Do you automatically associate frugal living with sacrifice? Most people do and it’s what keeps them back from saving money and setting themselves up for future financial success.
What if saving money wasn’t as difficult as it sounds? What if you could make a few simple tweaks in the way you budget and spend money and have more money saved?
It’s possible. Here are the top ways to save.
Look over your Bank Statements
When’s the last time you honestly looked at your bank statements? Don’t just look at the balance – but go through each line. Categorize your spending. Do you notice any patterns? Are there areas you overspend and could cut back?
Even if you save a few dollars a month, it adds up – no amount is too small.
Grocery Shop with a List
You’ve likely heard the advice to not grocery shop while you’re hungry, but don’t shop without a list either.
If you can, plan your meals for the week around that week’s sales. Make a list of all items you’ll need and don’t buy anything that’s not on the list. Impulse buys at the grocery store can cause you to spend hundreds of dollars more per month than intended.
Cancel Memberships and Subscriptions
How many ‘free’ subscriptions have you signed up for and forgotten about? After the trial period, they aren’t free and they’ll keep charging you until you cancel. Go through your bank and credit card statements and look for any recurring charges.
If you don’t use the membership or subscription, cancel them. This is true of those you know about too, including gym memberships and warehouse club subscriptions.
Set up Automatic Savings
Most people pay themselves last, meaning they don’t transfer money to their savings account until the month is over and they’ve spent all their money.
Instead, figure out how much you can save each month, even if it’s only a small amount, and set up an automatic transfer. You can set up direct deposit with your employer or automatic transfers from your checking to your savings account. Take the work out of it and you’ll save without thinking (or forgetting).
Shop for Cheaper Insurance
Insurance rates creep up each year and if you don’t shop around you may pay more than necessary.
Set a date and on that date, each year, shop for cheaper insurance, especially home and auto insurance. New insurance companies often have lower rates to lure you in as a customer. Take advantage of those low rates by changing each year and you could save yourself hundreds of dollars a year.
Start Saving Money Today
Pick one or two areas you can save money and start today. Make small changes and let the differences add up. With consistency, you’ll see the progress which may motivate you to do even more.
Take any money you save (even if it’s a few dollars) and deposit it in your savings account. An online high-yield savings account is a great place to put your money. It’s less accessible and will earn more interest than a regular savings account. The key is to start somewhere – every dollar or even penny counts.
Saving money isn’t hard – it just takes a few consistent steps. Whether you go over your bank statements, cut back on expenses, shop for cheaper insurance, or cancel memberships, start somewhere. Once you master one step, tackle another until you find yourself living a frugal yet satisfied life that’s financially secure.