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Saving Money Tips
Coronavirus. Market crashes and disruptions. Bubbles. In times like these, the future is never certain.
We all wish we could live in a more stable, predictable era, but we have to deal with the cards we’re dealt. It may not be as bad as it was for our ancestors, but there are still obstacles on the path to success.
Having a stash of money around can help you and your family in any unforeseen event. But let’s not be too gloom and doom – maybe you just need a vacation and want to put away a few extra bucks!
In any case, you’ll want a few tips to get your finances on track.
Saving Money Tips
Buy Cheaper Products
While the $0.75 tinned food on the shelf may not be organic, it won’t kill you. If you’re looking to save a few bucks in the short or long term, buying cheaper products is an excellent way to go.
And buying cheap doesn’t have to mean buying unhealthy. When I was in college, completing my degree, I was dirt poor. On a good week, I had ten dollars to my name – $40 a month for all the food I needed to keep myself going.
While I certainly wasn’t well-fed, I wasn’t starving either. And looking back, my diet was probably a bit healthier than what I consume today.
Take, for example, a bag of onions. One onion is an excellent addition to any dish – from soups to pasta – and it has so much nutritional value. And at only around $1.99 per bag, you can eat onions day and night and still not feel the weight on your wallet.
There are plenty of healthy, cheap vegetables and legumes around your local market. Rice and beans are a great, cheap source for both protein and calories, apples are a sweet treat, and lentils are a hearty addition to a soup. And they’re all usually under $4 a bag!
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These money-saving tips may seem obvious, but you may not be doing them as well as you think you are. While you may not think of yourself as the kind of person who makes silly purchases, you may be looking over a few things.
Did you really need, for example, that physical copy of your favorite novel when you already have it on audiobook?
Frivolous purchases like these may not even come to mind when you think of where all your money goes, but they can really add up.
While you didn’t chalk up that bag of chips when you bought them at the gas station, five bags of chips over a month is like paying for a whole new subscription service.
This brings us to our next tip.
Most people think of budgeting as just not spending as much. But there’s so much more to it than that.
Having a budgeting book where you record all of your spendings can keep you from over-spending and get you out of the red.
Making such a budgeting book is simple. When you get your paycheck, take your total pay and subtract expenses like rent, water, health insurance, and so on. For water and electricity, make sure to overshoot.
After you’ve done all this, take your total and divide it by four. This is how much money you can spend every week.
Blocking off a certain amount of money – say, $100 – for groceries can help you stay under your budgeting targets by continually reminding you of your limits while shopping.
Next, take your grocery bill, and subtract it from your weekly budget. Now you have how much you can spend on extraneous items. If it’s more than you expected, you can block off a certain amount for savings and go crazy with the rest.
If not, just put it all away. A penny saved is a penny earned.
If you prefer to budget on your phone or online, there are free budgeting apps you can download and use to keep track of your spending.
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Set Up An Emergency Fund
They say we are all one crisis away from becoming homeless, especially if we don’t have an emergency fund set up. If you don’t know what an emergency fund is or how it all works, you can download our free emergency fund calculator that will do all the work for you.
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Many people view coupons as those little slips you’ve got to throw away every time the self-checkout machine spits out your receipt. But there’s so much value in a coupon.
Combining coupons by keeping a coupon book can help you save money by keeping you in the know on deals. A two-for-one coupon is just as good as stealing an item, especially when most people don’t even take advantage of these offers.
While some view the coupon life as just another feature of growing old and bored, we who have watched an episode or two of Extreme Couponing know that there’s so much more to it.
Couponing is just another one of those great, unseen ways to keep your grocery bills low and put away a little more money every month.
Automatic Savings & Investments
Setting up an automatic transfer of $30 into your savings or investment account each week takes the work out of your financial life. You most likely won’t notice it is gone and that money will add up over time and earn interest while you sleep. Even a small amount makes a difference.
Give Your Bank Accounts Names
Giving your bank accounts better names helps motivate you to save more. Would you rather put money into an account named: Savings 1, or an account named: Holiday to Hawaii?
Giving your savings accounts names adds an emotional attachment that you are more likely to act upon.
Unsubscribe to Useless Services
You may think you’re on top of all of your subscriptions, but you may be missing just a few little ones that you don’t use anymore.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to sign up for free trials, you may have signed up for a service and forgotten about it. Because services don’t take out payments on set, coordinated dates, you may be missing a few.
Take, for example, a Hulu account. While your electricity and water bills are due on the same days of the month, your Hulu payment might come out on the fourth, the twentieth, or the seventeenth of the month. It all depends on when you subscribed.
Since that Hulu bill is coming out all by itself, it probably won’t trigger a notification from your bank. Thus, you’re hemorrhaging money five dollars at a time!
There are a number of apps that can help you cancel unwanted and unknown bills. Just look up ‘bill canceling app’ to get hooked up with an application that can help you plug those little leaks.
Unsubscribe To Email Lists
Unsubscribing to email lists is a really easy way to save money. If you are not tempted, then you won’t buy it. You can even go one step further and unfollow the brand on social media to limit your exposure to all the shiny things you want but don’t need.
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Our Best Saving Money Tips Wrap Up
All in all, you can save money just by spending less and keeping track of your expenses. Getting on the ball in terms of spending can be a great way to work up savings for rainy days.
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