Millions of people have taken on the challenge to save money, but it can be difficult. It’s not uncommon for people to give up because they feel like there is no end in sight. But there are plenty of ways that you can better manage your money and increase your savings. Here are some smart ways to save on everything from transportation costs to groceries, so you have more cash left over each month for the things you really want.
1. Get used to saving money
There are all sorts of apps out now that can help you track your spending and balance your checkbook on the go. This will not only help you get better with your money, but it will also ensure that your bank account balance doesn’t get too low. It can be easy to forgo saving money when you feel like there isn’t enough. But by saving just a little bit of money every month (no matter how small the amount), you are still making progress towards your financial goals. A frugal lifestyle might not happen overnight, but with a little discipline, you will find it easier to save more every month!
2. Make a list before going shopping
Many times when we go grocery shopping or clothes shopping we buy things without thinking about what we already have at home or how much room our closet has available for new clothes. Shopping with a premade shopping list can save you money because when you run out of an item, you’ll know to add it to the list for next time. Shopping with a premade shopping list can also help you budget your spending more efficiently. For example, groceries can be expensive and by pre-planning what you’re going to buy, you can cut your grocery bill in half! By making a list before going out, it will help us decide what items are truly necessary, and it will help us avoid buying items that we didn’t put on the list. And if we don’t have to make a second trip to the store, then there are no extra trips or expenses.
3. Always search for rebates
Before heading out to make big purchases, especially appliances, electronics, etc… just make sure you thoroughly do your research online. Many times companies offer discounts or free shipping when they know you are about to make a big purchase. Or sometimes they will offer you an additional percentage off for using your credit card over cash or check. Be sure to take advantage of all available discounts before paying full price!
4. Find extra income and open up a savings account
There are ways to earn extra income by working around the house, doing odd jobs, or even starting up your own business. It’s also helpful to get rid of any and all unnecessary monthly expenses (cable, gym memberships). Sometimes by finding ways to make extra cash or lower monthly costs, you will find that there is more money left over each month for saving. It can be easy to forget about your money when you don’t physically see it in your wallet or bank statements. Having a savings account makes your money more available to you, and it’s always there as a reminder that you have been saving.
5. Don’t go out often and eat in more often
It might seem like a good idea to go out with friends or family for drinks and dinner, but it can get expensive. Try inviting people over instead! You’ll save money on the cost of going out, plus you will be less tempted to order an extra drink or dessert if you know there are no other costs involved. Cooking at home is almost always cheaper than eating out. Maybe it’s just an extra $2 here and there, but those dollars can really add up over time! It’s also great to spend some time with your family each night by cooking dinner together.
6. Avoid the ATM and buy in bulk
Taking out cash at an ATM or swiping your debit card at a POS terminal is almost always going to be a waste of money. Using cash makes us more aware of how much we are spending, and it’s also easier to keep track of what you have left in your wallet when the bills are physical. Whenever possible, buy items in bulk from warehouse stores. Not only is it more cost-effective, but you will also be able to eat healthier with bulk items like fresh produce and meats. A little planning goes a long way towards cutting down on unnecessary spending.
By following some of these suggestions, you can be sure to increase your savings and have more money available for the things that really matter. Just because something isn’t a necessity now doesn’t mean it can’t be one in the future. Also, remember that just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice fun! By entertaining yourself at home with board games or going for a walk instead of going out every night, you’ll find that there is more money available for savings and/or spending on things that really matter to you.