There are many different ways to save money but no matter how you cut it, if you want to save more money you will have to spend less of it and be willing to make some changes to your lifestyle.
Without developing new spending habits as such as going out less, buy products on sale and steep discount instead of full price, and eliminate some existing spending out entirely — you cannot be that effective in saving money.
That being said, changing the way you spend money by reducing unnecessary spending and budgeting doesn’t have to be something you dread when you start out with several simple changes.
When you have a goal or reason to save your money that changes your life for the good that far outweighs the little changes you make to your lifestyle — you’ll find it to be a more positive experience. Try implementing the tips as soon as possible and starting saving some of your hard earned cash!
1. Set and Stick to Your Budget
Sticking to a budget can ensure you have enough to pay your bills and save a specific amount monthly whether if it is for a big purchase, travel, or retirement. When you have this in place, you can prioritize spending and develop better spending habits.
Having a specific amount of “spending money” that is outside monthly expenses can help you save money for more important things while prioritizing how you wish to use your “spending money”. So, it is up to you to decide if you wish to either buy coffee a few times a week or go watch a movie at the theater once a week.
Also if there is something you wish to purchase for entertainment outside of necessities, a budget can help you limit your spending mostly on necessities and less on frivolous items. If you’re doing much of the above, you’re already saving more money while spending wisely.
2. Reduce Spending on Food & Beverages
Most of us have a Coffee maker so we can brew it at home. Many of us say it is more convenient to buy at our favorite coffee shop, but brewing a cup or two would take less time when you consider the long line ups at the cashier or drive through.
Investing in a good thermos and/or traveling mugs are small costs when you get a lot of use out of them and it can allow for you to save more money especially if you like to drink more than one coffee in the morning.
Making your lunch for work can be as easy as taking some leftovers, but the savings can add up quite a bit. Just 20 lunches a month (5 per week) at $7 each would cost $140.
Other food costs such as buying Pizza every week could be reduced just by making it at home. You can cut the cost more than half by buying pre-made pizzas at the grocery store, but you can save even more money by making your own. For the cost of one delivered pizza, you can make several homemade ones.
Bottled water can add up as well as it is very overpriced. Investing in a water filtration unit or just using a product like Brita, can provide you with purified drinking water while saving you a lot of money in the process. If you like to take water while you commute, you just need to fill up your preferred water bottle of choice that you can reuse over and over.
If you buy juice or pop out of a vending machine each work day, you could keep a lot of that money in your pocket if you would buy a case of your favorite beverages when you do your grocery shopping so you can take them to work for break and lunch.
Each individual drink would be half the price or more than what it would cost in a vending machine or the closest variety store.
3. Bargain Hunting
Keeping a lookout for deals and coupons can be a great way to save money on your groceries and other products that you need. You can definitely get more for your money when doing this regularly.
Buying in bulk can save money as well, and specific stores like Sam’s Club and Costco specialize in selling products in bulk.
Group buying has become popular in the last few years and it’s another way you can find great deals. Groupon and Living Social have been two of the most popular sites of its kinds at this time.
Liquidation stores can be another way to save money off clothes and other products while finding quality products. Winners is a popular store, which is basically a liquidation store although it’s much more organized and focuses on designer and higher quality products.
Shopping online can sometimes be an easier way to find fantastic deals and you can save so much time while finding exactly what you want.
4. Buying Products Second Hand
Buying second hand is another way to save money that a lot of people do not do. Shopping at thrift like Good Will, Value Village, and The Salvation Army stores is a great way in finding a variety of clothing and other items for super affordable prices.
You can also find used products on Auction sites like eBay, where it makes it easy to purchase products and have them shipped to you by the seller. Just make sure you buy from a reputable seller. You can also find used products for good prices on Classified sections of your local newspaper or websites like Kijiji and Craigslist.
2. Reduce Energy Costs When Possible
You can dramatically reduce energy cost by using energy efficient light bulbs, like Compact Florescent Lights (CFL) and save even more with Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs. More and more options for LED lights are available, which makes them the more attractive choice since you’ll save much more energy and money with by using them.
In addition, this list should help you reduce energy and the additional costs on your electricity bill that comes with it:
- Turn off the lights when you don’t need them or not in the room
- Reduce air condition costs by using less and using ceiling fans more
- Close blinds during hot summer days to block direct sunlight from overheating your rooms
- Keep blinds open during winter or days that it is very cool to allow the sun to warm up your house as much as possible
- Turn computer off when finished for the night so you’re not paying for energy you aren’t utilizing
- Close air vents in rooms you don’t use as much
- Ensure hot water heater temperature is set no higher than 120 degrees
6. Pay Off Debts & Decrease Interest Incurred
Credit Card debt can be one of the worst and common kind of debt people experience and one of the hardest to pay off if people do not attempt to pay it off fast enough.
Credit Card debt as well as other debts is like a reverse investment. It’s actually very rare to find investments with such high interest rates!Just like investments the interest on what you borrow also compounds and you end up getting charged interest on your interest, like a snow ball effect.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to only pay off the minimum payment required on their balance each month.
In order to save money that is just getting burned up as interest incurred on your debt, you need to prioritize paying off your debt as soon as possible, and start with the credit card or other debt such as line of credit, and others that have the highest interest rate.
7. Reduce Recurring Payments
Next to mortgage and energy costs – recurring costs that come out each month like your phone, internet, cell phone, and cable bills can add up to a hefty amount. Sometimes bundling services that are from one company can save you quite a bit of money.
You may also want to consider lowering costs by either dropping some plans or reducing them to a lower level such as your cell phone plan to no a data plan, which includes just text and call plan.
Now days public WiFi is available just about everywhere. Most of us can probably wait to lurk Facebook or look something up online til we get home to are computer anyway if we were honest with ourselves.
I know of some families that pay well over $400/month for data packages on their iPhones. If they just dropped the data package for each person they could save around $300/month. That’s $3,600 a year.
There are finance plans where you can actually own your car when you’re done the payments for around $300 a month over several years without a down payment.
Most of the lower packages without “data” still include unlimited text, a reasonable amount of day minutes, and unlimited minutes – including long distance after 5 or 6 PM at night.
If you want to get out of debt you may want to check out this article too.