Learning to save money, especially finding ways to do it quickly, is something that can benefit anyone. There are plenty of reasons to justify that saving money should start now. You may have caught unprepared for an unexpected bill or maybe your family or friends invited you to go on the trip of a lifetime. Perhaps you are saving money for the down payment of the house you want to buy. You can even just be trying to grow your emergency fund so that you are better prepared for any unexpected expenses. Whatever your reason may be, there are lot of ways to save money.
1.) Track your spending and creative a budget. Tracking your spending is the very best way to identify areas where you can save money. All you need to do is track your spending for one month and this will give you a good idea of where your money is going. Once you’ve identified where you’re spending your money and you see areas where you can reduce spending, you can set a reasonable budget and then stick to it. This is a simple thing to do and it’s a very effective way of controlling your spending.
2.) Clip coupons. This is the single crucial policy of personal budgeting and perhaps many of us learned this money-saving tip from our grandparents. Just a couple of minutes spent on clipping discount coupons could end up saving you several bucks in the check out line – on and offline. Nowadays, coupons have adapted to the changing times and technology has played a major role as they are often seen on web stores and mobile applications as opposed to newspapers. There’s even a news a couple of years ago about a 31-year-old mom saving $8,000 per year by extreme couponing.
3.) Shop in Bulk. It’s good to list down all your favorite products so when they go on sale you can just buy them in bulk. It’s true that you might spend more today but it’s going to save you a few bucks in the future. Some of the things that are good to stock up are items that don’t expire such as hair shampoo, soap, and other household items. There are also food items that are ideal to keep in good quantity for many months – things like beans, canned goods, flour are good examples.
4.) Feed that piggy bank. We often take for granted that simple things like saving your change can be a great help in your personal budgeting quest. Your coins can add up to a serious cash later, whether you save $20 or $50 for each month. Sometimes we toss them around and forget where we had put them. It’s time to teach yourself to put them in a piggy bank, bowl or something where you can keep them in one place. One day you’ll be surpised as to how much you have saved by doing just that.
5.) Allocate to savings. Save a small amount of your paycheck and deposit to your savings account each week or month. According to the popular rule 50/30/20, 20% of your income should go to savings. This may not seem to be realistic for other people but no matter how small the amount would be it’s wise to set aside something.
In addition, if would be better if you can automate savings transfers. Each payday if you can’t seem to create a habit of saving, scheduling automatic transfer to your savings account can be a huge help. When you have a certain amount of your paycheck automatically transferred your savings account each payday, there’s less temptation to spend it and you can easily watch your account balance grow over time. Review your budget and choose an amount that you can commit to regularly then put your savings on autopilot.
6.) Never do impulse buying. Buying goods or things in a whim without the necessity is something you would regret once you realized there’s really no need for the items you have just bought. Plan anything that you will buy. Any last minute purchases are something you must avoid unless you have the means to pay for them.
A good thing to do is to make a grocery list before you head out. This will quickly save you tons of money and it will ensure that you end up buying only what you need and that you don’t fall victim to any impulse purchases. Write down everything you need for the week. The less time you go shopping, the less likely you’ll be to pick up something you really don’t need. Plan to shop for an hour or less and try to raise the clock when you shop, this way you won’t spend time wandering around picking up things that look appealing. Also, plan to go shopping shortly after you have eaten since everything will look less appealing if you’re shopping on a full stomach.
7.) No to high interest credit cards. Never use credit cards with high interest rates unless you can settle your credit in less than six months. Otherwise, you run the risk of paying more than your original purchases in the end. As much as possible, try to use card with low Annual Percentage Rate (APR). This will definitely save you money in the long run.
8.) Get free samples. There are a number of websites that offer free samples from coffee, soap to moisturiser. The key is knowing where to look for the deals and free samples. This will surely save you a significant amount of money of many stuff. You may Google “sites that give you free stuff” and be surprised by the vast resources you could find. There are also many manufacturers that offer free samples directly from their site.
9.) Negotiate your bills. While some of your bills such as your brand or mortgage payment maybe non-negotiable, you may have some wiggle room with others. For example, you may be able to find a better deal on your car insurance or your cellphone service. Doing some research to find better rates can take a little bit of time but it could be time well-spent if it helps save you money.
10.) Tighten your belt and stop paying for comfort. Many people pay for convenience. They are willing to pay $5 for a taco that they can make at home for less than a dollar. Perhaps, instead of paying for a $6 coffee, you can brew an entire pot of coffee for a few pennies. Overtime they can add up and grow your savings rather quickly.
11.) Request hardship program. When your credit card debt is increasing and find yourself having difficulty paying regularly, it may be the right time to request for hardship program from your lender. Under this program, a lender may grant you lower interest rate or delay in payment. This in turn will give you a little breather in your finances until they are paid in full.