To save money, you must first organise your finances. Whether you have a strict budget or not, there is still room for you to save money every day on frequent purchases. Below are our six tips that are guaranteed to help contribute to your savings account in the long-run.
Automate Your Savings
If you want to save a consistent amount of money from each paycheck you receive, we recommend you create an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account for the 15th and 30th of each month, or whenever you get paid.
If you are paid the same amount with each paycheck, come up with an amount you'd like to save from each paycheck. Once you have that amount, just set it and forget it. Since the money is automatically moved to your savings account, chances are you won't even notice it's gone. One thing you will see, however, is your rapidly expanding savings account!
Evaluate Your Utilities
We recommend this especially at the beginning of the year in January when companies will advertise lower New Year's promotions. Look at your bills that you pay monthly such as your internet package, TV provider, or cell phone bill. If you aren't locked into a contract, shop around to see if there are better deals available.
Many get tied to a brand and feel like they are cutting off a family member if they leave. This is called brand loyalty, and companies will drain their customers dry with marketing tactics to make you feel bad if you go. Pay this no mind and shop around to see if you could be saving less. You'd be surprised how much you can save by switching to a different provider.
Use Savings Apps
You won't believe how much money you could be saving on small and even significant purchases by looking at price comparisons around the web. While it is nice to buy everything you need from one online shop, buying different things from different stores will save you tremendous amounts in the long run.
We recommend using an app such as ShopSavvy which will look around the web for better deals where you can purchase directly from that supplier, or show that price to a retailer that participates in price-matching. It doesn't take much time, and the savings are well worth it.
Similar to the mobile app above, you can download browser extensions such as InvisibleHand which run quietly in the background while you shop online and pop up when they find a better deal on the item you're currently viewing.
Even if the savings are as small as a few bucks, saving a little here, a little there will add up tremendously in the long run, and your wallet will thank you.
Keep an Eye on Your Budget
We all have the best intentions of setting a budget and sticking to it, but sometimes we forget, and the next thing we know, our credit card bill is higher than expected. To combat this, we recommend setting periodic reminders to check your credit card and bank accounts as often as every couple of days.
It can be scary to look at your bank account but look at it like ripping off a Band-Aid. It’s better to know how much you’re spending than to have to confront it once the bill comes in the mail. Once you know how you’re doing for this month’s budget, you can regulate your spending habits and save more than if you were to “wing it” and assume you were on track. Who knows, you might actually be saving more money than you had initially predicted.
Create a Cash Cushion
This is kind of like a rainy-day fund in some ways. If you can afford it, commit to saving an extra 5% of your income each month. Having a large savings account and a cash cushion will protect you from unexpected financial surprises you might encounter down the road. Experts recommend you have at least six months' worth of expenses saved up in case of emergencies and getting to that point is all about resisting temptation and saving as much money as possible.
So skip that $5 latte and make coffee at home or choose to cook a nice dinner on a Friday night instead of going out. These little savings here and there will help contribute to your pleasant, comfy, cash cushion.
Hopefully, these tips have been eye-opening for you, and you have more ideas to keep track of your spending habits. You worked hard for that money, make sure you're holding on to as much of it as you can.
Check out our previous post about the Best Blogs to Follow to Save Money