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No matter where you are on your financial journey, you need to know that it’s possible for anyone to turn their financial life around. Sometimes all it takes is that first step in the right direction to get things moving. But, as with most things, sometimes the hardest thing about saving money is just getting started. It can be difficult to figure out ways to save money and how to best use your savings. Some of these suggestions take just a few minutes, while others require a bit of regular effort. Still, they’re all doable.
- Record your expenses – figure out how much you spend.
- Make a budget – be sure to include an amount to save,
- Choose something to save for – down payment on a house, a vacation, a car, education, retirement, etc
- Make saving automatic – keep your savings account at a different bank than your checking account
- Be smarter with shopping – take advantage of apps, sign up for loyalty programs, join a warehouse club and buy in bulk, clip coupons, plan your purchases around sales and daily deals
- Write a list before you go shopping and stick to it – Only shop when you have a list because when you’re without one, you typically end up making impulse buys and unplanned purchases.
- Quit using credit cards – Stop carrying your credit cards and remove your credit card numbers from your online accounts – It’s easy to spend when you have your credit card in your wallet or card information stored in an account – just pull it out or click and buy.
- Consider a flexible spending account – they can save you money on health care costs not covered by insurance, including co-pays and deductibles.
- Create a visual reminder of your debt – make a giant progress bar that starts with the amount of debt you have and ends with zero. Each time you pay down a little bit, fill in a little more of that progress bar.
- Check your progress – make a “money date” with yourself every week.
- Online Shopping – When shopping online, check out price-comparison websites or use browser plugins to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Just because something is advertised as being discounted doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good deal. Read this post to learn where to find the best online deals.
- Money Education – The sooner kids learn about how to manage and save money, the better off they will be. So start their financial independence education early.
- How to Splurge – When you’ve got your eye on a splurge item, jot it down as a goal and increase the amount you set aside for savings. Check back in a few months. Still, want it? Great. If not, even better! Buyer’s remorse averted and a healthier savings account.
- Holiday Shopping – Do your holiday shopping right after the holiday. Many of us already use this technique for Christmas, but it works for every holiday. Just wait until about two days after a holiday, then go out shopping for items you need that are themed for that day. The discounts are tremendous, and you can just put this stuff in the closet until next year.
- Grocery Shopping – There are lots of ways to save when it comes to feeding your family. Check out my post to find out how to save on groceries with the tips and tricks that I put together.
- 10 Second Rule – Whenever you pick up an item and add it to your cart or to take it to the checkout, stop for 10 seconds and ask yourself why you’re buying it and whether you actually need it or not. If you can’t find a good answer, put the item back. This can be a great way to keep from making impulse buys.
- Strategize – Sit down and plot out which debts you’re going to pay off and in what order. Simply having a plan goes a long way toward putting that plan into action, and paying off debts.
- DIY & Homemade Gifts – To save money and still give generously, create your own homemade gifts. You can make food mixes, candles, bath scrubs, fresh-baked bread or cookies, soap, and all kinds of other things at home quite easily and inexpensively. Include a personal handwritten note to complete the gift.
Money Saving Thought
Look where your money is going and find areas that you can trim your expenses. Shift your spending priorities and saving money will follow.
I’d love to hear your money saving tips and stories. Please share your thoughts below or on my Facebook fan page.