Tips to Help You Save Money
It can sometimes feel impossible to save money these days. Bills keep coming, expenses keep increasing, and paying off debts tend to take up a lot of your monthly income. However, there are still many ways to save money that you may not have thought of. Even if you manage to save a few dollars here and a few dollars there, if you can do this every month, these savings add up.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you save money.
Unsubscribe from Marketing Emails
This may not seem like a big move, but most people get several marketing emails from various companies every day. If you unsubscribe from these mailings, you won’t have as much temptation to rush out and buy something every time a store has a sale or a new product becomes available.
You might think that being on a mailing list helps you save money by alerting you of sales and price drops, but the reality is that these emails are likely encouraging you to spend more than they save you money.
Cut Out Monthly Payments and Subscriptions
There are a lot of services that many of us pay for monthly. Cable bills, cell phone bills, streaming services, and various other monthly costs add up quite quickly. That’s not to say that you should cut out these payments completely, but it’s a good idea to review them.
Are you using everything you’re paying for? If there is a streaming service you rarely use or if you don’t watch all the channels on your cable package, cancelling this service or downgrading your cable plan can save you money every month.
Most financial institutions make it easy to automatically transfer money to a separate savings account. If you set it up so that your bank automatically moves a certain amount of money from your chequing account to a savings account every month (or every time you get paid), you’ll slowly build your savings over time. Plus, you won’t be tempted to spend as much since your money will be in a separate account.
Make a “Think About It” List
If you find yourself wanting to buy an item that isn’t a necessity, write it down on a “think about it” list and come back to it later. A lot of the time, we make purchases based on impulse. If we want something, we tend to try to justify buying it by coming up with all the ways we’d use it if we owned it. However, if you take some time to think about a purchase before you make it, you’ll find that these feelings will pass. The result is that you will be much less likely to buy something you don’t actually need.
Rather than walking out of the store with something you might end up regretting, write down what you’re interested in and make a note to come back and review it in 30 days. There’s a good chance that by the time the 30 days are up, you’ll be able to think more clearly and make a more rational decision.
Track your Spending
One reason why it’s hard to save is because you don’t know where your money is going. If you knew exactly how much you spent in certain categories, you’d probably change your spending habits and save some more money. This is why tracking your spending is so important. When you record every purchase you make, no matter how small, it lets you know exactly how you’re spending your money. Then you can use this information to modify your spending and save more money.
Plan your Meals
Planning your meals is an excellent way to save money. Not only will it help you choose to cook at home more often (which is a lot more cost-effective than getting takeout or eating at restaurants), but creating a plan also helps you spend less money at the grocery store.
When you plan your meals, you’ll be able to take advantage of sales. Plus, you’ll buy only what you need. This prevents you from “impulse buying” at the grocery store and having the foods you buy go bad before you get a chance to use them.
“Pay” your Savings Every Month
You likely have several different bills that you pay each month. Make sure to include a category in your budget for “savings” and pay this one monthly as well. Add it to your schedule just like any other bill and make sure it’s paid on time.
Pay into your savings before you make any other discretionary spending. “Forcing” yourself to save and making it a priority can be the motivation you need to change your habits and save more money.