Do you ever feel that it’s difficult to find methods to save money, no matter how hard you try? Despite your best efforts to save expenses, something always unexpectedly arises. Saving money is put on hold when life gets in the way—the car needs new tires, the teenager needs braces, the house needs a new roof. Sounds recognizable?
In actuality, you don’t need every circumstance to be ideal before you begin conserving money. Warning: You will never see it if you wait for the “perfect time” to arrive. Now is the ideal moment to begin saving.
The good news is that there are many simple strategies to save money and give your budget some new life (and money). Here are few money-saving suggestions to help you adjust your expenditure and start saving money quickly.
Realistic Ways to Cut Costs
1. Leave debt behind.
When it comes to conserving money, monthly debt payments are the biggest money drain. Your income is taken away by debt! Therefore, it’s high time you paid off that loan. The debt snowball strategy is the quickest way to pay off debt. Here, you settle your bills in size order, lowest to greatest. Sounds a little intense, no? Don’t worry; behavioural modification is more important than numbers here. You can finally use your extra money to advance toward your savings goals after it has been freed up.
2. Reduce your grocery spending.
After creating a budget, the majority of consumers are surprised by their real monthly grocery spending. And if you’re a four-person American family who is typically frugal, you’re probably spending about $966.1. Yikes! It’s incredibly simple to go through those aisles, picking a pack of Oreos here and a few bags of chips there, and then topping it off with the exciting treats at the checkout. But those modest expenditures (also known as budget busters) build up significantly and cause the budget to go over every month.
Create a budget right away using EveryDollar!
Plan your meals for the week in advance and thoroughly check your pantry before you go to the shop to save money on groceries. Since you already own it, why would you want to purchase more of it? Leave the kids home if you really want to follow your list.
Want to cut costs and save time? Try online grocery delivery or pickup. These days, the majority of large grocery stores provide it (sometimes even for free), and it can save you a ton of money. By picking up your groceries, you avoid any temptation that would have arisen from smelling those hot, freshly made chocolate chip cookies wafting through the aisles. In other words, you are compelled to follow your plan and refrain from impulsive purchases.
3. Terminate automatic memberships and subscriptions that you don’t utilize.
You probably have several subscriptions, including Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, gym dues, trendy subscription boxes, and Amazon Prime. Any subscriptions you don’t use frequently need to be canceled. Additionally, when you make a purchase, make sure to deactivate auto-renewal. If you unsubscribe and later decide you can’t live without it, consider subscribing once again—but only if it is within your new, more realistic budget.
Giving up on brand names is undoubtedly one of the simplest ways to cut costs. The marketing of name-brand products is typically the only improvement. Look at that box, for example! The logo is very elegant. And that pretty about sums it up. In comparison to their marked-up name-brand counterparts, generic versions of medicines, everyday foods (such as rice and beans), cleaning products, and paper products are significantly less expensive and equally effective.
5. Use cable to cut ties.
It is no secret that cable subscription costs are skyrocketing. In the past three years, the average cable TV bill has increased by 52%! 2 The good news is that you don’t have to watch your favorite shows on cable anymore. Cut the cord and learn how to save a ton of money utilizing network apps and streaming services as cable alternatives.
Don’t go subscription service happy though, just remember that. Only register for streaming services that you want to use. You might actually spend more than just cable if you sign up for everything available.
6. Automatically save cash.
You can save money without even realizing it, did you know that? Yes, you can program your bank account to move money automatically each month from your checking account to a savings account. You can also set up your direct deposit so that 10% of each paycheck is automatically sent into your savings account if that makes you uncomfortable. Boom!
7. Make judicious use of excess or unforeseen revenue.
Use any attractive work bonuses, inheritances, or tax refunds you receive wisely. And when we say “good use,” we don’t mean putting it in the bank to camp out or even just adding that nice new stamp to your collection.
You would be better off spending those monies to settle any outstanding credit card debt or school loans if you are still in debt rather than saving them. If you don’t have any debt, utilize the extra money to increase your emergency fund—you know, just in case.
8. Change the amount of tax withheld.
Speaking of unforeseen cash, if you consistently receive sizable tax returns, it’s time to change the amount of tax withheld from your paycheck. You’ll earn even more money each month if you do this. Additionally, you don’t want to give the government any more money than is really necessary.
9. Lower your energy bills.
Did you know that by making a few small changes to your house, you can reduce the cost of your electricity bill? Start small by doing things like washing your clothes in cold water, repairing faulty pipes, taking shorter showers (we didn’t suggest fewer), and installing dimmer switches and LED lightbulbs.
Even though buying new, energy-efficient appliances will help you save your electric bill costs, they are pricey! But if you budget for it each month, you can eventually save up and pay cash for those upgrades.
10. Verify the cost of your insurance.
Actually, no. Did you know that having an Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) verify your insurance prices will save you, on average, $700? $700! You owe it to yourself to at the very least ask them to check over your finances and find any savings.
11. Bring lunch (and eat at home).
Get this: The average household spends $3,030 year on food purchased outside the home.
3 That equals $253 a month. Even though buying lunch a few times a week may seem harmless at the time (especially if your favorite eatery is close to your place of employment), packing your own lunch can actually save you quite a bit of money.
In addition, you frequently pay the same amount for two dinners out and a full week’s worth of groceries. Instead, make your meals at home and watch your monthly savings grow.
12. Inquire about promotions (and pay in cash).
Asking is the only way to find out, so do it often. Check to see if there are any senior, student, teacher, military, or AAA member discounts the next time you purchase tickets for a movie theater, museum, or sporting event. If not, remember that having money when you bargain is always a plus!
13. Use your retirement savings plan to its full potential.
If your workplace provides a 401(k) match and you aren’t making the most of it, you are seriously losing out! To set up an account, speak with your HR department. But keep in mind that you shouldn’t begin saving and investing for retirement until you’re completely debt-free (apart from your home) and have a fully loaded emergency fund of three to six months.