Saving money is likely easier than you think. By finding ways to shave off a few dollars here and there, you can start putting substantially more money in the bank—or start paying your debt off faster. Below are 10 easy tips to help you get started.
Tip #1 Make A Budget
If you haven’t yet set a monthly budget, now is an excellent time to begin. Create specific budget categories: rent, utilities, food, dining out, entertainment, clothing, etc. Most new to budgeting find that they spend far more in each category then they imagine, which is an excellent way to identify where to cut back.
Tip #2 Start Using Coupons
No need to extreme coupon, but you certainly can if you want to. Start clipping coupons you find in the mail, and head online to your favorite retailers. If you sign up for their monthly newsletter, or follow them on social media—they will often provide you with exclusive discounts.
Tip #3 Slash Your Entertainment Budget
Life is worth living—so hobbies, entertainment, and socialization are essential. Cut way back on your entertainment budget by hosting pot lucks instead of eating out. Finding more outings on Groupon and Living Social. Identify more free entertainment ideas.
Tip #4 Consolidate Debt
If you have multiple credit cards, see if you can consolidate them to one credit card with a lower monthly interest rate. Not only will you pay less each month in interest, but you will have fewer monthly payments.
Tip #5 Ditch Your Car
Cars are expensive, but public transportation is quite cost effective. While this may not be feasible for everyone, consider giving up your car. If you can’t give up your car, car pool when you can.
Tip #6 Limit Eating Out
Once you determine your monthly budget for dining out, continue to search for ways to whittle it down even more. For example, invest in a Kurig and make your own café coffee at home—instead of spending $5 each day in a coffee shop.
Tip #7 Buy In Bulk
Anytime you can buy household essentials in bulk, you will pay significantly less per item. This may require a larger upfront investment, but all that you buy will last longer—saving you money in the long run.
Tip #8 Set A Weekly Cash Allowance
Debit and credit cards make it so tempting and easy to spend beyond your budget. Start leaving your credit cards at home, and give yourself a weekly cash allowance. When it runs out, your done spending. If not cash, use a pre-paid debit card or your preferred electronic wallet of choice.
Tip #9 Trim The Excess
To achieve your financial goals, you may need to cut back on some of your non-essentials. Non-essentials will be different for everyone. This might mean monthly main/pedis instead of weekly. Or maybe you take a break from an extracurricular activity.
Tip #10 Cook From Scratch
Even if you don’t eat out, if you buy a lot of prepackaged foods—you are paying for the processing. Look for healthy, fast, and easy recipes that you can cook from scratch. You can even look for recipes that you can cook in bulk and freeze.
Saving money sounds hard, but it doesn’t have to be! If you can cut back in $10 dollars from each of the areas above, you will have a $100 more to save or invest each month.