When it comes to personal finance earning more money loses its importance if you are spending every last dime of it. A well balanced financial plan focuses on both increasing your income and stashing a good portion in savings and retirement accounts. You need to plan for rainy days and your financial future.
It’s time to reign in your spending and start saving for the future. And with these six money saving hacks you can do just that.
# 1 – Cook Your Own Meals
With the average take out lunch costing around ten dollars you stand to save fifty dollars a week by brown bagging your lunch. If you are eating out for breakfast and dinner as well then you stand to save a good chunk of change. Cook your own meals and put the money you normally spend on take out into your savings account each week.
# 2 – Make a Budget
I know what you are thinking – budgets are time consuming and complicated. But you are wrong! Budgets can be quick and easy, and they provide you with an outline of how your money should be spent.
Take out a pen and paper and write down how much money you normally spend for the week. Now write out estimated amounts for the following week. Evaluate your categories and cut back where need be. You should be able to cut out at least $100 a month. Take your new found money straight to the bank!
# 3 – Create Goals
There’s nothing more motivating than having a goal to work toward. Start small and make a goal to save $1,000. If you feel that number is too high then lower it. Now have a competition with yourself. Set a date for your goal completion and try to beat it.
You can also make several smaller goals. You can make goals for an emergency fund, retirement, and any other categories that you want to save for.
# 4 – Comparison Shop for Big Ticket Items
While it is important to comparison shop for everything, it is extremely important when you are purchasing high dollar items. If you plan on buying something over one hundred dollars then check multiple stores. You can also check for coupons, price matches, and rebates for the item you intend to buy.
# 5 – Start a Savings Routine
By saving a specific amount of money out of each paycheck you will get used to living on less. If you are new to savings start with a small amount that you won’t miss, you can then gradually increase the savings amount over time.
Schedule your savings account to make an automatic transfer from your checking account on the same day you receive your paycheck. Now you will never have to worry about missing a savings contribution.
# 6 – Buy Used When Applicable
One of the best ways to save a significant amount of money is to buy used whenever possible. I personally use this tactic as much as I can.
You can buy used clothes, appliances, furniture, shoes, electronics, etc. Often times you can get a much nicer product used than you would have paid for brand new. Check sites like Craigslist, EBay, and Facebook Yard Sales for used merchandise before you head out to pay retail prices.
If you’re new to saving, follow these money saving hacks and your bank balance will increase in no time!