10 Money Saving Tips to Help Keep Your Finances on Track: If you’re anything like most Americans, your finances aren’t in the best shape. Take a look at these 10 money-saving tips, and you might be surprised at how much better your personal financial situation can become.
10 Money Saving Tips to Help Keep Your Finances on Track
The earlier you start, and more consistently you do it, the better off you’ll be in your golden years. As we discussed above, compound interest is your friend when it comes to saving for retirement. The earlier you start investing—and have time for money to compound—the bigger your nest egg will be.
We all know that $5 a day invested at 10% over 50 years will be worth way more than $5 a day saved only five years from now (see Rule #4). 2. Automate as much as possible: Setting up automatic transfers from your paycheck into a 401(k) or an IRA means never having to think about saving again.
1) Quit Smoking
Not only will you feel and look better (and smell a lot better), but quitting smoking can save you more than $3,000 a year. On average, smokers spend about $1,500 per year on cigarettes. That’s nearly $200 per month! Imagine all of that extra cash in your pocket every month – or all of those nice things you could buy yourself instead of bumming cigs off your friends. Oh yeah, and if you quit smoking before age 40 and stay smoke-free for 10 years, it’s possible to reduce your risk of death from lung cancer by 50 percent.
2) Eat at Home
By keeping your food costs low, you’ll save hundreds of dollars each month that you can put toward debt reduction or emergency savings. When dining out, ask for takeout containers at the end of your meal and stash leftovers in your refrigerator or freezer for tomorrow’s lunch.
That way, if eating at home isn’t practical—perhaps it’s raining and you don’t want to ride a bike home—you’ll have food available. Look for ways to repurpose leftovers into new meals; soups are a great option. Over time, those little cost-savers will add up! If you’re wondering where to start with money-saving tips, here are 10 ideas:
They’re so simple but they’ll make a big difference over time.
For example, using an app like Ibotta could help you earn $500/year by getting cashback when shopping online. Swagbucks rewards its users with points (which can be redeemed for gift cards) every time they search online or shop online through its website – which means many people get paid just to browse the web. If they were able to use Swagbucks regularly enough, they could earn hundreds of dollars every year just from doing searches & shopping online – without even needing to buy anything!
3) Learn How to Take Good Photos
Investing in a good camera can be one of your best personal finance moves—it opens up a whole new world of money-saving opportunities. Photos are powerful, in that they can help you save money, as well as sell for profit. The first step is to get educated about what makes a good photo and how to take one. Once you have a strong grasp of basic photography skills (e.g., composition), look at sites like Fotolia or Shutterstock.
Which provide royalty-free images you can use in your business or personal life. We recommend starting with photos that cost less than $1; if they work out, move up from there once you’ve gotten some experience with them and have an idea of your target market’s preferences. And don’t forget to check out our list of free stock image websites!
4) Research Deals Online
One of the best ways to save money is by taking advantage of online sales. You don’t have to spend time driving around, looking for a great deal. If you shop online, you can take advantage of online deals and coupons while saving even more with special promotions that are available on some websites.
Amazon offers great deals in addition to special promotions. A quick search will reveal everything you need. Even better, many websites and businesses offer promo codes if you subscribe to their newsletters or follow them on social media channels like Facebook or Twitter. The more deals and coupons you can find, the easier it will be for your finances to remain healthy and balanced!
5) Use Cash More Often
If you’re trying to save money, it can be difficult to avoid overspending if you have a credit card. However, using cash—especially larger bills—makes spending more tangible and obvious. Plus, when you use cash for your purchases, you’ll be less likely to spend more than you want (and beyond your budget).
Paying with a debit card can also help keep your spending in check because it requires that you enter your PIN number at checkout; if there isn’t one of those handy (and many retailers are getting rid of them), then someone else might not be able to spend as easily and frugally as they might otherwise like. What does all of that mean? It means carrying around large amounts of cash may just make you spend less!
In addition to making sure your finances are organized, there are other ways to get better control over your spending habits. Here are 10 simple tips: Always know how much money is in your checking account: If you don’t know how much money is in your checking account, how will you ever know what funds you have available?
Try using online banking or an app such as Mint or Personal Capital. These tools allow you to see exactly where every penny goes and will help you get better control over your finances by tracking expenses and income so that you never feel short on funds again.
6) Trim Down Phone Bill Expenses
An easy way to cut down your monthly budget is by identifying ways to trim down your phone bill. This is a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people have yet to figure out that making just one or two changes could save them hundreds of dollars each year. Check for alternative cellphone plans and lower calling features (like unlimited talk minutes).
Compare cable providers and look into cutting back on packages (or even ditching cable altogether). Making small changes like these can make a big difference in how much money you spend each month without compromising on what matters most: your and your family’s happiness.
7) Walk or Bike When Possible
Using a bike or a pair of walking shoes instead of your car saves money and is good for your health. It also has enormous positive externalities, including reduced pollution and improved city infrastructure. For example, you might use biking as an excuse to visit a friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with or do some grocery shopping in an area of town that doesn’t have enough stores nearby.
You might even find yourself getting involved in advocacy for better biking facilities where you live. Either way, it’s a win-win-win: you save money on gas, exercise, and feel better about yourself while contributing toward making your community healthier and more livable. Besides — did we mention it’s free? If you don’t already own a bike, don’t worry; check out websites like Craigslist for used options. If you prefer riding to driving but are concerned about safety, there are plenty of resources available online for learning how to be safe on two wheels.
And if all else fails and you just can’t be bothered, remember that walking still counts! A study published by The Journal of Applied Physiology found that people who walked five miles per week (about 30 minutes per day) were 35 percent less likely to die from heart disease than those who didn’t walk at all. Not only will regular walking improve your health, but it’ll also save you money over time by helping prevent expensive trips to the doctor’s office later down the road! Walk around more today!
8) Go Out Less Often
Shopping sales and clearance items are a great way to keep your finances in check. Even though everyone knows that you can find great deals, many people overlook these sections of a store. Clearance and sale items are usually placed near the checkout or at the front of a store, so be sure not to overlook these sections as well. In fact, by looking for sale and clearance items when you’re shopping for anything from groceries to clothes, you can save yourself a lot of money—and boost your savings account.
You’ll also avoid buying more than you need! If you shop less often, you’ll spend less money. If you make all of your purchases at once, it will be easier to stick to a budget because there won’t be any surprises in terms of how much money you have leftover each month. Don’t let social outings affect your finances negatively; going out with friends and family shouldn’t cost too much if it’s done properly.
The key is knowing where and when to go out without breaking your budget! Take advantage of discounts offered through credit cards: Getting good rewards for spending money seems like a no-brainer; after all, who doesn’t want free stuff?
9) Pay Off Credit Cards Regularly
While a credit card can be a helpful tool for managing your expenses and building your credit, it can also lead you into debt. Set up automatic payments from your checking account so that you’re never late making a payment, and pay more than just the minimum payment each month. You’ll have paid off your card in no time! And if you have several cards with balances, consolidate them onto one card with lower interest rates; in many cases, you can even save money by closing some of your accounts and transferring those debts to another card.
10) Shop Sales and Clearance Items
Never pay full price for anything. If you want a new item but don’t necessarily need it, wait until that item goes on sale and then buy it. It might take longer than buying immediately, but you’ll save money in the long run. The same applies to clearance items; if you’re looking for a bargain, never walk right past one just because an item has already been marked down. Instead, look at any tag that reads Final Sale! (or something similar) and check out what it would cost in a second color or size.
There are many ways you can improve your finances, from lowering your living expenses to simply learning how to better manage what you already have. Learning these tips will put you on a track toward success and may even give you some wiggle room if an emergency does arise. The more prepared you are for life’s unexpected challenges.
The less likely it is that they’ll upend everything. Being financially prepared is ultimately a good way to ensure that life—and money—goes as smoothly as possible. If there’s one piece of advice we could give, it’s to save early and save often. You’ll thank yourself later!