Sat May 23, 2020 5:43 pm
1. Create a Budget
The first place to start when trying to save money is to assess how much you really have and where that money is going. Consider using the 50/20/30 rule to create a budget. The 50/20/30 rule states that fifty percent of your income should go to essentials like rent and food, twenty percent should go savings, and thirty percent should go to personal expenses like entertainment.
2. Save Automatically
If you have to manually transfer money into your accounts, you may be more likely to forgo saving altogether. Try having a portion of your paycheck automatically deposited to a savings account to keep you contributing consistently.
3. Build an Emergency Fund
Some experts recommend setting aside six months worth of living expenses in case of emergencies. This helps you avoid going into debt if you ever lose your job or have to pay unforeseen medical expenses.
4. Track Your Spending
You may be surprised about where your money is going. Keep a record of what you spend to see how small expenses add up. You may not think that coffee every once in a while makes a dent in your savings, but seeing the sum of your purchases may change your mind.
5. Avoid Debt
Pay off your cards every month to keep your debt from piling up. If possible, avoid going into debt in the first place by spending within your limits and keeping your credit card at home. With a savings built up, you won’t have to put unexpected expenses on a card.
6. Make a Plan
Break your long-term goals into smaller, more manageable milestones for the month and year. With an idea of what you need to do short-term, you can plan how much you need to be saving, and set the right limits on your non-essentials budget.
7. Use the 30 Day Rule
When you want to make a large purchase, think on it first. Write down what it is and how much it costs, and if after 30 days you still feel it’s necessary, purchase it.
8. Consider Refinancing Your Mortgage
You may find that you can save money over time by changing the rate of your mortgage. Remember to talk to a financial advisor before signing onto any major financial contracts.
9. Create a Savings Goal for Retirement
Some experts recommend saving fifteen percent of your income each year for retirement. Determine how much you’ll need and break that down by decades to make sure you’re hitting your goals over time.
10. Maintain Your Home and Car
Keep your home in good shape and perform regular maintenance on your car to protect the value in your assets. Saving money by skipping or doing cheap repairs likely won’t be worth it in the long run. Your car’s manufacturer will have guidelines for it’s maintenance, but home manufacturers don’t provide the same. Common recommended tasks include: having arborist check the trees on your property to ensure their sturdiness, painting your home to maintain it’s exterior, checking your foundation for signs of cracking, and cleaning out your gutters to keep the flow of water off your roof.
11. Invest in Quality
Think about spending a bit more money on things that will last you longer. For example, it can be worth it to buy some higher quality clothes (as long as they’re not for growing kids), because you won’t have to buy new ones for a long time.
12. Start Saving for College Early
If you know you’re going to pay for college down the road, some people recommend creating an account specifically for this expense as soon as your child is born. There are even accounts specifically designed to save for education expenses including 529’s and ESA’s or College Savings Accounts.
13. Fully Utilize Your Employer’s 401k Match
If your job matches the contributions to your retirement savings up to a certain percentage of your salary, you should consider contributing enough to max out your employer’s matching benefit. Otherwise, you’re just turning down free money.
14. Consolidate Debt
Talk to a financial advisor about your options regarding your debt. You may find that consolidating multiple high-interest payments into one lower interest payment is an effective debt management strategy.
15. Consider Accounts and Equities
You should always thoroughly research your options or talk to a financial advisor before making any riskier investment moves. You may want to be aware of certain accounts that gain interest on your money through equities. While things like stocks, mutual funds, and Certificates of Deposit shouldn’t be your only form of savings, they may provide attractive returns on your investment over time.
Save Money on Necessary Expenses
The least fun things to spend money on are the ones you actually have to pay for. But you may be surprised how simple and fun it is to find a little extra cash in your bills. Here are some easy ways to reduce your expenses each month:
16. Switch to a Cheaper Cell-Phone Plan
With the prevalence of wifi hotspots, the standard smartphone owner today only uses on average 1.6 gigabytes of data per month. Interestingly, most service providers’ cheapest data plan provides more than that. Track how much data you’re actually using and stop paying for more than you need.
17. Lower Your Utility Bills
Evaluate whether or not you’re being as conservative as you can with your utilities. Some quick tips to save money on your bills include: Insulating your windows with a simple sheet of bubble wrap, unplugging appliances you’re not using, and turning the faucet off when you brush your teeth.
18. Time Major Purchases Around Sale Periods
Because demand fluctuates by the season for certain items, you can time your big buys to rake in the savings. For example, the end of December can be a great time to buy a car because dealerships want to meet end-of-year quotas.
19. Cancel Your Gym Membership
Many of the exercises you do at the gym can be done at home with a bit of creativity. You can watch YouTube tutorials for ideas about home workouts, go for a run in your neighborhood, or swim laps at your community pool.
20. Use Coupons
Not just in newspapers and junk ads anymore, coupons are available on company websites, apps like SnipSnap, and online. Before you go out shopping, check your phone or computer and increase your savings.
21. Share Entertainment
Similar to swapping clothes, ask to borrow your friend’s DVDs and CDs, or share the payments for a joint streaming account.
22. Plan Your Groceries
Make a list of what food you’ll need for the week, keeping in mind what meals can be made from the ingredients, and don’t buy anything that isn’t on your list. It helps not to go to the grocery store hungry or with a picky eater. Meal planning is another great option that can help you save time and money while making it easier for you to eat healthily.
23. Understand Food Spoilage
Americans waste about one pound of food every day, adding up to enough food to feed 2 billion people annually. This is in part because many people don’t know that “best by” dates indicate the last day of peak quality, not safety. Many foods are still safe to eat weeks after the date on the package, so take a second look at the food inside the package before tossing it.
Mon May 25, 2020 10:37 am
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Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:45 pm
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Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:01 pm
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