Saving money can be hard. It often feels like your paycheck goes in your bank account and a minute later it’s gone. Between bills and unexpected life moments, it always seems you’re left saying “I’m broke.”
Let’s fix that.
1) Use cash, not a card. Using a credit or debit card is convenient as it saves the worry and time of making sure you have cash. It takes a quick swipe at the register and you have what you wanted. However, by using cash, you can help limit what you purchase by forcing you to only spend the cash you have on hand.
2) Limit your cash. Don’t keep a large sum of cash in your wallet. Make it a reasonable amount for what you need. By doing so, you can let your bank account grow, which can help you save.
3) Limit your credit card. Often, we have more than one credit card. Try to limit how many credit cards you have down to one or two, if possible. It will help control your spending and be one less bill to pay each month. Also be aware of what you are putting on the credit card – only put on it what you can pay off!
4) Cancel subscriptions and memberships you don’t need. Cut your bills by canceling the subscriptions you don’t need. If you don’t watch cable TV, stop paying for it. You can stream sports games on news channels (for free) and pay for services like Netflix—if you’ll use them.
5) Eat at home. Going to restaurants and buying lunch every day adds up. Plan your meals and make a grocery list you stick to. It will limit your spending and allow you to put the money to other needs.
6) Walk when you can. Try not to use your car if you can walk to your destination. You will save money by not using gas as well as only purchasing what you can carry home.
7) Set savings goals. And stick to it. Let friends and family know you’re trying to save and download a budgeting app to track your progress. Put bonuses in your savings account. Collect receipts and put them in market research apps such as Coin Out and Receipt Hog.
8) Borrow, don’t buy. If your neighbor has a snowblower, ask to use it if you need to. Instead of going out to purchase a big item that will only take up space or is a seasonal need, learn to share. Offer to share something you have that they don’t in return.
9) Clean out your closet. Instead of throwing out what you don’t need, try selling your clothes and other items on websites like Poshmark and ThredUp. It‘s another source of income, and you can also purchase clothes for a less expensive price.
10) Retail therapy. When you feel anxious or worried, don’t run to the mall and buy products you don’t need. You won’t feel better, you’ll just be left with less money and more things taking up space in your home.
11) Look for bargains. When shopping, buy the store brand instead of name brand. This goes for groceries and clothes. You will save a few dollars on each product, which can add up. Also look for the least expensive option. Instead of buying a book for $25 at Barnes & Noble, or for $14 on Amazon, go to a place like Thriftbooks.com and buy it for $5.
12) Wait for sales. Most companies like Victoria’s Secret or Gap will do annual sales. Gap will mark clothes down 40 percent, but then add additional sales to get you in the door. That’s when you can get the best deals on what you need.
13) Rewards apps. Download the app for the stores and restaurants you frequent. The rewards will add up quickly and allow you to reap the benefits of free items and other perks that put money in your pocket.
14) Avoid social media promotions. It’s easy to scroll through Instagram and see all the wonderful products being promoted. But falling victim to these targeted ads can quickly become problematic for your wallet.