Seven tips on how to save money
Saving money is on everyone’s mind these days. We are constantly being asked to do more with less. Average annual increases are not enough to meet our growing expenses and, as a result, we have to find painless ways of saving the money we do have. Here are some very practical and pain free tips on how to save more of your hard earned money.
1.Save automatically-Setting up an automatic draft is one of the easiest ways to save more money. The money is taken from your checking account without your effort. You also will learn to adapt your spending habits to meet your new lower spending limit. Use this method to supercharge your saving by increasing the withdrawal amount every few months even if it is only a few dollars more. This method is also a great motivator because the money accumulates rapidly with little effort on your end.
2.Create a budget-Many of us do not know exactly where our money is going. We sometimes feel that if we earned more income, our financial concerns would be over. If we looked more closely at what we do with the money we currently receive, we may be able of uncover the hidden expenses that slowly and quietly chip away our savings.
3.Use cash-Paying for our purchases by swiping a piece of plastic is not painful enough to curb our consumer spending. Reaching into your wallet and shelling out $100 does not feel the same spending a $100 with one quick swipe. Another reason to carry cash is the feeling you get when you open your wallet and you’ve found that you’ve spent most of your money. As you realize that you do not remember where your money was spent, or what you spent it on, you will change your behavior to hold on to as much cash as possible.
4.Trim the fat-Many of us have beefed up our living expenses by adding on special features to our regular monthly expenses. We pay high cable bills, inflated cell phone bills and other costs that strip away our earnings. Do you find yourself watching mainly local television even though you have high definition television with one million and one channels? If so, you are wasting your money on something that you do not even need. Take a look at your monthly bills and make critical decisions on what you can do without. Use that money for more important things.
5.Pay on time-How many times have we “accidentally” forgot to pay our bill by the due date and have to pay hefty late fees as punishment? The biggest wastes of money on this planet are the useless late fees. Not only do you pay more than you have to, your credit may be affected causing you to have to pay more for other future purchases as well. Make sure to pay all of your bills before the due date. You will definitely save money by doing this consistently.
6.Shop around-One thing that many of us fail to do is shop for lower payments on our current expenses. When was the last time you called the competitors of your insurance, cell phone, cable, or credit card company, and asked about their special offers? Sometimes you may not even have to change your service provider; you can simply contact your current providers and let them know what their competitor has offered you to become their loyal customer. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save on your routine expenses.
7.Learn your weakness-If we were completely honest, we would confess that we have something or other that we love to spend money on without giving it a second thought. For some of us, it is eating out, for others it is clothing, shoes, books, etc. I am not saying that you have to stop spending on those things completely, instead, see them for what they are and create a game plan for curbing the spending in that area. For example, if you know that you love to eat out, you make a conscious choice to eat out once a weak with friends instead of every other day at lunch and on the weekends. If you clearly see were your money weakness lies, you can identify it and create a focused plan how to keep it under control. If you are able to control spending in that area successfully, will be empowered to make better spending decisions in every area of your financial life.