If you find yourself constantly struggling with saving money, you are not alone. Everything seems to be against you: the rent, bills, mortgage, groceries, etc. In most cases, you will be surprised to find that you have more money than you think. Here are five tips to maximize savings and limit your spending.
1. Put one dollar aside
Every payday, make a point of putting something aside. If you don’t have an extra three hundred to stash away in your savings, that is perfectly fine.
Putting a negligible one to five dollars into your savings may sound absurd, but in the end, it gradually accumulates and builds the great habit of saving your extra money.
2. Keep track of every cent you spend
If you spend without writing down how much you spend and on what, you may be surprised at how much money you spend on things you don’t need. This is the budget planner that I use, and it has helped me SO MUCH this year!
If you are tight on money, do you really need that cable TV?
There is no need to be frugal your entire life, but if you are particularly short on cash or trying to save up for a down payment, canceling unnecessary expenses will save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year.
3. Buy groceries instead of fast food and junk food
That sandwich or hamburger may be convenient to grab on your lunch break, but buying ingredients and preparing your own food is not only healthier but much kinder to your budget.
The persistent myth that eating healthy is expensive isn’t true. There is no need to purchase ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ foods at insane prices.
Frozen vegetables and other simple, unprocessed foods at reasonable prices are just fine. Skip the chips and desserts, and you will find you have more money than you think.
4. Make coffee at home
If you are a coffee drinker, grabbing even a ‘cheap’ coffee at a gas station will end up being far more expensive than purchasing coffee grounds for a machine.
Try to cut down on or entirely eliminate your coffee-to-go habit and instead brew your drink in your own kitchen.
5. Minimize driving
If your destination is a short ways away, walking instead of driving will save you substantial gas money. If you tend to go for a lot of car trips, try cutting them down to once a week or less and instead put the money in your bank account.
6. Go to the library
If you are a reader, get your books at the library instead of buying them. As a bonus, some libraries offer movies to borrow as well.
7. Sell the items you don’t need
Go through all your things: How much of it do you still want or need? Take all the stuff in decent condition and sell it locally or on a website like eBay.
8. Treat yourself- but be mindful
Should you eat only oatmeal and never have fun again for the sake of saving money? Certainly not! Treating yourself on occasion is fine, but make an effort to prioritize the things you truly want in order to avoid going crazy with your spending.
Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from saving money. Once you become dedicated to saving money, you’ll make it a habit that becomes easier over time. Tell me what you think about these tips in the comment section below.