When you’re already on a tight budget, finding additional ways to save money is not easy. But it’s always important to set aside at least a little for the future, no matter how much income you’re currently bringing in. Here are seven ways you can save money even when you’re working hard to live on a budget.
1. Eliminate Stuff that You’re Paying for and Not Using
We often use the new things that we buy frequently at first, but we tend to set them aside over time, and then they just sit there collecting dust. This isn’t an ongoing problem when you’re talking about one-time expenses such as a new set of tools or a new pair of shoes but this can be a real financial nuisance if you’re talking about subscriptions. Why? Because the subscriptions are not a one-time expense, most will continue to bill you until you cancel. Companies that offer subscription services make a fortune off of people that don’t bother canceling services that they no longer need or use.
2. The Luxury Item List
Big purchases are worth some special consideration. Create a Luxury Item List of the big-ticket items that you want (including vacations and activities such as concerts or sporting events). Think about how much you value each and then prioritize your list from “want most” to “want least”. Now consider how much the items at the top of your list will cost you.
3. Eliminate your debt
Debt can hold you back from achieving new financial goals. The constant strain on your budget can leave no room for savings at the end of the month. Make it a priority to tackle your debt it will take commitment to erase your debts, but it can lead to an easier life. You’ll be able to put the money you were using for debt repayment towards your savings.
4. Saving money is good for your relationships
Nine times out of ten, marital arguments are centered around money and the stress that comes along with not having enough of it. Partners feel the weight of being in debt and not having enough money come down on them, and it can cause an immense amount of tension, anger, distrust and eventually lead to the relationship dissolving. Nurture your relationships with those you love by nurturing your finances. Get a nest egg growing so you can approach conflict without adding the stress of being broke to it.
5. Pay Your Bills on Time and Don’t Overdraw Accounts
Credit Card Companies and Banks make hundreds of millions each year on late payment fees and finance charges on overdrawn accounts. Avoid all of the extra and unnecessary late fees. Don’t exceed your credit limits and take the time to read the fine print the next time you sign up for a card or loan.
6. Saving money is good for your credit score
While saving money may not directly affect your credit score, the fact that you have something to fall back on should you hit hard times means your credit score won’t suffer.
7. Saving money is good for times of crisis
We prefer to think nothing terrible is going to happen, but sometimes it does. We lose jobs, have house fires, or car accidents. Our pets get sick or our wallet gets stolen in a foreign country. Life is unpredictable, so having a good chunk of money to lean on, just in case, is going to ensure that the bumps along the way aren’t game-changing.
Cooking is another great way to save money, especially if it’s something you enjoy. Rather than ordering in or going out, go to the grocery store and pick up some of your favorite foods. Make an event out of cooking and choose a meal that will make the preparation interesting, challenging, and fun. Most importantly, do it together. Cooking with your spouse or date can be a lot of fun and there’s nothing more satisfying than eating great food that you made yourself.
9. Avoid Temptation
Going to the mall? Leave the plastic at home or, better yet, find something else to do and avoid the place entirely. Were you planning just to window shop? If you’re the type that frequents malls and other major retail outlets and can escape without spending a penny, then, by all means, have fun and enjoy yourself. If you’re like the rest of us, and can’t ever seem to get out of those situations without spending money, then eliminate the possibility by either leaving the cards at home or just finding something else to do instead.
10. Saving money is good for your confidence
Saving money is part of what we call “adulting”. The more adulting you do, the more proud of yourself you feel. You are owning life like a boss and you’re going to hold your head a little higher because of it.