Money makes the world go round. It also amplifies people’s mindsets and habits – the reasons behind why they have much or less of it.
Experts say one habit financially successful people have is the ability to save.
Do you feel guilty or uncomfortable when saving money is being discussed? You have good intentions when it comes to saving money, but something always comes up. The car needs new tires, the child needs braces, the house needs a new roof—and just like that, saving money takes a back seat and life happens like they say. So, you put it off. You tell yourself you’ll find another time to save money, especially when you earn more.
Sorry to break your heart. In reality, you’ll only start saving money when you learn healthy money habits by letting your future needs be more important than your current wants. You don’t need everything to magically line up perfectly for you before you start saving. If you keep waiting for a better day, you might wake up at 70 only to find out that you have saved nothing for retirement.
You do not need to fall into that trap. There are plenty of practical ways to save money.
Here are some money-saving tips that will help breathe some fresh air into your budget.
- Say bye to debt.
Monthly debt payments are the greatest money drainers. Simply put, debt robs you of your income! So, the first thing you need to do is to get rid of that debt. Not sure how you can do that, one of the fastest method is to use the debt snowball method – where you pay off your debts in order from smallest to largest. If it sounds intense, don’t worry, it’s more about behaviour change than numbers. Once your income is freed up, you can finally use it to make progress toward your savings goals.
- Cut down on groceries:
Most people, after they do a budget, are shocked to find out how much they actually spend buying groceries. It is so easy to walk through those aisles, grabbing a few bags of chips there, and then top it off with the fun goodies at the register, including some items you think you might need but never use. But those little purchases add up quite a bit and end up blowing the budget every single month.
Cancel automatic subscriptions and memberships:
We know you love to watch those hard-to-miss TV programs, sit-coms and the likes so you end up having multiple subscriptions like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, gym memberships, trendy subscription boxes and Amazon Prime among others. Well, it’s time you cancel any subscriptions you don’t use on the regular and remember to turn off auto-renew when you make a purchase. You can subscribe again after cancelling and you realise you can’t live without it. We know that’s not possible. You can also cut cost by sharing memberships with family or friends.
- Cut ties with cable.
The average monthly price for cable TV has increased and doesn’t look like it will fall back anytime soon. There’s good news; Cable isn’t the only way to watch your favourite shows these days. Cut the cord and save using alternatives to cable like streaming services such as Youtube.
- Save money automatically:
Sounds brutal but it helps a lot. You can set up your bank account to automatically transfer funds from your checking account into a savings account every month. If that sounds too hard to do, you can also set up your direct deposit to automatically transfer 10 percent of each pay check into your savings account.
- Spend extra or unexpected income wisely:
When you get a nice work bonus, inheritance or tax refund, put it to good use. You can use those funds to pay off your debt. If you’re debt-free, use those extra money to build up your emergency fund for the rainy day.
- Reduce energy costs.
Did you know that you can save money on your electric bill just by making a few changes to your home? Start with some simple things like taking shorter showers, fixing leaky pipes, washing your clothes in cold tap water, and installing switches and LED lightbulbs that consume less energy.
- Pack lunch/ eat at home:
Buying lunch a few times a week may seem harmless in the moment, especially when your favourite restaurant is walking distance from your office, but you can save quite a bit of money just by packing a lunch bag/box. Do the calculations and find out for yourself. Prepare your food at home and watch your savings pile up, month after month.
- Lower your cell phone bill:
We know you love to talk to friends, family and colleagues a lot but if your monthly cell phone bill competes with your monthly grocery budget, it’s time to cut back. Save money on your cell service by letting go of costly data plans, phone insurance and useless warranties.
- DIY it!
Think about it. How about doing it yourself? Usually, the cost of materials and a simple Google or YouTube search will save you a ton of money on your latest home/vanity project. Also, think about having to pay someone to do it. If you’re the type that can’t seem to hit the nail on the head, you might want to ask a friend or neighbour for help so you don’t have to spend money.
- Sell everything you don’t need:
Do you really need/use everything you have in your house at the moment? Declutter the things in your home that you don’t need and are willing to let go of for the sake of your financial future. That vintage chair your aunt gave you or the crystal vase you found at an antique shop. Sell it! You’d be surprised at how much clutter you have in your home and the cash you can make on those things can be the difference.
Ready to start saving and reaching your money goals? There are free and paid for apps online that can help you keep track of all your budgeting and saving in one place. Don’t wait another day. Start your savings habit today!
Did we miss any tip? Do share with us in the comment section.