much effort to save money. Here are 11 proven ways to reduce costs this year.
Saving money is comparable to embarking on a diet. While you’re aware that it will bring long-term benefits, resisting the temptation to spend can be challenging.
Likewise, whether you want to save m-or lose weight, the temptation of instant gratification is hard to resist. Unhealthy meals and sugary snacks can be very tempting, as can unnecessary spending.
Fortunately, just as small dietary changes can have a huge impact on your waistline, small changes in your spending habits can improve your financial situation without you even realizing it.
Real ways to save money this year
Today we are reviewing 11 tried and true tricks that can get you the results you want without much effort.
Let’s explore the core of the issue.
Manually transferring money into your savings account each month is a recipe for trouble. You might forget to do this, for example. Or, if you accidentally overspend and your finances start to get tight, you might “forget.”
Finally, the extra effort increases the likelihood that you won’t meet your savings goals (we’ll get to that later).
This is why it is wise to set up automatic transfers. If you choose this solution, you will save money in automatic mode. The bank will transfer money from your checking account to your savings account without you having to think about it.
Online banks like Revolution are a great choice.
2.Start using cash
With digital wallets, credit cards, and debit cards at your disposal, it’s easier than ever to spend money. Plus, these credit cards allow you to spend money you don’t have! Regrettably, this easy access to funds can be both advantageous and detrimental when it comes to saving.
This is why some budding savers are turning back to cash. They withdraw a lump sum at the beginning of each month (or each week) and use it for purchases. Seeing money flowing out of your wallet is a simple incentive to live more frugally!
3. Make shopping online more difficult
For similar reasons, another effective way to save money is to make online shopping more difficult. Think of Amazon’s “Buy Now” button, for example.
If you already have your bank details on file, you are literally one click away from buying something that can be delivered the same day! Instant gratification is at your fingertips, which encourages impulse buying.
Fight these financial risks by making the payment process more difficult. It could be as simple as removing your bank details and shipping address from your favorite online shopping sites.
Having to manually re-enter them next time may be enough extra effort to deter you from hitting Buy.
4.Set a break before buying
If the time required to enter your details does not prevent you from making impulse purchases, you can also impose a longer reflection period. In this case, you would add the item to your cart and then force yourself to walk away for a while.
Whether it is thirty minutes or thirty days, this reflection time will help you realize whether or not you really need the item.
An additional benefit of this approach is the ability to receive discount codes from the retailer when they realize that you have abandoned your cart. Because they want you to buy, they might offer you a discount to entice you to do so.
5.Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
When was the last time you took full advantage of your expensive gym membership, watched a series on Netflix, or listened to something on Spotify? If it’s been a long time coming, one quick way to save money is to cancel those subscriptions.
This simple step can free up an amazing amount of capital that you can forward into a savings account.
Here are some other subscriptions you may be able to cancel:
- Meditation apps
- Cloud storage
- Meal boxes/plans
- Online newspapers and magazines
- Online gaming services, such as Xbox Live
Services like Revolution can help you identify subscriptions that you no longer use and should cancel.
6.Set savings goals
Setting realistic savings goals is among the most effective methods to maintain motivation and consistently save money over time.Think about what you are trying to achieve.
For what positive outcome are you willing to make financial sacrifices each month?
For example, maybe you want to pay off credit card debt, make a down payment on a house, prepare for retirement, or go on vacation with your family.
Whatever the goal, keeping it in mind should guide your spending habits and inspire you to adopt a more frugal lifestyle.
7.Track your spending
Tracking your expenditure is similar to keeping track of the calories you consume. It is far from exciting! Yet it gives you the data you need to achieve your goals.
By subtracting what you spent from what you earned, you see what you have left to save. You can then compare this number to your goals to check your progress. If not, you can adjust your spending accordingly next month.
Let’s take an example: saving €10,000 in 18 months, which equates to a monthly saving of approximately €556. Now imagine that you made $2,000 this month, and after tracking your spending, you realize you spent $1,650.
To stay on track with your savings goal, you can spend a maximum of $1,238 in the next month, given that you have $350 left to reach your target ($2,000 – $556 – ($556 – $350)).
8.Tackle high-interest debt
Debt can hinder your savings efforts, especially when interest rates are high. After all, you are obligated to repay the lender the money that may go into the savings account.
Add to those late fees or penalties, and you can create a vicious spiral that will cause your account to lose money.
If you find yourself in this situation, first try paying off your high-interest debt using the avalanche method. Over time, you will have to allocate less and less money to pay off your debts, which will allow you to save.
9.Reduce your bills
Bills are another big money loser and can make it impossible to save. Many people have nothing left after paying for electricity, mortgage, car, and phone. Fortunately, there are effective ways to reduce these inevitable expenses.
Let’s start with electricity. Tracking consumption with a smart meter, investing in energy-efficient appliances and lighting, improving home insulation, and reducing heating and air-conditioning use can lead to significant savings.
Mortgages are difficult to deal with, but refinancing can be an option to put hundreds of dollars back into your pocket each month, thanks to a lower interest rate. And why not downgrade your car and mobile phone to access more advantageous payment plans?
10.Wait for annual sales
Some purchases are important and necessary. But do you really need them now? Or can they wait for the next annual sale, where you can splurge and get essentials at the best prices?
By choosing the right time, you can save hundreds (or thousands) of dollars to put into a savings account.
11.Be strategic with your purchases
When it comes to shopping, the other big expense for most families is the weekly trip to the grocery store. The situation has worsened recently with the rise in food prices.
Consider buying cheaper generic and brand-name products instead of name-brand products to reduce costs and potentially save money.
Better yet, avoid going to the store unprepared. Decide ahead of time on the meals you’ll be preparing, check the ingredients already in your fridge or pantry, and then make a list of what you need.
This way you will avoid impulse purchases and will only buy products that you will use. Sign up for the store’s loyalty program too, and your bill for your purchases will start to fall soon!
Try these ways to save money
As with a diet, most of us will benefit from reducing our expenses and saving more money each month. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to put off what you want today in the name of the promise of financial gain in the future.
Plus, when times are tough, figuring out how to save money in the first place can feel like a puzzle. If you know this difficulty, we hope these ideas help you get started.