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It always feels easy to save money when you hear about how others are doing it. But a lot of advice out there really only tackle high level details and unclear examples of how to actually save money. Below is a list of some practical ways to save money. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to get yourself into a money-saving mindset. Find out how you can jump on the budgeting bandwagon!
Tips on Controlling Spending
Well it isn’t rocket science, but spending less is actually a really good way to helping you save more. Spending money is always fun – except when you look at your credit card statement later. Did you know the average American spends $1.33 for every $1 they earn? (Source: Here) And no, my math isn’t bad – that’s just the unfortunate truth. Here are a couple tricks that may help you before you go for that next impulse buy.
1. Just wait! When you feel like you really have to buy something that isn’t a necessity, just wait. Wait a couple days – many times the impulse will go away. If it does, you’ll know that it really was just an impulsive decision. This simple act of self control can potentially save you from a lot of needless purchases!
2. Look at it differently. Break down your income to hours/dollar. If you make $10/hr, a $5 Starbucks drink just costed you 30 minutes of worked time. Is that really still worth it? You decide.
3. Don’t tempt yourself. When you go to the grocery store, have a list prepared. Stick to the list. And don’t go shopping when you’re hungry. Window shopping. Not a good idea if you get tempted easily. If you’re getting a shipment from Amazon on daily basis, you know what the issue is!
4. Know your spending guidelines. Do you know how much you should be spending on rent? Or a car? Or gifts? Knowing your income and the general rules of thumb for how much you should be spending can help significantly with your budget. Here’s a list of spending guidelines that will help you out!
Tips on Saving More Money
It’s not fair how much easier it is to find ways to spend than to save. I know how hard it can be, especially in today’s world. I mean, come on. Amazon, why do you make things so difficult for personal finance bloggers? Here are some ways to help you save just a bit more money.
5. Learn to cook more when you’re at home. Bring your lunch if you go to work. The amount you can save from doing these two simple things is astounding. I choose to pack my lunch on a daily basis. The savings are immense over time. If you’re spending $10/meal per day, it definitely adds up. You can find out more on why I choose to pack my lunch in this article.
6. Buy things in bulk if you can. It hurts in the moment when you’re dropping $25 for a 10-pack of shampoo. But you’ll reap the rewards when you don’t need to spend a penny on a new individual $5 shampoo bottle for the next few years.
7. Be on the lookout for deals. When you see a deal on something you know you’ll need, stock up on it. In the long term, you’ll save money. You lose the most money when you are forced into situations where you have to buy something in the moment.
Tips for Miscellaneous Savings – Common Cents (Ha)
And it goes without saying, but here are some obvious tips to keep you on your savings track. It’s funny because when you look at some of these rules, they might seem like no-brainers. But it’s crazy how many people fall into some of these traps. Be sure that you’re aware of these rules and try and stick with them!
8. Pay off your credit card every month. Completely. You don’t want to accumulate interest here. Don’t purchase things when you don’t have the cash to cover it. If you do have a huge card balance, look into balance transfer cards, where you can transfer your debt to a long 0% interest card to help with your payments. If you have bad credit or have trouble with debt, it may be better to remove credit cards altogether. But you’ll also be missing out on a lot of perks/benefits of cards that may net you more money just by using them. Here’s a list of some of my favorite credit cards and their unique benefits (note: this is not an affiliate link, just some of my personal suggestions).
9. Pay yourself first. Set aside money in the beginning when you get your paycheck and put it into savings. Soon you’ll adjust to a lifestyle where you won’t even notice the money you’re putting aside automatically to savings.
10. Live within your means. It’s obvious, but it can be so difficult. Even if your income increases, you don’t need to escalate your spending. This is also known as living a life of frugality.
If you’re looking for common rules and guidelines for common expenses, be sure to check out this article. New to the investing world? Well, here are even more tips that are geared towards new investors.
I hope that these practical ways to save money were helpful. Are there more tips you’d like to share? Feel free to comment below if there are other methods that help you save better.