Saving money. We all wish we were better at it, but most of us simply are not. To help get you on the right track, this article will feature plenty of ways (23 to be exact) to save money for the future that you are probably not doing right now. As they say, “every little bit helps.”
For one reason or another, most people are just not good at saving money. A lack of discipline is probably the biggest reason behind this, as it really is fun to spend. Whether it’s clothes, eating out, partying, electronics, cars we can’t afford, or vacations, we love to buy it!
Now it’s easy to say you should save money, but without any concrete plan, the likelihood of it happening is very slim. You need to have concrete goals and measures in place to ensure that you follow the correct path towards saving for the future. After all, what happens if an emergency pops up? Or you lose your job? What will you do then? That’s why it’s so important to save.
Write it all down – If you don’t keep track of your spending, how on earth will you ever be able to save? You need to “cut out the fat,” and the only way to do this is to actually look at what you are spending your money on. Each month you should take a look at all of your expenses (cash, credit, etc.) and add them up into separate categories. Then look at those categories to see where your problems lie so you can stop the bleeding.
Think before you act – Impulse purchases can really take a huge chunk out of any budget. Worst of all, these types of purchases are usually things that we do not need. Before making any impulse purchase, think it over for a full 24 hours. This time delay will help you calm your thoughts and think rationally. Once it’s over, you will probably refrain from the purchase altogether.
Break everything down by the hour – When you are thinking about buying something, figure out how many hours you would have to work to earn it. For example, if you want to buy a $100 shirt and only make $10 per hour, that’s 10 hours’ worth of work! Is it really worth it?
Shop with a plan – Always make a list before you go grocery shopping and stick to it. Going into the store with no list at all means you’ll wander around and pick up everything in sight that tickles your fancy, leaving you with a cart filled with impulse purchases.
Keep it simple by staying short-term – Sure, you want to save money for the future, but you have to do it in the most practical way possible. Long term goals, such as “I want to save $2,000 over the next year” are harder to achieve, mostly because they seem so far away. Keep it simple instead and keep weekly or monthly goals that are more achievable.
Stay in for lunch – Having coworkers that love to go out to eat for lunch can be a big blow to your budget. Sure, it may be fun (and tasty) to go out for lunch, but try to avoid it. Bring your own lunch and if you have to go out, limit it to just once a week.
Control your happy hours – Sticking with the theme of coworkers that like to go out, it’s okay to say no to those happy hour invites after work. Once a week is fine, but doing it too often will not only affect your bank account, it will also affect your health. Besides, who wants to go into work the next day with a nasty hangover?
Buy online when possible – It’s no secret that shopping on the internet has become huge nowadays. Not only it is extremely convenient, but it’s often a lot cheaper than buying at your local retail store. Internet retailers often have less overhead costs, and this allows them to pass on the savings to you. If you are about to make a purchase, regardless of what it is, do an online search first. You may find that you’re better off buying that way.
Invest in a programmable thermostat – You may love having your AC on blast when you’re at home, but it’s not necessary when you are gone. You can save a lot on your energy bill by installing a programmable thermostat that will keep the temperature higher while you’re away, but nice and cool as soon as you walk in the door.
Say no to overdraft – Many debit cards now offer overdraft protection that allows you to spend more than you actually have. Bad idea! Simply put – if you don’t have it, don’t spend it. Banks will definitely ask if you want this feature (if they haven’t done so already), so when they do, just say no.
Keep reading because there are many more tips to save money on gas and other necessities.