We all have our monthly needs and expenses: food, clothing, shelter, toiletries, and so on. All too frequently, it seems that our paychecks are spent before they even arrive. By using all or a few of the following easy tips to save money, you are sure to find that your income can often go much further than you thought possible.
This tip to save money involves taking a long honest look at your income and make a real effort to keep record of all your expenses. Make lists when you go to the store and mark which items are most important; it sometimes helps to scribble down the cost of each item that goes into the list. Keep receipts to see where your money is going and know how much comes in. Keeping track of this will increase your awareness and help you prioritize expenses.
Know your Limits
Another great tip for saving money is to minimize your expenses by differentiating between want and need. Learning to live within your means can be hard, but cutting back a little bit in little ways, such as buying generic products, and cancelling services that you don’t actually use can actually help you save for more expensive items later.
Stay Vigilant for Deals
Know the price differences of commonly purchased products across various stores. Just taking the time to know where you can find things for less is an excellent tip for saving money. It is also helpful to know where to look in the stores for discounts. Manager’s Specials and stuff that is price reduced for quick sale are smart stickers to look for, if you’ll be eating it that day or soon after.
Join Customer Loyalty and Reward programs
It seems now that every store has a customer reward and loyalty programs, bookstores, clothing outlets, grocery stores, drugstores, everyone. By using this tip to save money, these cards not only offer savings to cardholders, most cards grant you reward points that can be used on future purchases of fuel and more.
While that weekly newspaper of specials is often trashed without a second thought, hang on to it next time, as collecting coupons is another way to save big on products. If you haven’t quite a vice or two yet to save money, tobacco companies offer from fifty cents to $1.50 if you’re willing to try different brands and new products than you usually do. Both store coupons as well as those from manufacturers often expire within a month or two into the future, hold on to the coupons until you find a great deal, but read the fine print and date to avoid wasting them.
Use the Web
Many blogs and even manufacturers’ websites collect coupons and deals for readers. Using this money saving tip and sign up for email/mailing lists of items you frequently buy, or even ones you only buy once in a while. Often you will be mailed manufacturer coupons for even bigger savings right to your mailbox simply by registering. There are also vendors like moneysavingmom.com, or retailmenot.com that do the leg work of finding deals for you. Or you may check Amazon or eBay, there you frequently find items you would pay big bucks for on the cheap. For more savings when you go to the store, sites such as coupons.com will actually allow you to browse coupons and print them out immediately for free.
There are tons of stores that offer wonderful savings that are often neglected when we consider our shopping needs. A smart tip to save money on many products merely involves looking at places like dollar stores and thrift shops, especially for housewares. Also check franchises such as ROSS, TJ Maxx, and other outlet stores when buying clothing, as most sell clothing that is either out of season, or contains imperceptible imperfections.
People should not have to live their lives stressing over money. Becoming financially responsible and being savings savvy allows you to feel (and actually be) more in control and less overwhelmed by the expenses of daily life. You may or may not have a lot of extra cash lying about at first, but commit to following these tips to save money, and over time you may find yourself with more and more money left after each check that you can put away for leisure activities and other things. Furthermore, feeling more in control of your finances, you will probably feel far less stress surrounding other areas of your life, and a feeling that you can control those things as well. It takes a lot of self-discipline and planning to save, but in the long term, developing good spending and saving habits will be one of the best things we can do for ourselves.