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Many people tend to focus on how much they make and not enough on how much they save. Luckily, saving money isn’t rocket science. Anyone can find ways to cut down their spending.
What makes it difficult to save is that it requires some discipline and sacrifice.
Different life situations can make it even harder for some. That’s why it’s best to keep it simple. Don’t overthink, or stress out about it. Make it easy and try these 20 simple tips to help you save money.
It’s not how much you make; it’s how much you save.Arthur Williams
1. Eat at Home
I’m sure you have heard this one before. But there’s a good reason why it’s brought up so often.
Eating out is just plain expensive. Cooking at home really does save you quite a bit of money.
$50 at a grocery store goes a lot further than $50 at a restaurant.
2. Make a Budget
Instead of guessing why your savings account isn’t growing, make a budget. A budget will give you a financial map with directions to save money.
It will help you understand what you can and cannot afford.
Start budgeting as soon as possible. Read this article if you’re looking for some help on how to budget.
3. Track Your Spending
If you make a budget, you will have to track your spending. If you don’t feel like making a budget, then at the very least, you should keep track of your spending.
It’s the best financial habit to get into, and it is simple to do.
Many useful apps can help you keep track of your money.
Use whatever method works best for you. Even if you make a budget using a pen and paper, the benefits are the same.
4. Junk the Junk Food
Cutting out junk food will not only save you money but will also help you feel better.
Yes, fast food is convenient. You could even argue it’s inexpensive (if you order from the value menu).
However, it takes a significant toll on your health, and it’s still more expensive than eating at home.
Hitting the vending machine, buying junk food at the store, and drinking soda can all be easily avoided.
5. Shop Around
If you have a smartphone, you can easily compare prices and research the best places to shop.
Bigger purchases may take more time and effort, but the savings are well worth it.
Pay attention to price tags and opt for the cheaper brand whenever possible.
If you question the quality of a cheaper item, then get for what you feel comfortable with.
6. Meal Prep
A lot of meal preppers will spend an excessive amount of time prepping their meals.
You don’t have to take an entire day making food and meticulously planning each meal.
Of course, if that’s what you want to do, then more power to you. But if you’re short on time and want to keep it simple, just make bigger dinners/lunches, and save the leftovers. This will make it easy to skip the junk food and stop eating out.
Make sure you eat your leftovers though, tossing out edible food is almost the same as throwing away money.
7. Sell Extra Stuff
Do you have some things lying around that haven’t been used in years? It’s probably time to sell them then.
You can list your stuff on Craigslist, Facebook, a selling app, or even have a yard sale. This will also help you to declutter and keep yourself organized.
Just make sure you’re getting rid of things you have no intention of using ever again. Otherwise, you’ll end up buying them again and spending more money.
8. Negotiate Monthly Bills
You’d be surprised by how much you can save just by asking.
Call your insurance, your internet or cell phone provider, and ask them for a lower rate. The worst that can happen is they will say no.
At the same time compare rates online, ask your friends how much they pay a month, etc.
Give yourself peace of mind by knowing that you’re paying a fair price.
9. Adjust the Thermostat
Air conditioning and heating costs can start to add up. Find a temperature for each season that allows you to be comfortable and doesn’t jack up your bills.
If you’re cold, then put on an extra layer. If you’re hot, then wear fewer clothes or use a fan.
You will start to get used to the higher or lower temperatures and enjoy the savings you’ll get with smaller electricity/heating bills.
10. Don’t Save Your Debit or Credit Card Info
Every website will ask you to save your card information during the checkout process.
When you have the option to buy something without having to enter your card info, you’re more likely to make impulsive purchases.
Don’t make it easy to spend money, and you’re less likely to spend it!
Also, you will be less vulnerable to hackers by not having your card information stored on different websites.
11. Get a Library Card
Yes, libraries still exist. In fact, they have grown in popularity in some areas. A library is a magical place, and it’s not just a room full of books.
They have CD’s, DVD’s, audiobooks, magazines and more. You can even use their WIFI or computers to help cut the costs of your internet bill.
12. Cut Your Monthly Subscriptions
It seems like every company wants you to pay a monthly bill. While some services are worth it, be aware of those that are just a waste of money.
Maybe it’s time for a break from Netflix, and do you absolutely need Amazon Prime?
Cut out as many as you can, and you’ll end up keeping more of your paycheck.
13. Buy Used
Buying used items can save you a ton of money. Shop around and inspect each item to make sure they are in good useable condition.
New cars instantly lose value the moment you drive them off the lot. Opt for a used vehicle in good condition and have a mechanic inspect it.
Pretty much everything that is worth buying used is available to be purchased online.
14. Deposit Part of Every Paycheck Into a Savings Account
Most employers have an option to set up a direct deposit. Choose a certain percentage of your paycheck to be deposited into a savings account.
The account can be at a completely different financial institution. Forget this account exists, and before you know it, you will have a substantial nest egg.
A savings account will come in handy for emergencies, investing, or important purchases.
15. Take Care of Your Things
Get a case for your phone, try not to drop it and clean it once in a while. Make sure your vehicle is mechanically sound. Get regular oil changes, schedule preventative maintenance, and rotate the tires every 6k -8k miles.
Clean your appliances, your clothes, your furniture, etc.
When you take care of your things, they will last longer, and you end up buying fewer replacements.
16. Try to Lower Your Rent or Mortgage Payment
Alright, this one might not always be simple to do, but it can save you a ton. Look into some areas that have a lower cost of living. Maybe rent out a room or get a roommate.
Basically, try to find a more affordable place to live or get some help paying the rent/mortgage.
This could have a massive impact on your financial situation and make it much easier to save.
17. Ditch Your Bank and Use a Credit Union
Most banks have hefty fees. Banks are for-profit, and credit unions are non-profit organizations.
Credit unions are also owned by the members and have little to no fees at all. You will usually get better interest rates and more services.
Research some local credit unions and pick the one that best fits your needs.
18. Buy in Bulk
It may be worth the membership at a wholesale store to purchase your goods in bulk.
If it’s something that you use often, why not buy it in bulk?
Be careful, though. Some items don’t make sense to buy in mass quantities. You can also tend to use more of it just because you have so much.
But if you’re smart about it, you can save quite a bit and reduce the number of trips to the grocery store.
19. Get a Change Jar
Use an old pickle jar or coffee can to save your spare change. Don’t ignore the coins on the ground or in between your couch cushions.
Start collecting any change you find and stash it away. Eventually, you’ll accumulate a decent amount of money that you can dump into your savings.
Most credit unions have a machine you can use for free, or you can get gift cards using a Coinstar.
20. Be Grateful for What You Have
This is the simplest way to save money. Just by being grateful for the life you have and the possessions you already own.
When you’re grateful for what you have, you’re less likely to splurge on things you don’t need.
America is consumer-driven; everything screams at you to buy more! TV, social media, your friends, and family can all make you feel like you need more things.
Take a moment every day to tell yourself what you’re grateful for and express your gratitude often.