Does something always come in the way when you’re trying to save money? For most of us, spending money is much easier than saving it. However, a little practice can help you save money quickly for emergencies, college, or retirement.
While generating low income is one cause of financial struggles among some people, not spending wisely is the case for many others. Saving money is a financial habit that can reduce your stress levels, improve your credit score, and enable you to spend more money later. Whatever goal you aim to achieve, putting money into savings is a strategy you can’t afford to ignore.
Tips on How to Save Money
Here are 15 simple and proven money-saving tips that can get you closer to your financial goals.
1. Write Your Savings Goals
Writing down your goals is a surefire way of ensuring that they happen. When it comes to saving money, putting things in writing enhances your commitment.
By visually seeing your savings goals, your mind vividly describes them, and they become part of your priorities. You become more productive each day with a clear focus on what you need to achieve.
You can set a specific amount that you need to hit within a particular period. Better yet, write your goals in the present tense as though you’ve already accomplished them.
2. Track Your Income and Expenses
Many people rely on their financial statements to give them insight into how they spent money in the past days, weeks, or months. But it’s easier to track your income and expenses with a budget. It enables you to plan for the upcoming months and know how much money should go into bills and savings.
If you want to save more money, you can slash a few of your variable expenses or eliminate some non-essentials. For instance, you can start watching movies with your friends at home instead of going to the cinema. Save some of these unnecessary expenses only for special occasions.
Be sure to set realistic numbers when deciding how much of your earnings should go to savings. You’re always free to adjust your budget according to your present financial situation.
3. Pay off Your Debts
Bad debt is an enemy you should watch out for when it comes to achieving your financial dreams. Depending on the interest rates, delaying the clearing of debt comes with consequences such as not saving any cash.
You can save more money sooner by dealing with your high-interest debts first. If you leave the interest to accumulate on the balances, you’ll have to pay more. And what happens when most of your income goes into accrued debt interests? Saving money becomes something far-fetched!
It’s good to say goodbye to debt if you want to hit your savings goals. You’ll feel freed up and become more productive in generating more cash.
4. Automate Your Savings
If you can’t resist spending your extra money, automating your savings is the best way to go. This also applies if you’re forgetful or have a busy schedule from time to time. You could be a student dealing with school work, a graduate busy with interviews, or an employee with limited free hours.
Saving money as a routine can take some time. Making it an automatic process doesn’t give you the luxury of deciding what portion of your month’s earnings goes into your savings. Since there is no room for being reluctant, you can quickly achieve your savings goals.
Apps to do with banking and finances, in general, are useful automation tools for saving more money. You only have to authorize them to transfer a fixed amount or percentage of your monthly earnings to your savings account.
5. Do a No Spend Challenge
A no-spend challenge involves not spending money for a particular period. It’s good to do one when you’ve had a spending slip-up and want to save money fast for something big.
First, you need to pick a time for the challenge. It can be a weekend, a whole week, or a month. During this time, you can find other activities to keep yourself occupied.
Keep in mind that you should cover your fixed expenses as expected. These include mortgage/rent, insurance, and phone bill.
Things to cut out are found in the list of variable expenses and non-essentials. They include new clothes, Uber services, and unnecessary shopping.
Your no-spend challenge becomes successful when you follow your rules and avoid any temptations.
6. Cancel Your Automatic Subscriptions and Memberships
Many apps and sites automate subscriptions to make life easier for their customers. You won’t have to review all your invoices each month and make manual payments. The unfortunate part is that a significant chunk of your money may go toward products or services you no longer need or don’t use at a particular moment.
For instance, you paid to stream a TV show on Netflix. After a week, it becomes boring, and you add subscriptions from other video-on-demand services like Hulu and Amazon Prime for site-specific shows. If you had set an automatic subscription, your money goes to all these services, even though you’re watching something that takes a month or two to finish on only one streaming platform.
You can unsubscribe or even share memberships with your family and friends to cut costs. Many of these services allow multiple users at the same time. Other than that, waiting until your budget gets better and enough to restore your subscriptions is the way to go.
Feel free to read this guide on finding and cancellling unused subscriptions, whether it’s a subscription to an app, an online platform, the gym, a magazine, or any other.
7. Eat at Home More
Here comes a great money-saving idea when it comes to food. One of the benefits of eating at home is that you get a chance to save more money.
Home-cooked meals are cheaper than carry-out and restaurant food. A meal at the restaurant covers the costs of preparing and serving it. Deliveries include extra fees on top of it all.
Buying ingredients and preparing your meal often is essential for cutting down your food budget. You can control your intake of every nutrient you need and never spend money on supplements.
Also, you scale down your portion sizes because some restaurants only have fixed portions for certain meals. You save money that would have gone to the food you can’t finish when dining out.
You can do the same for drinks such as coffee and juices. Only a little equipment for preparing them, and you’re good to go!
8. Start a Side Hustle
You can save money quickly by generating extra bucks with a side hustle. You don’t need to be an expert to get things done. But a higher skill level can go a long way toward making you earn a respectable amount of cash.
If you look around your neighborhood, you might notice people who have pets to be cared for, items to be delivered, or a house that needs cleaning. The Internet is also a great place to find lucrative side jobs.
You can start a side hustle on Fiverr and work remotely. Such sites receive tons of job postings from clients who need digital services such as content writing, website building, and graphic design.
It’s possible to learn some of these skills and earn money online with them. Check out Internet resources, buy some e-courses, and network with people on social media to kick-start your online side hustle in style. Dedicate what you earn to savings and watch your account balance grow.
9. Sell Used Items
Most people have items they no longer use or won’t use until a future date. They lie in the storage room for ages until they become defunct and of no value. Selling the items is the best way to get rid of them while pocketing some cash.
Garage sales are perfect for getting your neighbors and passers-by to buy from you. You can sell old games, picture frames, or furniture and bring in good sums of money. You might be surprised by the number of people in your area who are obsessed with the items you have!
Another way is to sell your products online on online marketplaces such as eBay. Whatever site you use, be sure to read their guidelines regarding the selling of used items.
Check out this guide on 60+ ways to earn extra money for more money-making ideas!
10. Do It Yourself!
Doing DIY projects allows you to create something on your own while saving cash you would have spent hiring professionals. We’re often lazy to do things by ourselves and resort to getting others to do it for us.
You can learn to do manual activities like mowing the lawn, fixing a broken pipe, or replacing a car tire. Your friends or neighbors can help you learn such skills, and you won’t have to spend a dime on them until you achieve your financial goals.
If you run an online business, it’s best to practice doing the associated digital skills yourself. It can be creating content for your website, maintaining the technical aspects of an online store, or marketing your products and services online.
11. Time Your Purchases
The demand for a good number of products and services changes all year round. You can save a significant amount of cash on high-priced goods by timing your purchases. You only need to know when a product’s price is at its lowest.
Many sellers, for instance, lower their prices for old stocks when new ones arrive. Such times are good for making your orders at discounted prices.
It’s also a good practice to buy things and store them before their prices hike up. These include products that go in high demand during particular events or holidays. If the prices tend to go down during festivities, waiting to purchase something at that time is the best option.
Online shoppers always get a chance to enjoy product coupons, gifts, and deals during Black Fridays and the anniversaries of the merchants they use. You can take advantage of this and save more money on the things you love buying.
12. Unsubscribe from Emails
Because almost everyone has an email address, email marketing is a powerful way of reaching buyers. If you look at your email accounts connected to online merchants, you’ll notice promo emails offering flash sales, discounts, and coupons. Although these emails might help you discover new products, you may end up buying lots of unnecessary stuff because they’re “on sale.”
Subscribing for email updates on various sites can cause a similar effect. Email marketers use extraordinary strategies to encourage people to buy products or services from them. If by chance, you submit your details on a malicious site, you might even see ads from random sellers in your emails.
If you’re one who can’t resist entering their card information when they see special offers, it’s time to unsubscribe from receiving such emails. Only reserve a spot for the offers that help you save money fast and achieve your financial goals.
13. Go on Staycations to Save Money
You don’t have to travel abroad to experience some of the best moments of your life. If you take a closer look, you can find many awesome spots for a staycation within your location.
Most vacations involve expensive hotels and means of travel. People like to make such moments memorable and spend lots of money to keep the fun going.
You can save hundreds or thousands of dollars by touring your own city. It’s also a perfect opportunity to explore your neighborhood with new eyes and appreciate the beautiful scenery close to you.
14. Visit the Library More
If you love reading, you get an irresistible urge to stack your shelves with a wide variety of books from all your favorite authors. It’s good to have reading materials within your reach. But you can avoid clicking the “add to cart” button and still enjoy reading any book you want.
Going to the library is the best way to save money if you’re an avid reader. You can borrow a few books and read them from the comfort of your home.
Modern libraries have audiobooks and digital copies of popular books in various fields. It’s possible to uphold your reading habits without purchasing books and other materials too often.
15. Ask for Discounts
Many sellers usually reward their regular customers with discounted prices from time to time. If you feel like you deserve one, ask for it! They’ll feel bad not offering you a discount if you’ve been buying from them for some time.
Another approach is inquiring about it. Here, you don’t ask for any special discount but find out if there’s one on offer. Many places requiring paid entry give price cuts to students, specific career people, and senior citizens.
So, the next time you’re buying tickets for an event, check whether they can offer you any discounts.
Start Saving Today
The sooner you start saving, the easier it becomes to unlock your financial potential. You can start slow and master the game as time goes by.
Try a few of the money-saving tips on this list and see how it changes your financial situation. You’re free to decide on what you want to try out first without being hard on yourself.
Your future self will benefit from the saving habits you cultivate today!