5 Ways to Slash Spending
Saving money can often feel daunting, but it truly doesn’t have to be a chore! Sometimes just reevaluating your spending and finding areas where you can make small cutbacks can make a big impact. Make it your goal to save more money by cutting back on the small and unnecessary things. With these five money saving tips, you can make your dollar stretch that much more.
When it comes to food, some of us foodies love to splurge, but there are still ways to do so without breaking the bank. First, limit the amount of times you eat out per week or month. If you do opt to eat out or order in, look for discount codes, coupons or download apps to receive exclusive offers. Delivery fees and charges can add up fast. Think about substituting just a couple of those restaurant meals with a home-cooked one, and watch your savings add up.
The idea of looking for discounts or coupons applies to grocery shopping as well. Grocery stores usually have specific days when certain items are on sale. For example, fruit is on sale on Wednesdays and meat is on sale on Thursdays at many local grocery stores. Plan to shop on the days where you can realize the greatest savings depending on your diet. Be sure not to throw away mailer ads and coupons, and now most stores offer coupons through their mobile app too. Look through the ads and make a list of which stores have sales on the items you’re shopping for and save any coupons for additional savings.
In our current environment, we may not be spending as much as before on entertainment, but there are still ways to save more when it comes to this area. Evaluate your current subscriptions and cut back or cancel anything you’re not actively using. Whether it’s magazines, boxed subscriptions, make-up, clothing, audiobooks or cable, ask yourself if you truly need it or if you can live without it. Almost everything is virtual nowadays; concerts, networking, workout videos, community events and classes. Check out your local chamber or community center for free events or classes in your area. Many music artists are streaming free concerts on social media and online. If you like to read, lots of local libraries offer free rentals via mobile apps or online. If working out is your choice of entertainment, YouTube is a great free source for thousands of workout or wellness videos. Some gyms are even providing free online classes as well. If you do decide to safely enjoy your entertainment in a public setting, look for deals on websites or apps like Groupon, or local magazine ads. Set a budget every month. For example, $100 a month on entertainment to hold you accountable to only spend that amount.
While you may think that there is no negotiating your utility bills, there are actually options to save on these items too! Call your local utility providers and ask if they have any discount programs or savings that could apply to your account depending on your area. Do the same for your car insurance plans. If you are not driving as much as you used to, you could be eligible for a discount on your auto insurance. As for cable and internet, call your providers and ask what the current promotion is. If it’s lower than what you are paying, ask if it can be applied to your account. You can also ask for discounts and many times providers will honor the discount to keep you as a customer. You can also purchase streaming services to replace cable which will instantly provide you a significant savings.
4. Credit Cards
With the money saved from cutting back on expenses, you may be able to indirectly save money on your credit cards as well! The goal is always to pay off your credit cards each month, but if you’re stretching to just pay the minimum you aren’t alone. Apply some of the savings you accumulate from cutting back to your monthly credit card payments and you’ll save on the interest you pay as well. Make a plan to focus on paying off the credit card balance with the highest interest rate first. By continuing to do this with all your credits cards, you can target your debt repayments more effectively and reduce it at a faster rate.
5. Pay Yourself
If you followed the above tips, you should find a small amount of extra money you can put aside monthly. The best and easiest way to save consistently is to set up an amount to be transferred by Direct Deposit from each paycheck to your savings account. But you can also manually transfer the money each month when you know how much you are comfortable setting aside. The important thing is that you don’t forget to pay yourself. Hold yourself accountable and start small, but start. Think of it as a short-term goal, saving just $100 a month for a year will add up to $1,200. Whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly, start paying yourself by increasing your savings.
These five tips are just a few simple ways you can slash spending and save. Applying these daily changes can help you not only save, but create a routine, relieve stress, encourage others and create long-term financial growth.
Visit our Financial Knowledge Blog to learn more tips on setting up a solid financial future or join us for Financial Wellness Wednesdays.