There is no hidden secret to saving money. Ask any financial expert and every answer will boil down to the same concept: You either must increase your income or reduce your overall spending. So why do so many people continue to utilize credit cards in lieu of an emergency fund? A common myth people believe is that their income is so low, that after paying their routine bills, there will be nothing left over to put into a savings account. This is simply not true. What is true is that with a sense of personal discipline, financial literacy, and motivation, anyone can build a substantial savings, no matter their income! For easy and convenient ways to save more money, utilize the 9 tips and tricks below.
- Sell personal belongings. How many things have you bought that you never used or worn? If you haven't used it in the last year or two, you can probably sell it. Online sites like eBay or Facebook Marketplace are popular and good starting points for increasing your cash flow. It will help jump start an emergency fund or help put a dent in your debt.
- Pay yourself first. When your paycheck deposits, you always make sure to pay your other bills, so why not think of yourself as a bill with the highest priority? Even if it's something as small as $5 or $10, any amount will make a difference. As you become accustomed to a budget, you can increase that amount over time.
- Minimize your bills. Take a moment and calculate your bills. Think about how you can lower your expenses or eliminate certain expenses entirely. For example, if your rent is taking a huge chunk out of your paycheck, consider getting a roommate. Instead of paying hundreds for a cable subscription, invest in cheaper entertainment options such as Hulu or Netflix.
- Cut down on miscellaneous spending. All of us are guilty of mindless spending sometimes, but it's time to become more aware of our spending habits. Those small mindless purchases tend to add up over time. For example, instead of dining out for lunch daily, try packing healthy options at home and watch your savings grow!
- Utilize an app. Do a Google search for personal finance and money saving apps. For personal finance, Mint has become a trending favorite for those who like having their budget at their fingertips through their phone. For money savings, Ebates and Ibotta are popular for receiving cash back on every day purchases you already make!
- Pick up more shifts at work. This one is self-explanatory. If you're at work, you don't have time to spend money. Most likely, you will be too tired to do anything except get a good night's sleep. It can be tiring at first, but so worth the pay off in the end!
- Stay in on the weekends. Before you stop reading, let me explain. Just because you're saving money, doesn't mean your life needs to be boring. But be creative! Once or twice a month, host a potluck with friends in combination with games and wine. It's easier on the wallet and a relaxed night with those you love.
- Utilize the cheaper options. If you love to travel, then by all means, continue. Browse budget lodging sites like Airbnb for last minute deals rather than traditional hotel websites. Try booking all -inclusive packages airline and hotel packages or keep it low key with a road trip and nature picnics along the way.
- Learn How to DIY. With the increased popularity of social media, YouTube videos and individual blogs are more prevalent than ever. Information is viral on a variety of topics that can help you save money. Whether it's learning how to cook at home or giving yourself an (almost) professional manicure, there is something for everyone.