Making money is a priority for most people, but as important as making money is to know how to spend them. From college students who have to manage their finances for the first time to billionaires, every financially savvy person knows that saving money is crucial for someone who seeks financial security and well-being. For a prosperous future, start saving right away by implementing these simple, yet effective methods.
1. Leave credit cards at home.
Credit cards encourage one of the consumers’ worst behavior, which is impulse buying. Since it is so easy to hand out the credit card, you don’t actually realize how much money you are spending in the same way as when paying with real money, and this can easily lead to overspending. However, if you only have a strict cash amount with you when you go out, you know that you’re safe from the threat of impulse buys.
2. Wait for the best deal.
Whenever you want to purchase something, don’t hurry. Giving yourself some time to think means you will be able to search for the best offer or even find the possibility of buying on sale. Moreover, if you wait a while, you may discover that the purchase you are interested in is not really worth the money. You can save your money just by being flexible and doing your homework well before the purchase. Even in 24 hours, the product or service you want may suffer a discount. You can use price comparison sites to find your best deal. Good research is essential to saving money.
3. Cut the cord to cable TV.
Giving up television brings several financial benefits, besides saving a good chunk of money by not having to pay the expensive cable bill. You will be less exposed to ads that induce the desire to spend money, you will pay a lower electric bill, and you will be able to invest your time in other things, such as a side business, a freelancing project, or a hobby. The best thing is that you can still get your entertainment online.
4. Sign up for free customer rewards programs.
Many retailers want the loyalty of their customers and are willing to run attractive rewards program to have people return to their stores for more shopping. Collect discount cards, coupons, and earn points on each purchase by using reward credit cards, and you will be able to redeem them for cash or other benefits.
5. Invite your friends over instead of going out.
Going out to eat or have a drink at a bar with your friends can easily ruin your monthly budget for food and entertainment. The good thing is that you can easily provide your own entertainment at home, especially if you invite your friends over. You can play board games, have a movie marathon, or do some karaoke. Any idea you might get, it will surely not affect your budget as going out in the city.
6. Stick to a shopping list.
Not having a shopping list means you will end up making some unplanned purchases or buy on an impulse things you don’t really need. Especially when shopping for groceries, having a list is essential because it can help you stick to a meal plan and avoid wasting food. Creating a shopping list and sticking to it is a way to ensure you respect a strict budget.
7. Avoid fast food or prepackaged food.
It is easy to succumb to the temptation of choosing fast food for lunch or ordering some prepackaged dinner when you get home, especially if you live a busy, fast-paced life. However, while convenient, this option affects both your budget and your health. Try to prepare some simple and healthy meals at home to take with you for lunch. You can also cook a multi-day meal to save you money and time.
8. Quit smoking.
If you are a smoker, you know that it is a habit that devours quite an alarming amount of your money. It can also trigger potentially deadly illnesses. Knowing that you can add years to your life and save a good chunk of money should be enough motivation to quit. Although it is not easy to quit smoking, there are now many anti-smoking products that can help you through the process.
9. Try the store version of branded items.
Many basic foods and products come with a variety of brands. To save some money, try the store version of the things you usually buy. You will easily discover that the generic items available in stores are just as good as the more expensive branded alternatives. Most likely, the only true difference between the store item and the brand item is just the investment in marketing. Giving up the brands will reduce especially your grocery bill.
10. Cancel unnecessary subscriptions.
Probably you subscribed to some magazine or service in a burst of enthusiasm, but make sure that all your subscriptions still bring you value, otherwise it may be best to cancel them. If you have unread magazines or newspapers around the house, this is an obvious sign that you don’t actually benefit from those particular subscriptions. Make sure to check your online subscriptions as well. You may have forgotten about subscribing to some website or service online and they may still charge your credit card, without you realizing it.
11. Fix everyday problems yourself.
While this only works for smaller and insignificant issues, fixing things around the house by yourself is fairly easy. With a quick search, you can find video tutorials online showing you how to fix almost anything. It takes a bit of work, but it’s free. In some cases, paying for professional work is not necessary. Just give it a shot and if it goes well, you have a new skill that may make life easier for you in the future.
12. Take public transportation.
If your city has a developed transit system, you may consider giving it a try instead of driving your car daily. You will escape the hassle of being stuck in traffic and looking for a parking spot. However, the best thing is that you can buy a monthly transit pass at a cost than, when compared to using an automobile, will seem ludicrous.
13. Buy in bulk.
Regular non-perishable or slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, cleaning products, and many others can be usually bought in bulk. Normally, this will reduce drastically your weekly expenditure. However, make sure to work out a calculation and check if bulk buying is indeed cheaper in your store of choice. Some supermarkets have some deceiving deals, knowing that customers will firstly go for the big packages.