’t miss any payments that may potentially spoil your credit score.
You can use automatic bill payments to pay your mortgage, utility bills, cell phone bills, auto, and student loan payments.
Also, some loan providers offer a small interest rate deduction if you decide to choose an auto-pay.
Keep in mind that some small local businesses might not be equipped to accept automated payments.
In order to set up an auto-pay tell your bank or a credit union how much to pay and when to pay each month.
The bank will authorize the money to be deducted from your bank account to the selected company that you need to pay.
15. Have a “no spend day” every week.
A “no spend day” can either mean no spending money on anything throughout a day or spending money excluding an allowance such as buying groceries, or other essentials like paying bills and gas.
At least once a week try to reserve a day where you will not spend any money and reserve this night for family and friends’ fun.
There are tons of free activities that you can plan out for your free time such as watching a movie, cooking at home, or going to the park.
16. Switch to a cheaper cell phone plan.
Living in a mobile world does not mean that you should be ripping off your money while paying for your cell phone plan.
Remember to always customize your plan to your needs.
Track how much data you’re actually using and stop paying for more than you need.
If you mostly spend time in places where you have a prevalence of WIFI hotspots, it doesn’t make sense to pay for an expensive unlimited data plan.
Also, there’s no need of having unlimited texts and calls if you with all those messaging and calling apps.
Here you can find the cheapest data plans as of November 2020.
17. Use coupons.
If you don’t use coupon apps when you shop, you might be missing out on some serious savings.
The days when you had to clip and organize hundreds of coupons from the newspaper.
Now all you need is your smartphone with a coupon app where you can find some deals from your favorite stores.
If you’re looking for apps to get started with saving money on your shopping, then check this article.
18. Buy used.
Almost everything you need was once needed by someone else. So, when you feel like you lack something, first ask someone you know if they already have the thing you want. Maybe they don’t use it or don’t need it anymore and can give it to you for free or for a small fee.
Also, check local thrift stores and online websites such as eBay. You can find there pretty much everything from electronics to clothes, jewelry, sports equipment at bargain prices.
This way, you can get a slightly used but high-quality item and at the same time save a lot of money. Think about that!
Never fall into the trap of ego that tells you that you need to have a certain amount of money in your bank account just because other people do.
Remember, that’s not the case.
Money shouldn’t be the ultimate goal in your life, it’s a tool to help you along the way of achieving your goals but.