How to Save Money: 4 Tips

 


Between housing, food, utilities, and other essentials, life is expensive. With so many basic, day-to-day expenses, how does one ever save up enough to really enjoy life? Aspirations of owning a house or traveling the world can seem very far away, if not out of reach. 


Luckily, it’s easier than you might think to build up decent savings.


It just requires a few lifestyle adjustments and some self-discipline (even when that cool new gaming headset or designer blouse is practically begging you to buy it). Here are four initial money-saving tips that anyone can adopt.


#1 Budget, Budget, Budget

Everyone has different spending habits. Some people impulse shop online while others overspend on take-out. Some have enrolled in too many subscription services to count while their friends spend way too much in bars and night clubs.


You’ll need to tailor your money-saving strategies based on your own routine spending patterns.


Here are a few concrete ways to identify and account for your shopping shortcomings:


  • Categorize purchases – Sort through your recent debit and credit card statements to create an itemized list of expenses: bills, clothes, food, entertainment, and so on. This will make it easier to pinpoint the problem areas to create a more successful budget.

 

  • Make a debt plan Paying off debt is one of the most burdensome expenses when it comes to long-term savings—it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Implement the debt snowball method:


  • Make a list of current debts owed

  • Order them from smallest to largest

  • Pay off smallest debt first, while still making minimum monthly payments to all

  • Free up income to put towards long-term savings goals!


  • Create your budget – After debts and other necessities, allocate a reasonable amount of money towards food, fun, and most importantly, savings. Enforce a “do not touch” rule with a certain percentage of your income each month.


Sticking to a budget can be hard, but remember: you’re setting your future self-up for financial success—they’ll (you’ll?) thank you later! 


#2 Skip the Starbucks Line

Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf—the sentiment applies no matter which coffee shop you frequent. Your daily $6 mocha latte really adds up over time.


Save time and money by making your morning drink-of-choice before you leave the house. Brew a warm cup of joe in your standard coffee pot, boil water to steep your tea, or whip up a quick iced beverage with your cold brew coffee maker


The time you save in line might even get you ten more minutes of sleep!



#3 Re-evaluate Unnecessary Subscriptions

This new subscription-based business model means paying less upfront but perhaps more over time, especially when you forget to cancel certain services after the trial period is over. 


With automatic payments set up, you might not even realize just how many subscriptions you have at one time. Take a look through your bank statements for the usual suspects (or use Unroll Me to handle some of the legwork automatically):


  • Television streaming – Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime (oh my!)

  • Music streaming – Spotify Premium, Apple Music, Pandora, Tidal

  • Practical tech platforms – Dropbox, Google Drive, Adobe Creative Cloud

  • Fun seasonal or monthly gift boxes – FabFitFun, Allure Beauty Box, Stitch Fix, or any one of the other hundred options on the market


This isn’t to say that you should go on a subscription canceling frenzy and purge all enjoyment from your life in one fell swoop. But take some time to think about how often you actually use each service. 


If you love your FabFitFun subscription box (which thousands of people do) then stick with it! But if you haven’t logged onto Amazon Prime in months, it might be time to say goodbye. 


#4 Install Honey

The fact that Honey is a free browser extension is almost unfathomable. It’s literally helping you save money without asking for anything in return—talk about the best best friend ever.  


When you’re shopping online and you arrive at that empty “Coupon or promo code” box, don’t get upset that you have nothing to enter. Honey automatically searches the web and combs through thousands of online offers to find any applicable coupon codes. If there’s money to be saved, Honey helps you save it. 


Start Small, Save Big

Financial independence won’t come right away, but it will come eventually. Take baby steps toward your long-term savings goals if that’s what it takes—at least you’ll be moving in the right direction!


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