We have all heard how incredibly important it is to save money. Saving money allows you to safeguard yourself with an emergency fund and secure your financial freedom into retirement. You have most likely heard the old adage “spend less than you earn,” but how are you supposed to spend less when life can be so expensive? We have some money-saving tips that can help.
The first step is adopting a saving mindset. Frugality sometimes has an undeserved negative reputation, but there is nothing wrong with carefully spending in order to save money every month to reach your long-term goals.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can save that are more useful than sticking your loose change in a jar. Below, we discuss some money saving tips you can use to make sure you are saving more money and meeting your financial goals each month.
Track Your Expenses and Create a Spending Plan
One of the first steps you should take is establishing a spending plan. If you monitor how much you spend each month, you will be more aware of bad spending habits you may have developed.
If you write out your monthly spending habits, you will plainly see areas where you can cut back and free up extra money. Knowing where your money is going and how necessary those expenses are is extremely useful.
Once you have identified where you are spending your money you’ll notice areas where you can potentially reduce your spending. Then you can establish a set amount, or maximum, that is reasonable to spend.
Categorize your spending and find areas where you can save money. For example, your rent is a necessary and set expense while the amount you spend in a month on food could be reduced. Establish spending limits for each category and stick to them.
Reduce The Cost Of Your Monthly Bills
Recurring monthly payments can be a major drain on your resources. Luckily, there are plenty of monthly subscriptions you can either cut or reduce.
One place to start is by writing down all your monthly bills. Look through them and ask yourself when the last time it was that you got any value out of each service. If it is something you do not use often and would not miss, you can cut it completely.
These services could include an unused gym membership, rarely used television and music streaming services, and much more. If you do not use it, stop paying for it. You will save serious money every month.
There are some services you need but you spend too much on. For example, you could be overpaying for your cell service. Shop around and find a more affordable mobile network provider to save more money. Many of the smaller carriers offer reduced rates. The same can be said for your home internet provider.
You can also consider cutting the cable cord. Monthly cable bills tend to be far more expensive than what you would pay in a month to subscribe to a streaming service like Netflix.
Reducing the cost of your monthly bills results in massive monthly savings.
Save Money On Your Major Expenses
When it comes to saving money, most people only look at cutting frivolous spending. While there certainly is something to be said for cutting out unnecessary expenses, you can also save a great deal of money by cutting the amount you spend on your largest monthly expenses.
For most people, major expenses can be broken down into three categories – housing, transportation, and food. Each of these categories is a necessary expense; however, most spend more than they need to.
1. Housing: Whether you rent an apartment or mortgage a house, chances are you could start saving significant amount of money each month if you were willing to move to a less expensive area.
Commuting from a less expensive area is a way to reduce your monthly spending. You can also save plenty of money on rent if you are willing to move into a smaller space. Downsizing or moving to a more affordable area makes an enormous difference on the amount you spend each month.
2. Transportation: Everybody needs to get around; however, how you choose to do so has a big impact on how much you spend each month.
Owning a car can cost a ton of money. Not only do the vehicles themselves cost a lot of money but they also cost a fortune in gas, insurance, and maintenance. If you do not need to drive a car, you might want to consider switching to public transit. If getting rid of your car to start saving on your budget just isn’t an option, there are ways you can switch to a more affordable vehicle that leaves more money in your checking account. Driving a more fuel-efficient car is one of the best ways to save hundreds of dollars per month. Less valuable cars also tend to cost less to insure.
If you can reduce the amount of money you spend each month on transportation, you can save a much larger portion of your monthly income.
3. Food: Everyone needs to eat so there is no doubt that food is one of our largest expenses. Luckily, there are many ways you can reduce the amount you spend on food in a month.
If you eat out on a regular basis, you’ll get closer to your savings goals by choosing to eat at home more often. Restaurants and take out establishments are expensive while home cooking tends to be much more affordable.
Consider meal prepping. You can save plenty of money by purchasing enough ingredients to make bulk meals. Buying resealable containers allows you to make large meals and freeze some or store them for later in the week. You should also consider packing lunches for work rather than eating out.
Not only is home cooking a much less expensive way to feed yourself, but it also tends to be healthier to get your food from the grocery store.
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