They say that a penny saved is a penny earned. When people need money, they usually look for ways to increase their income, which is great, but an equal amount of attention should go to saving. Saving on all of the little things you sometimes overspend on every day will have a huge effect on your bank balance on the long run. Here are a few simple ways to save.
- Don't just save up arbitrarily. Save for a particular goal or thing that you want to use the money for.
The biggest mistake the people make when it comes to saving, is that they just save up "for something I might need to spend it on later." The problem with that, is that there's no motivation there to stick to the savings plan, because you don't know what it is that you are saving up for. You can easily end up blowing your hard-earned money on the next shiny gadget that comes out, that you realize later that you didn't really need.
Rather, set a goal. Decide on how much you want to save up, and what you are going to use it for. You don't necessarily have to spend it."I want to have $10,000 as an emergency fund," that also works. The key is to set a specific amount, and to know what the money is for. For people with low income, it is always a good idea to save up for income-generating assets.
- Extreme couponing
Yes, extreme couponing is a thing. The idea is to find a coupon for the item that you want, then use it on an item that is already on sale. So for example, if something normally costs ten dollars, and it's on sale for six, you can use a coupon that gives it to you for three dollars off, and that's how you get a ten-dollar item for only three dollars. Coupons.com is a great place to start.
However, I will warn you that it can be time-consuming to find coupons and match them with items that are on sale.
- Avoid fines and fees
Many big expenses come from unexpected fines and fees, such as parking tickets, overdue books and movies, and ATM fees can add up too, over time. The best way to avoid this is to stay organized. Use a planner to keep track of due dates. Use post-it notes to remind yourself to move the car. Set a particular day of the week to withdraw cash from the bank for the rest of the week, decide on how much to spend each day, and never use outside ATM's that charge a fee. a $1 withdrawal fee may not seem like much, but as I said, it adds up over time, and is a complete waste of money.
- Save your receipts
Yet another reason to be organized. So often do we buy expensive things that we end up not using, or not working after a while. Keep a file for your receipts, return your stuff when you see that you are not using them.
- Pay attention to prices- know where to buy things for cheap
Living in New York, the prices here are higher than most other states. I have a sister in Connecticut, and we put off a lot of our shopping for when we visit her, because things are a lot more affordable there.
But you don't have to leave the state to save money. Pay attention to which stores in your area sell particular items for less than other stores. Keep track of that, so the next time you need that particular item, you know where to go.
Same goes for gas. Gas is cheaper when you leave the city, so make sure to fill up the tank when you do.
- Buy things wholesale
Things are a lot cheaper when you buy a lot at once. Things like soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. are things that you know for sure you'll always need. So why not buy a year's worth all at once and save both, time and money?
- Take full advantage of sales
This is fundamentally the same idea as Number 6. When the price is low on items that you know for sure you will need later, buy as much as you can so that you don't have to pay full price later.
- Keep a coin jar
This is the simplest and most obvious one of them of all. Keep a big jar where you throw your spare change whenever you get some. Whenever you see coins behind the sofa, under the bed, or anywhere, add it to your collection. In time, it'll add up.
- Brown bag your lunch
If you're outside all day, you can end up spending $10-$20 dollars every day on just food. So you'll save lots if you take food from home instead.
- Budgeting-Keep track of your money
Do an assessment of your money at least once every two weeks. Know how much you made from the last time, and how much you spent, and what you spent it on. This will give you a good view of where most of your money is being spent, so that you can start thinking about how to spend less in that particular area. Set a budget -- a given amount that you are allowed to spend in a particular area. And during your weekly assessments, see whether or not you were able to stick to the budget.
The most important thing of all for long-term financial success, is financial education. You went online, you looked for articles on how to save money, and you found this. That was the first step, but there is lots more to know. People are always coming out with new ideas, and the best way to succeed in anything is to keep learning.