Money may not buy you happiness, but reality is you need cash to get through life. Facing financial hardships, or simply put, being broke, can be a tricky situation. Bad decisions, impulse spending, or unforeseen expenses, all can lead you to a tight spot financially. Luckily, you can save money in several realistic ways.
Here is a look at some simple and easy tips you can follow to save money:
1) Evaluate Your Spending
The first step you should take is figuring out your expenses. You need to know where your money is going before you can think about saving it. For instance, you might be forking out money on each new iteration of a particular smartphone (hey, I love my new iPhones too :)) If, instead, you use your current gadget for a while, you will save money (I still rock an iPhone 6S). Keep in mind that this is just an example. Derive maximum value from your current purchases by using them for a good part of their useful life.
2) Create a Monthly Budget
Creating a monthly budget can be a tricky task, particularly if you don’t have a clear idea of where your money is going. A simple way to go about this project is listing your fixed expenses. These include rent, utilities, and perhaps fuel. You cannot skip these expenses and thus, you should list them at the top of your budget. Next, you can move on to variable expenses, which are nonetheless important. For instance, your food cost might vary from month to month. That said, adding an estimate to your budget can help you get an idea of the amount of money you are spending on groceries and food. Check out the ideal household budget.
3) Calculate How Much Money You Can Save
Having tallied the amount of money you are spending on different items, you can determine the percentage of your disposable income that you will end up using. You can designate the remaining amount towards your savings. You can even set up a savings account where you deposit a certain amount of money every month.
4) Compare Prices
Whenever you are out making a major purchase, it is best to compare prices. Now, you probably already check multiple vendors or stores before you finally buy something, but if you don’t, you need to get into that habit. Comparing prices for different products, for instance in bundle packages or holiday deals, can help you save money. Check out different websites (such as kayak or amazon) and find the best price without having to compromise on the duration or quality. The same goes for any other products or services you use. Keep in mind that it is possible to cut costs without settling for less.
5) Cancel Subscriptions
Cancel any subscriptions that you no longer use. Some people retain newspaper subscriptions out of habit, even if they don’t actually read the paper. The same goes for your landline. If your primary means of communication is your smartphone, you don’t need to spend extra on your phone bill. Check all your subscriptions, including Netflix and Amazon Prime, and evaluate if you use them regularly. If you don’t, it’s best to cancel your subscription. Believe it or not, people still pay for AOL.
Check this out if you’re interested in the complete guide to paying off debt.
6) Less Expensive Outings
Weekends can be quite heavy on your pockets, especially if you have a group of friends who love to party. You can save money here by going to a less expensive restaurant or hit happy hour. Trust me, it’s more about who you’re with than where you go.
7) Save on Entertainment
When it comes to games, movies, and books, you can cut costs by begging, borrowing, or stealing (ha, just kidding about that last one). You can exchange PlayStation or Wii games with your friends. You can do the same with some movies and books. Go outside an ride a bike, play board games at the house, or walk a dog. Netflix or Hulu is a good option for a great range of streaming TV shows and/or movies.
8) Have a Yard Sale
Ransack your home and take out any items that you no longer have any use for, but which are in usable condition. You can set up a yard sale, or even list the items on eBay. You never know how valuable some of the ‘junk’ in your attic might turn out to be. If that doesn’t work, try selling them on Ebay.
9) Stick to Cash
Last, but not the least, avoid using a credit card. You are more inclined to spend beyond your means if you have a card with a decent limit. Instead, you can just pay in cash or use a digital wallet.
Saving money is a healthy habit that adds patience to your character making you a responsible and a wise spender which is an excellent quality to have.
How have you saved money before? Comment below!