Tired of living paycheck to paycheck?
If you feel like your money is all gone to bills and groceries the moment you get paid before you get to have any fun with it, there is something you can do to start saving some cash.
In fact, there are a few ways to save money.
Why Is Saving Money Important?
Money is one of those things you just have to have if you want to live comfortable at all. In order to retire, you need a retirement savings. If your car breaks down or your roof springs a leak, having some emergency money put into savings can save you a lot of stress.
There are so many reasons it’s important to save up money. But how do you save it when you never seem to have enough of it?
The trick to being able to save money is to stop spending so much of it.
Here are some money-saving tips that will help you start saving.
1. Cut Back on Utility Expenses
Set your furnace and air conditioner at normal temperatures that will keep your heating and cooling costs down. Something around 68 degrees F is fine for keeping your home warm in the winter. Setting your air conditioner around 70 to 72 degrees F will keep your home cool enough to keep you from sweating.
Regulate the temperature on your water heater. You want hot water for bathing and doing dishes, but it never needs to reach scalding temperatures. Use less water too when showering and cleaning.
While you need heating and cooling, there are some things that fall under the utility category that you can survive without, like cable TV. Save yourself some money by getting ChromeCast or Roku for watching free movies and television.
2. Shop Smarter
Save money at the store no matter what you’re shopping for. There are many ways to save when it comes to shopping – you just have to be smart about it. Smart means shopping around, knowing where to get the best deals, and being as thrifty as possible.
Watch sales ads for the stores you like to shop at. Always check the clearance racks, especially when you’re shopping for clothing and household items. You can buy a lot of cool things at thrift stores that are new, like new, or have a lot of life left in them.
When it comes to grocery shopping, don’t let the coupons fool you. Unless you take some classes on extreme couponing, coupons won’t save you a ton of money, and they may make you buy more expensive items than you normally would. To save money on groceries here’s what you need to do:
- Shop at discount food stores- like Aldi.
- Buy generic or store brand items whenever you can.
- Shop at more than one store to get all the deals.
- Use online savings outlets like Brandless and Thrive Market.
- Buy fresh produce at the local farmer’s market.
3. Start a Saving Account
Now, with the money you’re saving by using these other tips, start a savings account.
For emergencies only, you need to have at least six months worth of income put away. That’s not even considering the cost of retiring.
Challenge yourself to put a certain amount of money away from each paycheck. Instead of earmarking your income taxes for some frivolous spending adventure, put that in your savings as well.
4. Nix the Credit Cards
Chop your credit cards up, unless you actually only use them for emergencies. There are, however, no emergencies for which you need a Hot Topic credit card. Don’t cancel them if you owe money on any of them. Cut them up and pay them all off first.
The reason you want to pay them off before you cancel is to avoid negatively affecting your credit. Good credit is important if you want to buy a new car or own a home.
Once the cards are paid off, cancel the ones that are store cards, ones with high-interest rates, and any that don’t give you some kind of rewards, like cash back. The rest are just tempting you to ruin your credit.
What to Do with the Money You Saved
What you really should do with the money you save with these tips is to leave it in your saving account. However, there are some things that you could be saving for.
Put the money toward a new vehicle when the one you have breaks down, or toward your wedding, toward furthering your education, or toward owning your first home.
Feature image via The Finance Genie