When you’re looking at your budget, you might be thinking there’s no easy way to save. Finding practical ways to save money can help you get out of debt and create a nest egg for your future. The hardest part is just getting started. By utilizing a realistic strategy, you can start saving money for all your short term and long-term goals.
Benefits Of Saving Money
Setting money aside requires discipline, but once you’ve created the habit, it can help you in various ways.
Saving For Emergencies
Emergencies are unexpected. If you knew an emergency would happen, you’d be able to plan for it, but unfortunately accidents, sudden illness, car repairs, and other emergent situations can come out of nowhere. Saving money can help you be prepared and ease your financial burden.
Nest Egg In Case Of Job Loss
Just like an emergency, most of the time you are not prepared for a job loss. Losing your job is traumatic, but having a nest egg in your time of crisis can ease your financial stress.
When you want to splurge on a fun family vacation, or a getaway with great friends, having money saved can keep you on track with your bills and keep you on budget. When you’re at your destination, you won’t be worrying about the financial obligations from home because your trip is already paid for from savings.
Provides Financial Freedom
Having savings provides peace of mind and comfort knowing that a buffer is needed if you become stuck financially.
Prepares For Down Payments Of Large Expenses
Saving money can help provide you with a sizable down payment when you’re ready to purchase a home or buy a new car. Most lenders will require a certain amount down before the loan is approved.
33 Money Saving Tips
So where do you begin? All the reasons to save money make it a no-brainer, but it can seem like a daunting process. Creating a simple, realistic strategy can help you reach your goals.
First, start by recording all your expenses. Figure out how much you spend each month on various bills, services, groceries, and household items. Once you have organized your data, you can start to look for ways to save money.
Saving On Services
Chances are likely that you have services that you likely don’t need or use. Keeping these subscriptions around is a waste of money. Consider removing the following to bulk up your savings.
- Streaming services: Many people have multiple streaming services, but how often do you use all of them. If you have extra monthly payment, you can set that amount aside for your savings.
- Cut ties with cable: If you haven’t already, getting rid of expensive cable plans can save you hundreds monthly. Find a cheaper streaming service and add an antenna to keep your local news and sports available at a push of a button.
- Utilize your local library: Your library is a gold mine filled with free books and entertainment. Instead of expensive Kindle services, take a trip to the library to find new books and eBooks available to rent – all for free!
- Cancel automatic subscriptions: Take a look through all your expenses and find out any that you can cancel. Unused gym memberships, trendy subscription boxes, phone apps, and unused computer software. They can all add up rapidly monthly, leaving a lot of potential money available for saving.
Savings At Home
Your home is a great place to start looking for savings. You and your family should consider the following to help boost your extra savings.
- Change Furnace Filters Regularly: By staying on top of regular maintenance like changing your furnace filters, your home’s HVAC unit will operate more efficiently. This will help lower monthly bills and reduce the chances of a big-ticket repair in the near future.
- Buy Generic: Don’t be afraid to buy generic. The quality is just as good as the name brand. Food, cleaning supplies, and even clothes can be purchased generic to save money.
- Reduce Energy Costs: There are many ways to reduce your energy costs. Start with simple switches like shortening your showers, addressing any leaky pipes, and washing your clothes in cold tap water. When your light bulbs burn out, replace them with new energy-efficient bulbs. And don’t forget to block out the sun with curtains to help alleviate cooling costs.
- Ditch the paper: Are you using disposable paper towels and napkins? If so, consider switching to reusable, washable options!
Making frugal choices with your transportation can help boost savings as well.
- Buy Used Cars: Purchasing a used car over a new car can be a better long term financial decision. If you find a quality used car with a great warranty, it can stand the test of time and limit the expenses to your pocketbook.
- Check Insurance Rates: Before renewing your existing insurance, be sure to comparison shop to see if you can find cheaper rates.
- Carpool when Possible: Carpooling is not only great for your budget, but for the environment. Limit your carbon footprint and save money when carpooling when you can.
- Check for lower airfares: Traveling can get expensive. Comparison-shop for airfares and rental cars to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
Reduce Your Spending On Food
You might not realize how much you’re spending on food, but it can quickly add up. A few trips to a restaurant or the local coffee shop can deter your savings goals.
- Meal Prep at Home: If you’re use to grabbing food out daily, consider meal prepping at home. Take a day each week to plan out your meals and prep them all. You can grab and go in the morning with your lunch and have ready to go meals for dinner!
- Buy Generic: As mentioned above, utilizing generic grocery options can help save a bundle.
- Make a Grocery List: Ever been to the grocery store hungry? If so, you likely spent a lot more than you were planning to because everything looked good. Before you start your shopping, put together a list of everything you need for the week. Create a meal plan and buy groceries from the recipes you choose. Be sure to have a quick snack so you don’t make any impulsive grocery purchases. You can even shop online to help keep your grocery list on track.
- Utilize Coupons and Check Ads: Most grocery stores have weekly ads filled with coupons and deals. Before you make your grocery list, take a look at the ad to see where you can save money before you head to the store.
- Skip the Coffee Shop: Spending $5 or more at the coffee shop daily could easily be going to your savings account instead. Consider buying a coffee maker and utilizing it each morning before you head out the door. Quality coffee can be at your fingertips at home, without the added daily expense.
- Commit to eating out less: Spending one or two less nights eating out at restaurants can easily save a hundred or more dollars per month.
- Drink Water: When you do eat out, consider only drinking water. Added drinks and appetizers can add up quickly!
Saving money on your health can not only increase your savings annually, but also improve your wealth for the future.
- Health Savings: If your employer offers a health savings account, be sure to take them up on it! All your routine exams, prescription costs, and over the counter medications can be paid with pre-tax money.
- Stay ahead of preventative health check ups: You should also consider staying on top of routine check ups. By staying ahead with health screenings, you can uncover problems that can be easily treated early one.
- Shop generic: Don’t be afraid to use the generic equivalent of prescription medications or over the counter medicines. Generic medications have the same active ingredients and are made to work the same as the name brand.
Everyone deserves to have fun and let their hair down, but it doesn’t have to blow the budget. Enjoy entertainment, but with a budget in mind!
- Only use budgeted money: Consider setting an entertainment budget and stick to it monthly.
- Staycation: Needing a getaway? Consider saving money and discovering a new part of town! Having a staycation with your loved ones is a great way to take a break from your day to day, without breaking the bank.
- Find free entertainment: Look for activities that are free – nature is always a great option! Beyond nature, many cities have music and plays in the park that you can enjoy free of charge.
Your banking and credit cards can help make or break your budget. Consider where and when you’re spending, and use these tips to help guide you with some money saving solutions.
- Use your banks’ ATM only: Avoid expensive transaction fees that can add up quickly by only utilizing the ATM of your bank or credit union.
- Pay credit cards on time: Don’t miss a payment or be late on your credit cards. Also, be sure to pay them off in full each month to avoid expensive interest.
- Save for a rainy day: You can also start a saving account to start a rainy day fund. Consider putting your tax refunds or unexpected bonuses to good use in your savings. You could also use them to pay off debt to help you reach your goals faster.
- Put your bills on autopay: Avoid late fees, pay less in interest and worry less about trying to remember when to pay your bills on time.
Saving for your retirement can help ensure financial stability when you need it the most.
- 401k Match: Take full advantage of any employer matched 401k retirement account. If not, you’re leaving free money on the table.
- Delay drawing social security: Get the most out of your social security benefits by waiting until you reach the age of 70 to start drawing you payments.
- Retire in the right state: Move to somewhere with a lower cost of living
- Staying Healthy: Prioritize your health. Being active not only creates a better life, but preventative care can be a major money saver.
There’s No Time Like The Present To Start Saving Money
Setting a budget is an intentional act that can help you start saving for your long-term goals. Stop the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck and create a plan to see where your money is going.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to a financial advisor to help guide you on how to save money. They can assess your goals and help create a plan to set you on the right path.