Ever since I was a kid I was brought up to be frugal and to save and budget money. * Disclaimer: I am not a financial planner.
How To Save Money?
Create a budget.
A budget is a plan for how you’ll spend your money. It helps you save money by giving you a clear idea of how much money will be available to spend at any given time, and it also keeps track of what has already been spent. If you have trouble saving money, creating a budget can help keep things more organized so that there aren’t any surprises with the bills later in life.
In order to create a budget, make sure that all of your monthly expenses are accounted for first: rent/mortgage payment(s); utilities (electricity/gas/water); cell phone bill; Internet service; grocery shopping; gas for car(s); etc. Next, write down all of the irregular expenses such as car insurance payments or student loan payments that come due less often than monthly but still need to be factored into long-term planning since they affect how much other things cost each month over time too (e.g., $100 increase per year on an $800 annual expense). Then add up everything together! This number represents how much money comes into each month--and this is what should be considered when deciding whether or not something else should be bought with cash instead (read: no credit cards).
Next comes tracking what gets spent during each month--which means keeping track not only about ourselves but also about those around us who may use our money without asking first (or even worse yet: ask before spending). One way to do this would be through an app like Mint which automatically transfers funds between accounts based on budgets set beforehand by its users (thereby eliminating risk associated with forgetting which account contains X amount because everything looks similar within one interface). Another method would involve using pen & paper or an Excel spreadsheet where columns represent categories such as “Groceries," "Travel" or "Entertainment." You could also just use different colors while writing down purchases so they stand out better next time someone wants access
Carry only enough cash for the day.
If you need to carry money, only bring what you'll use in a day. If you've run out of cash and are forced to withdraw money from an ATM, consider using low-to-no fee checking accounts or credit unions for your banking needs instead of opting for one that charges exorbitant fees. Some banks will even reimburse the fees if you open an account with them and then leave within two years!
There are many reasons why having less cash on hand can be beneficial:
- It can help keep track of what you're spending each day
- It prevents impulse purchases or spending more than necessary during transactions (e.g., paying for things using a card with rewards)
- It prevents excessive debt by avoiding interest charges and late fees
Keep track of your expenses.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is keep track of your expenses. This will help you identify areas where you can save money and also see how much money you are spending on certain things.
Try keeping a written record of all your expenses in a spreadsheet or notebook, including income and bills. A budgeting app such as Mint also allows users to keep track of their expenses and income by connecting to their bank account(s). If you prefer not to use an app, there are several free online budgeting tools available that offer similar features but with less functionality than paid versions provide.
If budgeting isn't something that appeals to you or if it seems like too much work, try paying attention when shopping so that it becomes second nature over time instead!
Think before you spend.
One of the best ways to save money is to think before you spend. This means that, instead of just buying something impulsively and then forgetting about it, you should ask yourself questions like:
- What am I buying? Why do I need this? Can I get it cheaper somewhere else? Will this item last for a long time? How often will I use it and how much will I use it per day/week/month/year (the more often and the more heavily an item is used, the longer its lifespan). Do I already have something similar in my home or at work that could be used instead of buying a new one. How much does this item cost relative to its usefulness (for example: if it breaks after one month but was expensive, did paying for its replacement make sense)? If not replacing an item would mean spending more money on something else later on due to waste or lack of quality control [or whatever your reason], think about whether there are other ways around these problems without having bought them in advance (such as finding another way around your waste problem).
Get rid of debt
Debt is a major problem for many people. It's not uncommon for people to have student loans, credit card debt, and mortgages on top of their regular monthly expenses. If you're struggling with debt, you might want to consider getting rid of it before you start saving money.
Debt has several negative effects on your financial health: it can make you less likely to save money or even spend what little savings you have; it forces you into an unhealthy relationship with money (for example, by making impulse purchases); and in some cases it could even cause depression or anxiety because every month seems like yet another battle just to get by.
Follow the 50/30/20 rule.
The 50/30/20 rule is a way to divide your income into three parts. The first part is your income after taxes, the second part is your expenses and the third part is savings.
The rule suggests you spend 50 percent of your money on necessities like food, shelter and clothing. 30 percent should be set aside for entertainment, vacations and hobbies. 20 percent of what's left over goes into savings or investments. This system makes it easier to see where all of your money goes at the end of the month without having to write out long lists or keep track in a spreadsheet program like Excel or Google Sheets -- which can be tedious!
Utilise coupons and sales offers as effectively as possible.
When you have a coupon, don't be afraid to use it. Some people think that it seems cheap or needy to use coupons. The truth is that most stores actually hope you will use your coupons so they can make more money off of you!
Don't be afraid to ask for a discount either. Sometimes the cashier won't offer one because they don't want their manager mad at them, but if they see that you're going shopping anyway, why not try? It's worth trying once in awhile just in case there's something that catches their eye and makes them want to give out a discount.
Finally, if there are two items with different prices available at different stores (like one store has an item on sale while another does not) then shop at the store where the item is cheaper by itself and take advantage of its sale price! The more ways in which you can save money on an item, the better!
Avoid impulse shopping and online shopping in particular.
Impulse shopping is a bad habit that can cost you money. If you want to save, avoid online shopping in particular.
Online shopping is alluring because it's so easy and convenient. But as we've seen, it can make it hard for us to stop when we should and think about the consequences of our purchase. So if you're going to shop online, take a break from the computer or mobile device first!
Avoid paying any unnecessary fees.
Avoid paying any unnecessary fees.
There are plenty of ways to cut back on the amount you’re spending on fees, especially when it comes to banking and credit cards. For example:
- Avoid paying fees for things you don’t need. Some banks charge a monthly fee just to have a checking account or pay your bills by mail—even if you never make a deposit or withdraw money from an ATM. Others will charge annual fees for basic accounts, especially if they don’t meet certain requirements (like having direct deposit). Before opening any bank account, ask about the different options available and compare them to find one that fits your needs without costing too much.
- Avoid paying fees for things you can get for free (or less than what others charge). If there's something like insurance or auto maintenance that costs money every month, consider whether there's an alternative that could save money in the long run (and maybe even offer better coverage). For example: If you want satellite radio service but don't need all its features—like traffic reports—look into buying just what's needed instead of buying their whole package; this way it won't cost as much per month compared with what other services charge.
If you are really serious about saving money, you should create a budget, keep track of your expenses, avoid spending on things that you don't need and pay off your debts at the earliest possible time.
If you are really serious about saving money, you should create a budget and keep track of your expenses.
Do not spend on things that you don't need and pay off your debts at the earliest possible time.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to save money. It’s all about being smart with how you spend and thinking before you buy anything. Don’t be afraid to try some of these tips and tricks out for yourself!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2022 Shanon Sandquist