“How can I save money?” This is the question asked by all of us. These times of economic difficulty have put us all into ‘caution mode’ regarding our spending. It is always good to check out advice on this topic every few months because it is amazing what you can eventually begin to believe is an essential expense in your life, when in fact you can relegate many things to the “optional” or “less of” list. If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need. You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume. Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced. As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.
Ready to take control of your money in 2017? By making a few small changes now, you can start the new year with a fresh budget and a plan to get your spending and savings back on track. From cable bills to everyday spending habits, these tips will help you save more, spend less and get on the fast track to financial success!
Setting goals is a habit for people who win with money, and it should become a habit for you too. Studies have shown that just by having a goal for something it brings you closer to that goal versus not having any goal at all. An important part of this equation is making sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-oriented. Once you have a goal or goals in mind that include all of these attributes, chop your goal into smaller pieces, or milestones, that you can hit more easily. Once you hit each milestone, celebrate! This will help to encourage you as you move forward toward your financial goals. Also, write down your financial goals, and put them in an obvious place so you see them often, such as on the refrigerator or next to a door you walk through frequently.
Track your spending
Tracking your expenses is the best way to get control of your money for a few reasons. First, if you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck, you have to know where your money is going and you have to give every dollar a purpose. Tracking how much money is coming in versus how much is going out and where exactly it’s all going is the key to making smart financial decisions that have a big impact on both your life now and your future. An easy way to do this is by using budget apps like Mint or BillGuard then, once you see where your money is going, you can make adjustments where necessary. Do you really need to buy that new iPhone or Android device ever time a new one comes out?
Switch up your grocery routine.
There is no doubt that spending in the grocery category of your budget can vary a ton from household to household. I’ve read about people who spend anywhere from $70 to $1,500 for just two adults. But the good news is, even if you have trouble spending in the grocery category, this is one place where you can save a ton! It just requires a little extra time, a few sacrifices, and some practice.
Reduce your energy costs
Using a programmable thermostat, turning your water heater down (since it’s probably higher than it needs to be) and replacing your light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs are easy ways to cut your home energy costs every month. By reducing your expenses, you’re left with more money to save!
We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!