Just a few tips for saving money.
- Make it automatic.
Set aside a specific percentage of your paycheck (5-10% is a good start) and put it into a savings account, or 401 (k), cd, bond, stock portfolio etc.
- Keep minimum funds in the checking account.
Make your money work for you by funneling extra funds into our savings account where it will earn more interest.
- If you must use credit cards, use a cash back card (or other rewards).
Make sure the fee for the card isn’t higher than the savings, and pay off the card every month. This is probably the best tips for saving money.
- Actively search out deals.
Remember, “Saving money is equal to making money”.
- Write down all the monthly payments you own and look for ways to lower your costs.
You can change usage of electrical/water/communication plans, upgrade appliances to energy savers, lower the thermostat a few degrees, bundle services, and stop paying for things you don’t use or need.
- Cook at home.
The cost of food is the second highest outside of housing (and medical costs if you are elderly), so stop eating out, and start eating in. Studies have shown that it’s the time and energy needed for food preparation that inhibits most people. If this is the case there are many time savers (cooking in large quantities and freezing portions, buying pizza at a Costco and freezing for reheating, looking for easy to make recipes, purchasing easy to clean cooking materials, buying a dishwasher, substituting food groups like eating sandwiches for dinner, or whole grain cereal and fruit for lunch etc).
- Use public facilities.
Instead of paying high fees at private gyms, entertainment centers, theaters etc, try going out to local parks, ywca’s, libraries, public concerts, plays etc. where the cost is often less expensive, and often more convenient.
- Take care of things. If we treat things we own with respect and care, they will last longer and replacement costs will go down.
- Buy a good coffee maker, blender, beer kit etc.
If there are food or beverages you consume regularly than try making them at home and going out only for special occasions. Coffee drinkers alone can spend well over one thousand dollars a year at coffee shops.
- Buy assets not liabilities.
When it comes to tips for saving money, a good rule of thumb is to look at all we buy (our debt) as an asset or a liability. An asset can be summarized as anything that is positive for our well being, grows in value over time, and does not cost us more to keep than its worth. A liability basically is something that decreases in value, and costs more to keep than it is worth. I know these are simplified explanations, but is a good rule of thumb to make sure we use our money wisely. We may enjoy that big screen entertainment system, but it will cost us in upkeep, electricity, purchase of movies, music accessories and other services. It can also be a waste of our precious time, and become an avenue for input into our lives that is not beneficial to our well being.