Money saving is a habit that everyone should adopt early in life. Losing control of your finances is easy and getting them back on track can take years. Individuals have numerous responsibilities that require funds and sometimes you may not even know where your income disappears to.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in a year, individuals spend over 80% of their income meaning not much is left for saving or investments. Technology has also made spending money that much easier where you can buy a whole wardrobe from your phone or furnish an entire home without leaving the couch. Implementing a few money saving tactics can help you maintain control of your money.
1- Manage Your Banking
The way you manage your finances contributes to your monthly expenditures. Ask yourself how much your bank gives back. Use banking services that offer various savings. Look at the interest rates you get. Lack of overdraft and ATM fees can save you a good portion of your income depending on how much you use the services. New and small financial institutions have enticing offers for customers so consider those.
Check your accounts regularly because fraudulent charges may be eating away at your funds. Most people just swipe their cards and hit ATMs without evaluating their statements. Analyzing your accounts can alert you to spending habits where you can cut back. If you use ATMs, try to set a particular amount to withdraw each week to avoid racking up charges. Alternatively, consider withdrawing from supermarkets and stores that offer cash back. Separate bank accounts will also help you keep an eye on your spending.
2- Shop Smart
Firstly, always have a list and budget when shopping to avoid impulse buying. Another way to steer clear of temptation is not to shop at malls unless you have to. Couponing is one strategy that can reduce your spending significantly. Find coupon sites and get codes to cash in on discounted merchandise.
When shopping, make price companions first whether you are getting vegetables or a car. Online calculators and review sites offer all the information necessary. Join reward programs to earn loyalty points, which you can redeem the next time you shop.
Buy stuff in bulk when possible because it costs less and it saves you the trouble of spending time and money on another trip to the store. During holidays, shop in advance or after to avoid the inflated prices. Brand names typically mean paying more so find generic products that offer just as good quality. When buying food, stick to the seasonal stuff and the local market may have options.
3- Home Savings
Energy-efficient appliances optimize power meaning you pay less every month. Quality home insulation is also essential in reducing power bills. During the cold season, good insulation will retain heat, so your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard.
Install CFL and LED bulbs in your home to reduce the wattage consumption. Besides saving energy, these fixtures are long-lasting thereby negating the need to replace them every few months. Also, switch off lights when they are not in use.
Learn how to DIY, and it will save you a lot of expenses. You can avoid paying a plumber, cabinetmaker, or roofer for every little job by doing some of the repairs around the house yourself. Another way to cut back on household expenditures is to slash your entertainment. Streaming movies and TV shows is cheaper than paying for cable.
4- Clear Your Debts
One way that your finances can end up in ruin is mismanaging your debts. When you let debts build up, at some point, you will be forced to pay them all at once, which can put a significant hole in your bank account. Credit card debt is the biggest issue for most people, but you can find ways to deal with it. Try and make the minimum balance to prevent it from adding up month after month. Besides reducing your debt, paying your credit card on time can give you room to negotiate better interest rates with your issuer.
If you have a loan, budget for it every month to stop the interest from accumulating. Although sometimes it may be unavoidable, ensure that every payment is on time to avoid any charges associated with delays. You can have your paycheck split into portions with one going into your account and another deposited directly to the creditor.