Looking to save? There’s two ways to find the money to do this. 1) Make more money, or 2) spend less. (or 3, both!) This is common sense, but easier said than done in many cases.
Adopt a cash-only policy
Handing over a credit card doesn’t feel like much. It’s a seemingly painless way to spend money that you don’t yet have, and of adding up little purchases with interest and additional fees. By paying in cash only, you force yourself to physically part with your money every time you use it. An added bonus? You can’t spend cash that you don’t yet have.
Take the time to understand your finances and what you can be doing to handle them better. Interest yourself in understanding financial ways and habits, so you can avoid your pitfalls and get started saving more money.
Borrowing instead of buying
This simple strategy can save a lot of money. Whether you’re borrowing books from a library instead of spending ($10-$20+ savings each time you do), or sharing a lawn appliance like a mower with a neighbor (saving hundreds of dollars on a new lawnmower). Borrowing something can be just as satisfying, and costs less (if not nothing) to do.
Budgeting is a great way to see exactly how much money you need to have going out, and where it needs to go. Anything on top of that is pure spending, and can be curbed and controlled. Budgeting often also enables you to look at your expenses, to make sure they’re as low as they can be as well.
Cut a single expense this month
Eliminating just one recurring fee from your life can save you as much as $20-$30. That is the exact amount that you’re looking to start saving, as it adds up quicker than most people realize, so aim to cut a single expense this month and see where that saving gets you.
DIY where possible
Doing something yourself instead of paying some one else is a great way to get started spending less money. There’s a lot of things you can likely be doing yourself, from making your own birthday gifts to cleaning with a homemade cleaner instead of a storebought one, get started DIY-ing today.
Don’t eat out
Eating out is a ridiculously expensive luxury that many people talk themselves into needing. It adds up. Even $20 per meal (which let’s face it, is quite modest) is costing you a substantial amount of money every year – just for the priviledge of having some one else cook. You don’t have to avoid eating out forever, just aim to cut back to as minimally as possible.
Pay off debt, now
If you’re in debt, you can get out – but only through careful planning and budgeting. Your debt is costing you in interest every single month, so focus on paying it off quicker to cut your expenses even further.
Track your own spending
Take some time and analyze your spending. Look at where your money has gone, and see the patterns that are costing you thousands each year. By being aware of just how much that morning coffee habit is costing you, you’ll only enable yourself to be that much more likely not to spend it when you’re trying to save.
Walk to work
Walk, bike, jog, whatever you prefer. These forms of transportation don’t require fuel, saving you money, they don’t wear out your car, saving you money, and they do increase your healthiness overall, adding to happiness and health in your life. Doesn’t that sound a lot better than wasting cash just getting to work?