Money Saving Tips 101
We all get it, saving money can seem impossible sometimes. It’s not even worth pretending that everyone has the innate ability to save money, but that’s likely the reason the headline above drew you in. While saving money may not come easy to everyone, at least at first, it’s something that virtually anyone can do. As long as you have two pennies to rub together, there’s a chance. And today we’re providing a bundle of tips to get you started.
1. Limit Ad Exposure
- Based on an idea of limiting television exposure (brought to you by The Simple Dollar), our top suggestion is to limit ad exposure. While The Simple Dollar focused on television, the truth is that advertising is everywhere. This can make it impossible to truly limit advertising exposure, but the thought alone will bring about awareness when advertisements are attempting to sap the money from your wallet.
2. Set a Savings Goal
- While some can save for safety without an objective in mind, others require a concrete reason to save. The goal can be simple, like a gift for an upcoming birthday, or for something large, like a car, house, or even retirement. The important thing is the savings practice the goal will provide.
3. Cook At Home
- It’s no secret that the general US population has started moving away from the home cooked meal. According to the USDA, by 2012, 43.1 percent of meals were purchased and consumed outside the home. With the price of convenience, this is no doubt putting a huge hole in many wallets. A focus on home cooked meals is sure to bring your budget back to earth. Think crock pot easy!
4. Analyze Your Expenses Critically
- Admittedly, this is likely the most important suggestion, but it’s also the most likely to garner kickback from the fun and free types, so it’s best to ease into it with a mind opened by other tips. The key to analyzing your expenses is being honest with yourself.
- What can be cut? If it’s not directly responsible for basic hygiene, water, shelter, & food, then theoretically it can be cut. That’s not to say cut everything non-essential, but getting rid of that streaming account you barely use may be a great start on saving.
5. Look into Daily Transportation Options
- While it’s impossible to suggest someone with a long commute to hitchhike, it would be wise for everyone else to look into their options. Find out if carpooling is a possibility. If your workplace or grocery store is within walking or biking distance, give those ideas a whirl.
Maybe it’s cheaper to take the bus to the nearest Target than it is to drive there every time you need the odd item (maybe this knowledge will be a catalyst for realizing you don’t need the odd item).
6. Make Saving Automatic
- Better Money Habits, in collaboration with Khan Academy, made this suggestion and we absolutely back this idea 100 percent. Set up a savings account which automatically withdraws funds on set days of each month from your regular account.
There’s no thinking involved past the initial setup, and as long as you keep on top of your cash flow, everything will go off without a hitch. Before you know it, you’ll be a money saver without even lifting a finger.
7. Set Up a “Money Date” Each Week
- This is another suggestion which is potentially vital to saving, but may scare newcomers away without proper lead in. CNBC refers to this as a “money date,” and with the amount of back and forth involved in money management, perhaps that’s fitting. As long as you go over everything with care and respect, your money will show appreciation by growing each week.
8. Build Fun Into The Budget
- We admit this isn’t the most spontaneous of suggestions, but building “funny money” into your budget can bring you a long way from where you began. When you know exactly how often a night out is possible, it’s easier to navigate through each pay period.
The benefit of this is a sort of balance between saving and still having fun, and as time goes on, the “funny money” budget will grow if all goes right.
9. Don’t Lend Money You Need
- While it would be better not to lend money at all, there are definitely occasions where friends or family will call for help, and lending a helping hand is often times the right thing to do. However, before you let your brother borrow $3000, operate under the assumption that you may never see that money again.
If your budget doesn’t allow that reality, then said brother may have to look elsewhere this time.
10. Resist the Latest Technology
Technology moves at a pace that is nearly impossible to keep up with. To the point where our everyday lives are changing drastically as the years go by. While this is true, year to year, it’s not exactly necessary to upgrade the gadgets we’ve introduced in our lives.
While that tablet or phone might not be as snappy as it was on day one, it will certainly get the job done. It’s much smarter to wait another year or two for newer model, that goes far beyond just looks and incremental speed increases.