If you have ever looked at your bank account midway through (or even at the start) of the month and wondered where all the money has gone, you’re not alone. Many people are spending more money per month that they want or even need to. However, with a few changes to your budget and lifestyle, it should be easy to save money every month and feel good about it. Here are some ways it can be done.
When you set goals, you start to make a habit around money, which is hugely important when you want to start saving it. When you make a goal for everything that you need to spend money on, you can easily save money because you will no longer be rushing into buying things without taking the time to consider them properly.
When you make a goal, it needs to be SMART. This stands for specific, measurable, attainable, retainable, and time oriented. It’s even better if you can create one goal and then split that goal into smaller ones. These milestones will help you to achieve everything more easily, and you won’t feel so overwhelmed which means you won’t give up on the idea.
Make A Budget
Having a budget is not about depriving yourself of things. Instead, it is about spending your money in the most sensible way you can, still buying the things you need, and hopefully leaving enough over for the things you want. It is about taking control of your spending and, ideally, your saving too because if you can put money away each month rather than spending down to the last cent, then when you do reach your goals (as mentioned above) you will be able to buy whatever it is you had on your wish list.
Although negotiation isn’t always possible, in many cases it is. In almost every retail situation you can ask for a lower price and start to bargain and barter with the retailer. Some will immediately let you know that this is not how they work, but others will let you have some kind of discount by working with you. Remember this point when you head out to buy a larger purchase such as a car, or kitchen goods, but it is also worth considering when you are buying smaller goods too, particularly if you are buying a large amount of them.
Many people think they can save money by buying the cheapest items they can, and although it is a good idea to look out for sales and discounted prices, it can also be a good idea to buy more expensive items, or items that you can use in many different situations. The key is that these items must be of high quality as well as being more money. Clothes are a good example of this. You can buy cheap clothes, but they won’t last, especially if you wear them for work. Alternatively, you can buy more expensive clothing which will mean you have a larger initial outlay, but you won’t have to replace them as soon, saving you money along the way.
Wearing good clothes for work that can also be used at home is another way to save money. You can find more info here on these kinds of clothes. Giving them a dual purpose will make them last even longer and will save you even more money in the long term.
Look At Your Monthly Bills
There are many bills that we pay each month that we don’t even think about. Cable, phone, electricity, and many more besides. Take a look at these monthly bills and add them up and you’ll be surprised at just how much of your income they take. Make sure to have a budget tracking app to monitor your expenses and can show all your subscriptions. Once you know how much you are spending, you can determine which services you really do need, and which ones you can remove altogether. In other cases, you can negotiate better deals, or find new suppliers. Knowing what you are spending puts you in control of your finances, and this is very important.
Try A New Grocery Store
You may shop at just one grocery store because it is the closest to you, or it’s the one you mom shopped at, or you’ve just fallen into the habit and head to that one store no matter what when you need to do your grocery shopping. If that’s the case, then stop for a moment and do some research into which other stores are open near to you. A few extra minutes in the car could bring you to a different grocery store which has lower prices. It could even be that the lower priced store is nearer than your usual one, and you just didn’t realize.
Trying a new store can be difficult, especially if you are someone who particularly enjoys routine and doesn’t like change, but after a few trips you’ll get to know the layout of the new store and you’ll be saving money too which will make the potentially uncomfortable experience worth it.
If you have debt on a credit card that you are paying off each month, you won’t be surprised to learn that in reality you are really paying the interest each month, with just a little of the balance on top. This is why it will take you a long time to clear the debt, especially when you are only paying the minimum amount required each time. If you can switch your credit card balance to a new card with a 0 percent interest rate on balance transfers, you won’t be paying the interest anymore and your minimum payments will be lower. Alternatively, you can continue to pay the same amount as you did before, and pay the debt off more quickly.
Make Your Own Lunch
If you tend to head out of the office and straight to a diner, café, restaurant, or even a store to buy yourself some lunch, it’s time to stop. Saving money means not buying anything unnecessary, and these kinds of lunches fall into that category since you can easily – and cheaply – make your own lunch at home. Save going out for special occasions, and brown bag your sandwiches and you’ll be amazed at how much you can save.