Many feel like no matter how hard they try to save, it can feel almost impossible to accomplish. Saving money can be difficult at times, especially since it seems like something always comes up that costs you money. When it comes to reality, there isn’t a “right time” to start saving. If you continue to wait for the “right” time, you’ll soon realize that you’ll never get around to saving. Ultimately, the best time to start saving and developing habits that will help you achieve this goal is right now. Although this might seem stressful, there are many actions that you can take right now to help you save. Here are some tips to help you get your money saving plan on track!
First things first, make a list of all the subscriptions you currently have. Chances are, you’re probably paying for many such as Netflix, gym memberships, Hulu, music, subscription boxes, etc. After making a list of all of these, list the prices next to each of your subscriptions. Do the math to figure out how much you are spending on each subscription and if they are a need or a want. If you find that you’re struggling to make a decision, the first step is to unsubscribe and see if you can live without them or not. If not, you can easily subscribe to them again. On the other hand, there are many subscriptions that have family/friend packages which means you can share an account with others to save money.
According to Ramsey Solutions, “A recent study showed that 80% of Americans are caught up in the chains of debt”. They also stated, “Next time you walk down the street, count the first 10 people you see. According to statistics, 8 of those 10 are strapped with debt”. When it comes down to it, debit robs you of your income and makes it very hard to save. Paying off debt is the first obstacle to overcome before you can allow yourself to save. To help pay off debt, start paying off your debts from smallest to largest.
The number one rule of going grocery shopping is never to go hungry! If you don’t create a list ahead of time, you’ll find yourself throwing random food items into your cart and coming home with nothing that you actually needed. This goes to show how important it is to create a list and stick with it. The little items that you decide to throw in your cart while searching through the isles can add up tremendously. According to Balancing Everything, “Americans spend about $120 a week on grocery shopping”. In addition to grocery shopping, giving generic brands a chance can also assist in your money saving journey.
Save money automatically
There are many apps that you can download that can help you save money. One app that is very helpful is “Joy”. This is a free iOS app that analyzes your income and spending habits. Ultimately, it calculates how much you spend in certain areas and gives you specialized tips on how you can save. You can also set up that your bank account will automatically transfer money into your savings account. This way it forces you to live below your means and save money. Start with a small percent and gradually increase the percentage that you are putting into savings as you feel is necessary.
Reduce energy costs
There are many different steps that you can take to save on your electric bill. Taking shorter showers, washing your clothes with cold water, using LED light bulbs, installing dimmer switches, fixing leaky pipes, etc. One of the main ways to maximize savings on your electric bill is to lower your temp. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that for every eight hours that you lower your thermostat by one degree, you will save 1 percent on your bill. Some main ways to save on your electric bill are..
- Eliminate dust (if there is dust on your coils, it will make your appliances work harder)
- Replace filters
- Cook with something smaller than your oven
- Buy energy-efficient appliances
- Use fans
- Use solar panels
Eat at home
Eating out can be very tempting as it is a convenient and time saving option. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spends around $3,000 a year dining out. Keep in mind, this means that one person counts as a household. Schedule out a meal plan each week which makes it easier to keep yourself from resorting back to eating out.
Lower your cell phone bill
Not only is purchasing your phone costly, but the monthly plans can add on additional payments for you. Take a look at your cell phone habits to see if you really need unlimited data, phone insurance, and warranties. Do research on different carriers to see how your phone bill compares to other companies.
Going through everything can be quite the task. But if done right, you will find that you have many things that you don’t use and will never use again. After going through everything, this can help you determine if you want to sell things online or even have a garage sale. Something that might not have any meaning to you, could mean the absolute world to someone else that would put it to good use. The money you make off of these things can be put towards savings or helping you climb your way out of debt.
Although it can be tempting to go out and buy everything new, there is a sense of purpose when you create something on your own. When it comes to home projects, buying the supplies yourself and watching YouTube videos or simply googling how to put them together can help save a tremendous amount of money. You’d be surprised at how much you can learn from looking up DIY projects online.
Wants or Needs?
Take a deep dive into your spending habits. You’ll soon realize that you are spending money on temporary things/feelings. For example, pbfy performed a study done that had shown there is an average of $2,008 spent on coffee per year. Instead of going out for coffee everyday, try making your own at home to save money. Instead of going on many vacations throughout the year, try doing more road trips to sites near your home. Instead of buying books, check with your local library to see if they have something that spikes your interest. Looking at your habits and figuring out how much money they are costing you can help you create a money saving plan.
In addition to these tips, there are many more ways that you can save money. It all comes down to your personal situation and the daily saving habits that you choose to implement. The only way you will see results is if you make saving money a major priority. Stop the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck by being intentional with your budget. Create a plan so that you can see where your money is going and where you have areas that you can improve in. In the end, it doesn’t come down to how much you make. But instead, it’s about how you spend and save your money to create the lifestyle you want to live.