With the economy fluctuating on a daily basis, it is important save money. One day the gas prices are low and the next day they’re high again. The stock market is never consistent so depending on your mutual funds to be there for you isn’t always a guarantee. Finding other ways to save money is very important and also easy.
This is one of the most important ways to save money. Save your change. Putting away a dollar every week for a year will give you a savings of $1378. This is just a portion of an emergency fund. It is suggested that we save at least 6 months’ worth of expenses for a short term emergency fund. This money is set to the side in case of a job loss, illness or other major expenses. It is important to a debit card and checks attached to this account so that it can be easily assessed when an emergency occurs.
A long term emergency fund should be enough to cover an emergency such as a natural disaster or extended job loss. It is also important to be able to access these funds easily, but you may want to start investing with these funds since the likelihood of a disaster occurring may be rare.
Control Impulse Shopping
One way to destroy a budget is to be an impulsive shopper. Controlling those impulses is a great way to save money. When on the road to practicing self-control, keep these things in mind:
- Think before you act – Think about the cost. Is this item really something you need or is it just a want?
- Don’t buy on credit – if you don’t have the money at the time of the purchase, then you probably don’t need it.
- Stick to a list – Plan out your shopping trip before you leave the house. Bring only the amount of money you need for the trip and enough for taxes. That will keep you from overspending or grabbing a last minute item at the register.
- Don’t save card information on your favorite sites – If you are an online shopper, one way to deter you from making an impulsive purchase is not keeping credit card information saved for the site.
Discounts and Incentive Programs
Another way to save money is by taking advantage of discounts and incentive programs. Many grocers have ways to save money programs. Sign up for loyalty cards. Using these cards at the register give you the opportunity to enjoy discounts on the products that you have purchased.
Use incentive apps and websites such as Groupon and LivingSocial. These sites offer deals on vacations, goods and services, and so much more. It’s also easy to access the sites through apps using your smartphone. Another app to take advantage of is RetailMeNot. This is an app that shows you every retailer that has a sale going on promotion codes that give you a chance to save even more.
Create a Nonessentials Account
What is this exactly? Well it’s an impulse account, and not that kind. This is an account that you fund when you have the urge to buy a nonessential item or an indulgence. For example, you have the urge to go out and buy a bottle of wine because you’re sitting at home alone with nothing to do. Think of how much that bottle will cost you and put it aside. Or maybe you’re exhausted on your way to work and you have desire to stop at Starbucks and get a cup of coffee even though there’s coffee at work. How much will that cup cost you? Set that amount of money to side in your nonessentials account.
Divide and Conquer
Let’s factor in your wages in this next tip for ways to save money. This is a simple equation. Let’s say you make $12 per hour. That outfit you have been wanting is $60. Now take the amount of the purchase and divide it by your hourly wage. The answer is 5. Now think about it. Is this outfit really worth more than half a days’ work to you? For 5 hours out of your day, is that all you’re worth, just a $60 outfit?
Looking at it from this perspective will definitely keep you in line and focused on the bigger goal ahead which is saving money for the long term. It’s alright to make purchases and treat yourself, but a gift isn’t supposed to make you feel like you’ve made the wrong decision.
Ways to save money are easier than you think. You don’t to have a big lump sum of money to set to the side in order to start saving money. With these tips you will realize just how much money you’re spending on a daily or weekly basis and it will change your perspective. You don’t have to stick to these tips. It’s always important to do what’s comfortable for you. To learn more ways to save money, check out the America Saves website.