It’s not easy to save money consistently over a long period of time. We all have different expenses based on our lifestyle which causes us to save a little differently from time to time. A large population of people tend to dine out regularly while other are more willing to cook for themselves at home.
Other segments people are tech savvy and interested in the latest gadgets on the market while other people might be more interested in new seasonal wardrobes. Regardless of the reason for the expense, you need to pay attention to your expenditures and make sure you are making it a point to save money as well.
Get paid by banks to save your money
Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can take to start saving money each month to give you an extra cushion in your bank accounts. One of the biggest steps you can take in starting to save more money is to open a high-yield bank account with one of the many good options available to consumers. There are many different choices when it comes to banking, both online and local bank branches. Opening a bank account is the easy part of the process. The hard part is depositing money on a regular basis to your savings account.
A helpful tool to use is the auto-pay feature mobile banking apps allow you to setup. Without having to think about it, you can force yourself to automatically deposit money each month from your checking to savings account and start collecting interest on your funds. Some banks do not offer savings rates while other banks can offer up to 2% interest on your money for simply banking with them.
Save money on everyday expenses
It is naturally appealing to purchase the name brands of your everyday essentials like hand soap, face wash, toilet paper or other household products; the downside is that these items are typically marked up significantly. You can find similar products by the store’s branded products with almost identical ingredients for a fraction of the price.
Today, retailers are introducing their own branded products to not only compete with name brand products, but to offer consumers lower prices for the same product. Brands like Walmart’s Equate, Target’s Up&Up, and CVS Health’s Just the Basics; have all introduced their own products ranging from face washes, tooth pastes, shampoo and conditioners. There are also many different reward programs offered by these retailers and mobile apps to provide cash back for loyal returning customers.
Cooking at home is an underrated way to reduce expenses
Another regular expense people tend to overspend money on is dining out. Of course we all need to eat to stay healthy and maintain a functioning body. However, there is no reason to constantly spend money on restaurants when you can be cooking for yourself at home.
Not only is this a great way to reduce your spending, but it will also give you a chance to learn new dishes and relevant cooking skills to help you continue your meal prep journey. Meal prep is a term used for meal preparation which has become one of the most underrated ways to save money.
If you are spending on average $10 on your lunch by dining out every day, your lunch bills will start accumulating quickly each day before you even think about your meal for dinner. People often think if they are buying fast food rather than a fine dining restaurant, they will save money doing so.
According to Statista, the revenue of the restaurant industry in the United States reached 782.67 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, with the fast food industry contributing an estimated 206 billion U.S. dollars to this figure. Along with the rapidly growing demand for delivery, take out and meal prep kits, consumers are being engrained with habitual behavior to rely on their mobile device to order food to be prepared, cooked and delivered within a click of a few buttons.
Take the time to go food shopping (you can do this online) and stock up on the basic food groups to make sure you are well prepared for the week ahead. Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, rice, meats, beans, nuts and potatoes will give you a sufficient supply of food to feed yourself affordably. Best of all, foods like potatoes, rice, meat and vegetables can be mixed and matched with different ingredients, spices and sauces to keep changing up options for yourself.
Additionally, whole foods from main food groups are packed with proteins and nutrients to fuel you with energy throughout the day. If you are able to prepare 2-3 meals on a Sunday night, you will be prepared with dinners and leftovers you can bring for lunch throughout the workweek. This will drastically have an impact on your monthly expenses and allow you to save small increments of money each time you prepare a meal rather than order a meal from a restaurant.
Earn prepaid debit card, gift cards and rewards
There are many different stores that already offer rewards to their returning customers. Pharmacies, airlines and grocery stores, they all offer their customers rewards and cash back programs. But did you know there are actually websites that will pay for your opinions? That’s right.
You can get paid for your opinion. Global brands and big box retailers want to know what their customers have to say. Amazon, Walmart, Target, Hulu and Netflix, they all are constantly distributing new surveys to learn more information about their consumer preferences.
You can also get paid to read your emails by companies like InboxDollars. You read that right. To continue earning money, you can simply check your inbox each day for surveys delivered directly to your email. There are other survey options that will give you rewards and points to shop online, but in my opinion the best choice is to collect cash for your opinions.
Get paid to cook and eat with your family
Another step further beyond going to the grocery store and preparing your meals each week is to get paid to do so. That’s right, you can actually get paid to cook from the comfort of your own house. Contact us to learn more about cooking from home opportunities!
Negotiate your monthly bills
There is no sidestepping monthly bills. Whether you are paying a mortgage or your monthly rent, your living expense will be one of the largest chunks of your outgoing funds each month. In addition, you will have to find good car insurance and home or renters insurance policies to protect yourself.
Luckily, there are many good car insurance providers that will be willing to negotiate your monthly rates based on your driving history, credit score and currently lifestyle. Fortunately, insurance companies will also give you discounts on your policy if you bundle your car insurance policy with your home owners insurance policy.
This is a nice added benefit for home owners and helps simplify the insurance shopping experience. There are also many different renters insurance providers like Lemonade that will extend coverage for as little as $5 per month. You can search online and fill out your application in roughly 2 minutes with Lemonade, receiving approval instantly.
Another common expense for Americans is internet and television. In the past, US households were locked in to paying high fees each month to have access to internet, cable TV and home phone lines. It was not until recently that consumers started to make the big switch into the video streaming world.
Consumers have leverage and the power to counter internet and TV providers to demand lower rates. There are SO many options to choose from when it comes to television. Between Verizon, Spectrum, DirecTV, Hulu Live, SlingTV, Apple TV, Amazon FirestickTV, Roku, and more; there are several choices with benefits to each service. It is wise to call your internet and TV provider to negotiate a lower rate on your monthly bills regularly otherwise, you can choose to switch providers.
There are many different smart budgeting tips you can take advantage of to lower your monthly payments including gym memberships, your cell phone bill and even outstanding credit card debts.
Take advantage of coupons and discounts
You might be surprised to hear, but there are tons of different ways to find coupons available for you. Grocery stores with loyal shoppers tend to offer favorable coupons. Grocery store coupon programs like ShopRite coupons, Stop and Shop coupons, Publix coupons, Kroger coupons; they all might be available in-store, online or within their mobile app to redeem. You can find printable coupons available to download then print from the comfort of your home as well.
Along with the common grocery store coupons, you can find coupons on other everyday items like food delivery services, haircuts and even consumer electronics. Companies like GrubHub, Uber Eats and DoorDash offer coupons and discount codes regularly for using their service. Nationwide chains like SuperCuts, SportsClips, BestBuy and Staples will offer discounts for their customers.
Track your expenses
It’s not fun, but tracking your expenses it very effective. If you take a look at what you spend your money on each, it will give you a better idea where your money is going and where you can afford to make cut backs when necessary. There are many mobile apps like Acorn and Mint that allow you to track your expenses, track your income, and stay on top of your personal finances.
Obviously we all want to make more money. Naturally, we all think that money will solve all of our problems. If only it was that easy. To be prepared for your future, it’s crucial to maintain your savings habits each and every month. Whether you make $2,000 per month or $20,000 per month, if your expenses out-weigh your income, you will not be able to save money.
Instead of spending every dollar you earn, make it a point to set aside 10-15% of your income and put it into a savings account to start collecting a bit of interest on your money.
Planning for retirement
Another critical step is to invest in your retirement. If you do not have a retirement account yet, it is important to open one sooner rather than later. Whether you enroll in a company sponsored 401K plan, an individual IRA or your company offers a pension, it is important to take advantage of these retirement plans early in life.
Challenge yourself to save an extra $1 per day this month. By the end of the month you will have roughly $30 set aside which can be rolled into the next month. Now take things a step further and save $10 per week on top of the standard $1 per day. By the end of the second month, you will have $100 saved up.
You will have $30 saved from Month 1, with an additional $30 saved from Month 2, along with the $40 you save from weekly savings of $10 per week. Taking these small steps to saving money does not seem like a lot, but they are designed to slowly accumulate funds for you.
Saving money is not an overnight success story. It is a daily, weekly and monthly discipline to keep practicing to grow your money slowly. This will teach you to manage your finances better and provide more financial security for yourself.