When you think about saving money, what comes to mind? Do you see yourself easily stashing away money each month, or do you see yourself thriving and being able to build a nest egg? If you’re leaning more towards number one, you’re not alone. Saving money isn’t always easy for everyone. In fact, it can be almost impossible, even for those who earn a high salary. In between your regular expenses and recreational activities, you also have to budget for the cost of inflation and any financial emergencies that come up. Thankfully, there are ways to save more money that aren’t as painful as you think.
Itemize Your Bills
The first step in saving more money is itemizing your debt. Gather the last three months of expenses, including your housing costs, car payment, credit cards, utilities, and grocery bills. Take note of where you’re spending most of your money. If it’s your housing costs, you can either speak to your mortgage lender and try to lower your payment or find a cheaper apartment if you rent. If you’re paying a lot on your student loans, you can also consider refinancing them. In most cases, rolling all of your student loans into a new one can lower your monthly payment and interest rate as well. This can help you save more money each month, which you can then keep in the bank or apply towards other bills.
Prep Your Shopping Lists
How often have you gone to the store for one thing and come out buying a basket full of stuff you really didn’t need? Don’t worry, as we’ve all done it. You can avoid overspending by writing a list before going to the store. Since the grocery store is the top offender, always write out what meals you want to prepare for the week. That way, you can stick to your list and hopefully avoid impulse purchases. The same holds true when shopping for clothes or even gifts. Make a list of what you need and don’t deviate from it. You’ll be surprised how much you actually save when you stick to your list.
Set Up Automated Savings
When you’re trying to save, every penny counts. If you’re always forgetting to transfer money into your savings, you can set up automatic transfers. You can either set it up through your bank, or you can use an app. There is no shortage of money-saving apps you can download that help you save money. Some will round up your purchases to the next dollar and then transfer that amount, or you can opt to have the same transaction performed through your bank.
Pay Your Bills on Time
It sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how fast you can save money when you pay your bills on time. Since it’s not uncommon for companies to charge $5 or $10 when you pay after the due date, you need to set up auto-pay on these accounts. In addition to your utilities and cell phone, you can also have your rent, mortgage, insurance, car payment, and credit cards automatically debited from your account each month. This will prevent late fees and additional interest from being applied to your accounts.