9 Tips to Help You Save Money

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Saving money can feel overwhelming. Where to start? What to do? Well, in this article, we’ll share with you some easy ideas of how to save some cash right now.

1. Set Savings Goals

Before you even start, sit down and think about why are you saving. Are you looking to purchase a new home? Are you planning a wedding? Are you saving for your children’s college tuition? Or even simply, are you wanting to pay $3000 off on your credit card.

Why are you saving?

Whatever it is, make it specific and make sure it is realistic with your current income. Creating these goals will foster a mindset of saving and keep you focused. Each time you spend money, you will think about that goal, stop yourself because you will want to achieve it.

After your goals are declared, it’s time to create a savings budget. You will gain clarity of how much you can afford for that house, car or wedding and also how much time it will take to meet that goal.

2. Track your spending

In order to save, you got to get real with where your money goes. Tracking you spending is a crucial part to find out where you are wasting money that could be saved. Starting tracking your spending by:

Look at your account statements and categorize your expenses

Looking at your credit card and bank account statements will give you a true sense of how much you spend. When you categorize your expenses by household, food, entertainment and clothing etc. you will see where you are overspending and how to reduce those costs.

Create a budget plan

Once you get real with where your cash is going, you can then create a budget plan. Here you can look at fixed and variable expenses, and allocate an amount of money for each expense. From that budget, you will figure out how much you can set aside to save. Remember to look for support when start your budget plan. There are a bunch of different budgeting tools such as online apps or spreadsheets like Google Sheets or Excel that have build in Budget templates.

3. Use an automated savings tool

Are you finding yourself spending that extra bit of cash in your bank account instead of moving it to your savings account? It’s time to break that spending money addiction. Thanks to technology, setting aside money is easy. So there are no excuses!

You can set up automatic transfers of a specific sum from your checkings to your savings account. It’s deposited before you can even miss it. You can set up deposits weekly, biweekly or monthly – whatever works for your savings needs.

Depositing automatically removes the need to think about it. Most importantly, it will stop you from spending that cash and get you into habit of working within you savings budget.

4. Swap savings accounts

Banking fees can add up and are simply money gone to waste. If you are getting charged fees and making zero interest on your money, it’s time to switch banks. Many banks offer zero fee checking and savings accounts.

Another option is to cancel your current savings account and switch to a high interest savings account. Be savvy and look at what high interest savings account is available to you. Local banks have them but their interest can be quite low. Getting the highest interest rate available helps you increase your savings by making money off of it at the same time.

There are a number of trustworthy and secure online banks that offer higher interest rates and provide free unlimited transfers. Their interest rates can be as much as 40 times the interest than your current bank offers. Making direct manual or automated transfers from your checking account is easy. You might as well leverage your savings to make a little extra cash.

5. Bundle your cable and internet

Take a hard look at your cable and internet bill. Do you need all of the bells and whistles you are currently signed up for? You could save up to $50 per month by switching your cable package, reducing your internet speed, or even getting a bare bones internet service.

Bundling your cable and internet can also save you big time, depending on your carrier. If you have two different providers, get on the phone and find out who will give you the best deal. Always negotiate and be firm. If you find a better bundled package from another carrier, you can alway switch given you are not on contract.

6. Change your cell phone plan

Shop around and see what the competitor cell phone carriers will offer you.

Look for deals on on cell phone plans that come up throughout the year, particularly around Black Friday and Christmas. If you want to stay with your carrier, they may be offering a promotional plan you can switch to.

There are other ways to save on your cell phone plan. Many carriers provide discounts of $5 to $10 when you opt for autopay. If you can make sure to cash in your account, autopay would be a smart choice. It will also make sure you pay your bill on time.

Many people are signed up for cell phone insurance like warranties and insurance. You can either cancel your cell phone protection plan or choose a basic, less expensive plan.

If you don’t use your cell phone that often, you significantly reduce your cell phone bill by switching to a pre-paid plan.

7. Take advantage of discounts on entertainment

It may be surprising that you can still have fun while saving money! Sure, you will be cutting back on concerts, plays and movies but there are plenty of alternative options that will bring your joy and entertainment.

First off, look at your entertainment services and what you actually use. Do you watch cable enough to justify having it? The average cable bill costs $100. If you are looking to reduce your screen time or don’t really watch much TV, consider cutting your service. If you still love watching the tube, subscribe to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu that cost a fraction of the price. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you automatically get access to Prime Video for no additional cost. Better yet consider sharing your Amazon and streaming services with a relative or friend and split the cost.

Wholesale stores like Costco and Sam’s Club are a great place to find deals on entertainment. Check their selection of discounted movie and theme park tickets, restaurant gift cards or even purchase some low cost games, books and movies.

Discounts are abundant. When you are looking for ways to have remember, you might be able to get a discount so just ask! You could be discounted for being a student, senior or member of the military. If you are a AAA or AARP member, ask if a discount could be applied. Also, consider volunteering for events in the your area. As a volunteer you could attend a concert or sporting event. But of course, you are still on the job.

8. Eat at home

This is an obvious solution to saving money. Eating out on the regular puts a big dent in your pocket. If you do eat out, consider eating a little before you go and ordering a small appetizer or splitting a meal. Also, minimize the drinks you order or go during happy hour for the best drink specials.

Reducing how much you eat out is great for your savings goals but as a bonus, is healthy. Save money while getting healthy!

If you aren’t eating out, prepping meals and buying groceries will be a major priority to stop cheating on your savings plan and your diet! Meal prep or planning is a great way to reduce your grocery costs. Before you go to the grocery store, review what you already have in your fridge and make a list of exactly what you need so you don’t stray.

A few tips for saving at the grocery store are:

  • Buy generic labels: Just because you are used to a brand name product, doesn’t mean you have to stick with it the rest of your life! Many value label products are just as good quality at an affordable price.
  • Have a wholesale membership: Yes the upfront cost is high but if you end up buying groceries, clothing, household items and entertainment, signing up for a wholesale membership can save you big – particularly for families!
  • Shop less often, but at a few stores: Being planned and organized with your grocery shopping can pay off big time. Look for coupons online, in newspapers or flyers for grocery stores to find the best deal. Plan for one big shop a week so that you stick to your list and the stores you found discounts at. If you need to go for another small shop in the middle of the week for perishable items, do it. But make sure to go to a store that gives you lower prices.

9. Be strategic with major purchases

If you looking to buy a new TV, a BBQ or home goods, be strategic with your purchase. There are cycles to what retailers put on sale throughout the year. Never buy any big purchase that isn’t on sale. If you can wait a couple months, it’s worth it to save a couple hundred dollars!

To make it easy for you here is a list of the best times to buy:

Bedding and Linens

  • January
  • February – Presidents Day

Mattresses

  • September – Labor Day

Appliances

  • September – Labor Day
  • November – Black Friday

Small Kitchen Appliances

  • February – Presidents Day
  • May – Memorial Day

BBQs

  • March (prices go up in the summer)

Furniture

  • February – Presidents Day
  • May – Memorial Day
  • Early September – Labor Day
  • November – Black Friday

Outdoor

  • August (lawn mowers and equipment)
  • October (Furniture)

Apparel

  • May – spring clothing
  • June – Lingerie
  • July – summer clothing
  • October – Jeans

TVs

  • late Jan to Super Bowl
  • November – Black Friday (the best deals of the year)

Personal Electronics

  • July (Black Friday in July sales)
  • November – Black Friday

Cell Phones

  • September (after new iPhone unveiling, prices drop on current phones)

School Supplies

  • August (later in the month have better deals)

Toys

  • December

Tools

  • November – Black Friday

Cleaning Supplies

  • April (Spring cleaning month)