How we spend our money has changed a great deal over the past few years. Whether you’ve saved more or depleted your savings, we all need some financial inspiration to help us save where we can. Check out these tips, and you’ll be amazed at just how much money you can save with very little effort.
DON’T PAY INTEREST
Put a plan in place to get rid of credit card debt that you’ve accumulated over the years. You might not have a magical solution available to wipe this debt away, but that’s okay. You can achieve the same thing by transferring your debt to a card with 0% interest for a fixed period (six months to nearly two years). This will allow for you to pay off a set amount each month while avoiding paying for interest.
SAVE FIRST & SPEND LATER
You should always pay yourself first, as it’s a great step towards your financial freedom. Use the 50/30/20 budgeting method that can help you manage your money more effectively. This means that 50% of your after-tax pay goes towards your needs (food, bills, gas, etc.), 30% goes towards your wants (eating out, clothing, etc.), and 20% goes towards your future (savings, emergencies, paying off debt). Unfortunately, this rule won’t work for everyone due to individual circumstances, such as living in an area with a high cost of living. You can adjust these percentages as needed so it fits your individual situation.
DON’T SPLURGE ON PAYDAY
Recent surveys shows that roughly 32% of Americans run out of funds before payday. This includes those with a higher income (over $100K) and not only those living paycheck to paycheck. Try limiting situations that trigger you to spend more, stick to a budget (50/30/20), or switch to cash and leave your cards at home. Follow these suggestions and always ask yourself if you really need it?
USE AN INCOGNITO BROWSER
Using an incognito window when shopping online will help you save money by automatically deleting browsing history when the window is closed. This will help you avoid dynamic pricing, which is when retailers alter their pricing based on your browsing and purchasing history. Yes, this really happens! Giving online retailers less to track will also limit the number of promotional emails and ads you see on a daily, which will reduce the temptation to spend.
SHOP OWN BRANDS
Every supermarket has its own brand of products, and these are always a cheaper alternative to name brands that are sold at a higher price. Switching from name branded products to own brands is an easy way to save money on your next grocery bill. In most cases you can barely tell the difference when it comes to the taste and quality of these products. It’s easy to always reach for that branded label you’ve always enjoyed, but making the switch is worth a try. This might not be significant if you’re a serious couponer as coupons are geared towards name brands.
WEATHER THE STORM
If we’ve learned anything over the past few years it’s that having rainy day funds is more important than it’s ever been. It’s possible that yours might be depleted or maybe you never had one to begin with. It’s never too late to start saving, so put some money aside and start that rainy day fund. As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to have three months of income set aside for emergencies, and six months if you have a mortgage.