With the New Year upon us, many people have made the resolution to save more money. Often, people feel like they have to put in a lot of effort in order to save some money, but this isn’t always the case. There are actually many small things that can help you change the way you save money so you can get the most out of your year. These ten ideas can help you to keep your mind on track so you can save without having to go to drastic matters. With any luck, you can utilize a few of the tips, if not all, to change the way you spend money so your savings can grow and grow.
1. Change Jar
It might seem a little old-fashioned but putting out a change jar can be one of the easiest ways to save a bit of money without having to blink an eye. If you ever pay for anything in cash, then this jar is definitely going to come in handy. If you’re not big on cash then you might consider pulling out a certain amount of cash for purchases you tend to make frequently, such as morning coffee or lunches. Then, you can use the change from these splurges to save when you place it in the jar. You might be surprised how quickly the money adds up in the jar, especially when you think about how much money you’ve lost in the past by not placing it in a secure place.
2. 30 Day Rule
Impulse purchases are one of the biggest problems with people’s budgets these days. We live in a world of instant gratification, which can carry over to our finances. So, whenever you decide you want to make a purchase, put the idea on hold for 30 days. This will allow you to think over the item so you can decide if it is something that you can actually use or if you even really want the item. More often than not, you will probably forget all about the purchase, so you won’t have to spend the money at all. Of course, if you’re still keeping an eye on the item after a month’s time then it might be worth the money. You should, however, make sure to shop around before you make the purchase though. This will help you save money on the items you actually do want.
3. Reconsider Subscriptions
Chances are, if you ditched cable, you probably have a few subscriptions for streaming services. You might also have subscriptions for music streaming, eBooks, or even meal plans, magazines, or subscription boxes. These subscriptions, even if they don’t cost a lot of money, can really add up without you even realizing it. So, as we roll into a new year, you might look at your subscriptions and see which you actually use. If you feel that you use all of them, then you might compromise with yourself. Instead of keeping them all, consider canceling half for a few months. Then, when you are bored of what you have, you can cancel the others and resubscribe to the services that you have up. You might find that you end up not even wanting to resubscribe, which can definitely save you some big money in the long run.
4. Pay Extra
Bills can be pretty frustrating, especially when it comes to calculating interest and the amount of extra money that you have to pay on your bills due to interest. Rather than spend a fortune on interest, you should consider paying in extra for every bill you have that has interest tacked on. This can be anything from your mortgage and car payments to credit card payments and loans. This doesn’t mean you have to give up hundreds of extra dollars on the bills. In fact, even if you round up to the next dollar you will be able to cut back on the interest you pay, which will help you in the long run without hurting you now.
5. Pack Lunches
Another easy way to cut back on spending is to pack lunches for those that must eat outside of the home. Going out to eat for lunch or having your child pay for a meal in the school cafeteria can really hurt the budget substantially. Rather than spending for every person in the household to have a separate lunch bill, you can create lunches that are healthier and cheaper than anything you would potentially buy. You can also pack leftovers and other items to help save even more money. This can actually save you hundreds in a month, which can be used to pay more bills or boost your savings account.
One of the main problems with saving is all of the temptations that we encounter on a daily basis. Any time you purchase something from a store, you will find that you will soon be bombarded by advertisements. Any time the store reduces a price of an item you checked out or offers a sale, which can be daily, you will get an email that will tempt you to make a purchase. Instead of dealing with this annoyance day in and day out, you might consider just opting to not get the emails. As soon as they begin, simply click to unsubscribe to the email. Legally, a mailing list will have to remove you from the list, so you won’t have to deal with the spam again. Without constantly being notified of price reductions and sales, you will find that saving money is a lot easier to do.
7. Grocery Shop Wisely
Another simple way to save on money is to grocery shop wisely. There is no doubt about it, grocery shopping can be intimidating, especially in today’s world. Even if you do prepare a grocery list to keep you on track, it is fairly simple to forget a lot of the items that were needed. Stores are often designed to cause you to do this so that you must go back and spend even more money. So, if you can, make a list and stick to it entirely. If it isn’t on your list, then don’t buy it. If you can exercise this discipline, then you should be able to get through the store without purchasing frivolous items that you don’t need. While shopping, you should also consider a few things. First of all, you should reach for the generic brands whenever you can. This will save you quite a bit, even if you’re only saving a few cents on the brand. Other than that, you should always purchase produce and meat that is in season. These items will be cheaper and fresher, which will help you get more out of your purchases. Doing price comparisons before you shop can also help you choose where you will purchase certain items from.
8. Automatic Savings
If you tend to have money left over after your bills, or you want to avoid temptation, then one of the best things you can do is set up an automatic savings account. Most banks will offer this, and it doesn’t take a lot to set up. In short, you will need a savings account to get started. Once your account is established, ask your bank to set up an automatic transfer for a specific amount of your income. This will move the money before you even see it, just like it would for a bill. This will help you forget all about having the discipline to do it yourself. After a while, you will begin to notice that your savings are growing nicely, which will definitely help you feel more confident about the future.
9. Coupon Shop
Coupons are still an important way to save. Coupons have changed a lot over the years, but you can still utilize the coupons that you saw your parents use when you were a kid. Many stores will offer these in the store or in catalogs when you do go shopping. However, you can also download them from your favorite brands’ websites. Apart from that, you can find coupons online with ease. These are great for online shopping and can be as simple as putting in a code. There are numerous sites dedicated to helping you find the right coupons too, so make sure to sign up for websites and apps that you feel will help you save. Before long, you might get so much more out of couponing than you ever would have expected.
10. Consider Lights Out Days
Our planet is currently in crisis, which means there are a lot of changes that need to be made. Luckily, some of these changes can actually benefit your budget too. As we move into 2022, you might consider having a lights-out day every month or so to help cut back on your use of energy. There are so many ways you can have fun with a lights-out day, as well. You can spend the day outside, if the weather allows, or you can embrace reading or catch up with cleaning chores. With no lights or gadgets to distract you, you may even find some time to relax and unwind. There are also lots of great alternative ways to eat and enjoy cooking without using the power in your home too. With a little creativity and a positive attitude, this might become one of your family’s favorite days.
Saving money doesn’t have to be about making major changes in your life. Rather, you can make some small changes to help you get on track with your life. These ten ideas can really add up as you go, so try out a few options to see which works out for your household, budget, and savings dreams.