- Personal Finance
Ways to save money - 14 tips on how to save more
So once again you're broke. If you had only saved a little something for a rainy day you wouldn't be in this mess right now. Don't give up! There's lots of ways of saving money and not all of them will give you a headache. Let's go through a few of them.
Tip for motivation
Write down all the unnecessary purchases you stopped yourself from making and see how much money you have saved by not buying them. This could be a powerful motivational tool.
Write down your daily expenses
Saving is kind of like trying to lose weight. Sometimes you are not aware of what you eat until you start writing it down. In fact, many dietitians recommend keeping a food diary to make you aware of all the calories you are taking in. The same is true of spending. You know that at the end of the month you end up without a cent in your wallet and you're not even sure where all the money went.
Write down all the purchases you make and at the end of the day sit down and analyze which purchases were truly necessary and which ones you can do without. As the month progresses see how much money you have saved.
Collect loose coins
At the end of the day my wallet is always full of coins, most of them pennies and nickles. Instead of keeping the coins in your wallet for an indefinite amount of time, put all loose coins in a jar at the end of the day. You will be surprised at how much money you save using this method!
Check your bank for saving programs
Each bank offers different ways to help you save. I especially like the "keep the change" program from Bank of America. This program is kind of like collecting loose coins when you pay with your card. It rounds all your purchases to the next dollar, and sends the change to your savings account. Say, for example, that I spend 3.75 cents at the grocery store. The bank will automatically send 25 cents to my savings account. By the end of the month you will have saved up more money than you thought!
Keep paying your debt even if you're done.
No, I'm not crazy. Let me explain what I mean. When you have a debt that you have to pay monthly you earmark some money for it to make the payment, right? Well, when you're done paying your debt, keep earmarking the money but instead send it to your savings account.
Save any extra money or use it to pay debt
So your tax return just arrived. Instead of going on vacation or blowing all the money on leather pants, put it directly in savings account of use it to pay any debts you may have.
Set a percentage of your check that you want to save. Start small, such as 1%. If you're feeling more daring you can increase that percentage by as much as you like, but keep in mind that baby steps are the ones that tend to stay. Once you receive your check, pay yourself the set percentage right away and place it in your savings account.
Have an untouchable savings account
If you don't trust yourself you may want to open a savings account that will not allow you to withdraw money for a set amount of time.
Sell your plastic bottles and paper for recycling and save the money you receive for your good deed. You will be saving money and the environment.
Have a clear objective
If you're saving to buy something, post a picture of that something all over the place as a reminder and motivation to keep you on your saving path. If you're just saving for a rainy day, set an x amount of money that you wish to save and reward yourself with a little something once you reach your goal.
If you know you tend to buy things on impulse, avoid going places that carry items that you may buy. Try going to the park instead of the mall.
Get rid of your credit cards
Did you know that people spend 12 to 50 % more when paying with a credit card as opposed to paying with cash? If you can't afford it, don't buy it! Pay all your credit card debt and get rid of them for good.
Budget everything, even leisure
Don't leave things to chance. Create a budget for everything and include leisure in that budget. Just because you're saving doesn't mean that you can't have some fun (within your limits, of course).
Creating a budget (and respecting that budget) will make you feel more in control of your money and you will end up saving more than you thought possible.
Ask yourself some questions
Whenever you feel like buying something, ask yourself:
- Do I really need it?
- Can I really afford it?
- Have a checked other places for a better price?
- Will I really use it?
- Is it worth the price?
If the answer to any of these questions is "no", don't buy it. And remember to write it down in the list of things you didn't buy so you can see how much you're saving by being responsible.
Saving can be difficult at times, but you don't have to try these tips all at once to save a good amount of money. Start by trying the tip that you think will be easier for you and you will be surprised at how much money can be saved by taking baby steps.
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- Tips for Living on Less
- Four Smart Ways to Save Money and Reach Your Goals!
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