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65% of Americans have no money in savings and only 1 in 3 persons have money set aside for retirement.
That is a scary thought! I mean money makes the world go round, right? So what happens when you’re world runs out of money?
I’ve put together a bunch of different ways to help you save some money whether you’re a college student, newly weds, approaching the hill, or getting ready to hit the golden years. These tips when applied can help you stock pile an awesome pile of moolah!!
There is also an excellent article on money management here from Dave with Lend Edu that you should also check out!
I gotta tell ya that I am not a financial expert! I do not have a degree in this stuff! I am however someone who saves her money and who does her research, just keep that little disclosure in mind.
Why you should save money
I think that a lot of people have different reasons for why they’re saving money. I think that though that the biggest reason to save money is ensure your future.
If an emergency happens like your car breaks down or you get seriously sick or the water heater goes out, what do you do? Well there’s nothing for it but to find a loan right? You have to pay for the damage one way or another and if there is NO money then you’re stuck.
This plunges you back farther away from reaching your financial dreams and goals.
Or your future could be to own a home, start a family, or even retire early!
There are a lot of money gurus that boast their success from saving money early and seriously.
What is your reason to save money?
Where to start
This is where I’ve place tips for where to begin with saving your money and the easiest ways to start.
Track your spending
This is best way to really found out what you’re spending too much money, even if you don’t think that you’re spending that crazy you could be surprised.
I had no idea HOW MUCH MONEY spent on fast food until I started tracking my spending. We’re talking a lot!
Is a cup of coffee worth that $5 or is it worth more at home where you can make it for $1? If you choose the latter, put the extra $4 that you were originally went to spend on the cup of coffee into savings.
Implement the 30-day rule
This is where you fight the urge to buy something for thirty days.
Well that sounds obvious but what I mean is that if you see a pair of shoes that you really want and think I MUST buy these, stop yourself and put them back but take a pic or write down the name of the shoe and give yourself a 30 days to really think it over and to decide if you need to buy them.
If after 30 days, you still want them then give yourself permission to buy them! J.D. explains the 30-day rule really well on his post, here.
I find that if I go home and keep thinking about a certain item for at least two weeks, I’ll start setting money aside to go buy that item. If I don’t think about then I know that I never truly loved it!
Switch bank accounts
If you’re paying a monthly fee to use any of your bank accounts, switch it! You can either go down to your bank and discuss it with them or switch companies all together. Many banks offer incentives to new customers anyways and you could end up with a little more savings money than you had before.
Set up your bank to make automatic transfers from your checking into your saving account
It can be a set plan every month or it can be set up to transfer change that’ll round up the dollar.
I know that my bank for instance will transfer change. It’ll round up to the next dollar so if I spend $5.95 on something, my bank will transfer the extra $0.05 into my savings account. Easy peasy!
Use a shopping list
A lot of times if you go to the store without a list, you stroll aimlessly throughout the store buying this or that. This ends up hurting you in the end because you end up buying stuff that you didn’t need! And you’ll probably forget something you really did need.
Am I the only one who goes to Target for toilet paper and three trips later still end up without the toilet paper??
Never shop on an empty stomach
Want to talk about the worst way to impulse buy? Go to the grocery store hungry. All the sudden you’ll find all sorts of stuff that you never knew you needed! Everything looks good. And it all ends up in your shopping basket.
Drink more water
Not only will you save money because you aren’t buying juice or soda at the very least you won’t be buying them as often. When you drink a glass of water before a meal, you’ll be fuller and won’t eat as much.
Fairly simple but always practice putting away 20% of your income away into your savings account.
How to save money
These are tips to actively use to cut costs or find extra bits of money to stow into your savings account.
Turn off electronics that you aren’t using
The TV for example, I turned my off a lot last month and noticed that my electricity bill went down 20 bucks!
Now remember that I work from home and then TV used to be on from 7a.m. to 11p.m. still though if you can cut down you electricity bill a little bit, it’s worth a shot!
Ditch bad habits
Drinking too much alcohol? Are you a smoker? Got a bad habit for too many sweets? (GUILTY!!) These habits are not doing you any favors! Think about how much money you could be savings if you no longer had these habits?
The store brand is usually a dollar or two cheaper than any name brand so give em a chance! You might be surprised that many generic items are insanely similar to the name brands.
Save your change
Seems like a fairly obvious one but you might be surprised at how many simply don’t do it! Every little bit adds up! I personally take at least 6 months to save my change before cashing it in.
Do your research, do some shopping around! It’s usually a great payoff! For example, I saved $50 a month by switching my car insurance company and my parents saved $1,000 by switching cruise lines!
This can applied to anything! Cable companies, electric companies, wireless carriers, and so on.
Make your own stuff
Such as you can make your own soap, laundry detergent, you can make your own skin care! There is so much around your house that you can make on your own. You own cleaning supplies, deodorant, dog food, cat food, and candles!
Don’t eat out
Strictly limit how much you go out to eat. Avoid fast food and take a sack lunch with you to work instead of hoping into the drive through line.
If friends ask you to go out simply suggest meeting for game night instead, it’s much cheaper and you still get to hang out!
Use cash back apps
Apps such as Ebates (P.S. when you click on that Ebates link, you’ll get $10!!) and Ibotta, which after signing up give you a percentage, back on your shopping! They are literally paying you to shop! How awesome is that??
Rent DVDs from the library
This really is something that myself and Dustin have gotten into lately because we can rent from the library for $2 compared to $6 off of Amazon Prime! That’s a $4 savings every couple of weeks which adds up to more than $100 bucks a year! That is if you rent at least one movie every two weeks.
Minimize and sell useless things
Every so often go through your house and ask yourself if such and such item still adds value to your life? If not, sell it and tuck that money nicely into your savings account.
Clear your debt
How much money do you think you’re paying in interest every month? The longer that you’re in debt, the more money you’re wasting away. Make yourself a plan on how you’re going to get yourself out debt I.E. how much extra money can you put toward your principal balance, which has the highest amount interest rate?
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Clipping coupons might not be the most glamorous thing but every little bit will add up!
You can also find a lot of mobile apps that will coupon for you! Target has one, King Soopers, Safeway to name just a few. Take just a few minutes to scroll through them and see if anything can be used for your list.
Become a store member
So many companies offer free memberships and you can save so much money because stores will offer member only savings!
Two of the biggest ones that come to mind are grocery stores and gas stations! I mean loaf and jug offers 3 cents off every gallon when you’re a member and that can add up quick!
Do a save challenge
For every $5 or $10 or $1 or $20 bill that comes across your path set it aside for a determined amount of time, a lot of people do a year or at least 6 months, and see how much you have!
This one can be more difficult since so many people only use their debit/credit cards but go for it anyways!
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
Ask for a lower price on appropriate items.
A car is a big one that people usually negotiate on but you can also negotiate with someone who offers a service. Keep in mind though that independent people can give different prices, places like Midas or Sam’s club will have set prices.
Take advantage of first time customer offers
Set up an email that you can use as a junk collector and use it to sign up for monthly updates from online stores. Many stores offer at least 10% off for new customers.
Buy in bulk
When something that you use very often because available at a lower rate, buy up as much as you can! It’s a bit more money initially but after all over time you’re going to be saving money. Bonus is that you won’t have to worry about your stock being low for a while!
Stores usually put out sales a month or more before the new season and you can get really good quality for WAY cheaper!
Buy quality items
Take into consideration that items that cost a bit more are worth it because it’s more of an investment. If you’re going to buy a refrigerator, the higher quality that you can afford the longer it will last and they usually come with a better warranty!
What to remember when saving money
It’s a slow process.
You won’t wake up the next morning with a butt load of money just chilling after trying out a couple tips.
You’ll slip up
We all do! Not a single one of us are perfect or don’t make a mistake every now and then. The important thing is to not be too hard on yourself! You can take that moment and learn from it and see how you can change in the future.
Don’t give up
The reasons above are enough to make anyone loose sight of what they’re working so hard for. You have to remember that anything worth having is, is hard work and not going to be easy. Never give up on yourself, goals, or dreams!