It is easy for us to say that we save money or that we know how to save money, but, when asked how much we have saved in a year, we start guessing numbers like we’re betting in a lotto kiosk. It’s a wonderful feeling of fulfillment when we actually know the amount that we’ve saved – or when we see our savings going up.
Here are some tips on how to save money:
- Plan it –Start your plan by using a notebook and list WHAT you plan to save for and HOW you plan to do it.
- Create a budget list – Identify a budget and keep track of your expenses. Your budget can be a weekly or monthly list as long as you can stay within your boundaries.
- Craft your grocery list – Going up and down each aisle in the grocery store can be tempting especially when your favorite items are on sale! But, buy only what you need; don’t fill your cart with items just because payday has arrived.
- Keep track of all your spending – Write down everything that you have spent money on so that you can analyze where your money is going. Some items may seem insignificant – like a cup of coffee or eating out for lunch – but think about how many times you have spent impulsively and then add that up. Sometimes, you don’t realize where your money has gone until you take the time to write out your expense list. You’ll be surprised!
- Collect all your receipts – Gather all your receipts and stack them by dates in an envelope every month as another way of tracking your spending. Make it a habit to check your receipts since machines can make mistakes. Or, perhaps you had a coupon or thought that an item was on sale and the cashier did not input the information. It helps to check your receipt before you actually leave the store.
- Find a way to cut some unnecessary expenses – There are some things that you can do without. Not only will you save money, but you improve your health at the same time. For example, do you really need the extra bottle of soda or sugary snacks? You’ll end up smiling that you did the right thing.
- Pack lunch to work – Commit yourself to preparing a good healthy lunch instead of eating out. Making something from home is always cheaper and you have the choice to choose what is healthier.
- Dare to compare – Grocery stores and gasoline stations sell the same items, but sometimes one location can be cheaper than the other. Compare prices and shop where the savings are bigger.
- Go generic on prescription drugs – I frequently ask my doctor for an alternative generic drug for my prescriptions. Generic and prescription drugs can do the same exact thing.
- Piggy bank your loose change – We have an empty bottle that we fill with pocket change. It’s fun to see the bottle fill up and to guess how much money is inside. By the time the bottle is full, there’s usually about $20 that we can use for groceries or gasoline.
- Open a specific bank account – Saving should become automatic to you. Open a savings account and make a commitment to use the funds only for an emergency. (Determine what that “emergency” could be.) Deposit any extra dollars that you have and don’t touch the money for any reason unless absolutely necessary.
- Save money from your tax annually – Imagine if you have a five-year commitment of $500 per year of savings from your taxes. It would save you about $2500 every five years and that money can be added to your savings.
- Collecting coupons – Start collecting them from newspapers, magazines, and from the internet. If you do your online research well, you should be able to save more from most of your grocery and shopping expenses. But, only collect coupons for items that you can use. Some coupons offer great savings, but you’re only wasting money if you are purchasing items that you don’t regularly use nor have a need for.
- Unplug your electronics – Be mindful to unplug your coffee maker, toaster, oven, and charger after each use. Doing this can save you a few dollars every month from your electrical bills.
- Utilize the library’s e-books – Instead of buying books you’d like to read, browse the library for the latest e-books of the topic you’re looking for. This will save you money…and space!
- Get sale updates – Many stores promote their sales through email and text messages. Sign up for sale updates and online coupons.
- Limit your spending on family gifts – Unfortunately, even with good intentions, many family gifts go unused. Be creative about what you purchase for your family and how much you want to spend. Remember, not every gift has to be a material item.
- Quality over the price – Always think ahead of the quality of an item over the price to avoid quick wear-out or products that don’t last as long. Consider the quality factors instead of buying something you’ll regret getting in the end.
- Garage sale – Having a garage sale is still an amazing idea; what you no longer need could be the exact item that someone is looking for.
- Zero spending day – If you look around your home, you will realize how much you already have in your kitchen or closet! Plan a day where you don’t spend a single penny on food by making something homemade with the ingredients you already have. Or look in your closet for clothes that you haven’t worn yet. You’ll probably find an outfit that you forgot you had!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the money tips I have written for you today. You may have already thought about some of them, but it’s always a good remind to save money.
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