Today we bring you a guest from fellow blogger, Forrest McCall. You can check out more of his work at DontWorkAnotherDay.com
When it comes to your money, most people will consider two main aspects: saving money and making money. While there is a long debate on which is more important, I believe they can both be equally as important.
In this post, I’ll discuss 11 methods you can do to start saving money!
Know Your Money… Now
The first step to saving money is understanding your income and expenses. After all, it would be pretty tough to save money if you don’t know how much you’re currently spending.
If you don’t currently have a budget in place, the best way to know your spending is to go back the previous few months and analyze your credit card and bank statements to get tabs on each transaction. You can then categorize these transactions to get a better idea on where your money goes each month.
Invest in Saving
You might be wondering what it means to invest in saving money but think of it this way. What if you could spend $500 to save $100 per month?
It could be something like insulating your house to lower your electric and gas bill each month or purchasing a router for your homes internet instead of renting one from the cable company.
Even your annual Costco membership fee can be considered an investment if you use it wisely. A Costco membership costs $60 a year, but if you shop smartly you can save hundreds of dollars on your purchases over twelve months.
In America, we are a disposable country. We use, buy, and spend more than any other country. Instead, get lean with your usage. Trim your eating habits and start family meal planning to save money at the grocery and lose those extra pounds! Limit use of your car to save money on fuel and costly maintenance.
Aim to live a more minimalist lifestyle than before. You’ll be surprised how much small habits can add up over time.
Trim Utility Costs
Between your electric, gas, internet, and water bills, there’s a good chance your utility bills will amount to a large portion of your monthly budget. Cut these bills by doing several things.
- Limit time in the shower to save water
- Use automated lights to save electricity
- Use a dishwashing machine to save water
- Reuse and recycle things like shredded paper
- Raise or lower the temperature of your home to save electricity
- Negotiate with your phone carriers for a lower rate
Utilize Coupons as Much as Possible
Coupons are a great way to save money that you can start implementing immediately. Between the grocery store and your favorite restaurants, coupons can save you a nice chunk each month.
With today’s technology, couponing has become even easier. Now, you have access to digital coupons through apps likes Ibotta, eliminating the need for scissors.
Keep Vehicle Costs to a Minimal
Car maintenance can be extremely costly, but is necessary to keep your vehicle running smoothly enabling you to get to and from your work. But some vehicles are more costly than others.
If you currently have a high maintenance cost vehicle, consider selling it and purchasing a more reliable and less expensive maintenance option to help you save money.
You should also perform routine maintenance on your car to avoid any large breakdowns in the future. If $100 today can save you $700 six months from now, it’s worth doing!
If you do simple jobs yourself, such as changing a cabin air filter, you’ll save even more.
Setup Sinking Funds
A sinking fund is money that is set aside to make planned large purchases. It could be a new roof or a new car. This money will help to keep your budget intact while dealing with these purchases.
To use a sinking fund, you’ll need to think of any upcoming large purchases. A few examples include
- A new roof or windows for your home
- A new HVAC unit if you have an old one
- Back to school supplies
8. Limit Credit Use
Credit cards can wreak havoc on those with poor financial acumen. The costs can be prohibitive for those looking to get their finances on track. Aim to limit your use of credit as much as possible to save money on interest and any fees that you could accumulate.
In addition to savings money on fees and interest, this will also boost your credit score, perfect for those looking to purchase a home in the next couple of years.
To be transparent, boosting your income is not a way to save money. However, it IS a necessary piece of your finances and plays a large part in your journey. There are many methods of increasing your income including:
There is no right answer when it comes to making more money. You’ll need to analyze your situation and skills to determine the best route for you.
A big house and lavish vacations are tempting for anyone, but if you want to save money, you’ll have to make some sacrifices along the way. But this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life while doing so.
If you’re currently taking a vacation every year, try cutting back to every other year to save some cash. Alternatively, try to think to cheap fun activities instead to keep your costs to a minimum.
Limit Binge Spending
Just like with food or anything, the chemicals in our brain can cause us to make mistakes. Whenever you spend money, you might feel a hit of dopamine knowing what’s about to be sent in the mail. This can cause you to want to spend even more to get another hit of dopamine. You can literally develop a spending addiction.
Try to avoid binge spending. Avoid any triggers that can cause you to spend money recklessly. These could be caused by emotions or a number of things. Some of which may not be controllable. If this is the case, try to find alternative coping mechanisms to deal with your problems.
Saving money is not always easy but it is surely well worth the time and sacrifice. By limiting your spending on utilities, cutting out expensive vacations, and keeping your vehicle costs to a minimum, you can because a more effective savor in no time.
It’s important to remember that saving money is only a portion of your overall financial journey. You should also look for ways to boost your income and invest money to create a clear path to your goals. Whether you’re making $40,000 a year or over 7 figures, saving money is critical.
What are your favorite ways to save money? Comment yours below!