Ways to Save More Money: Tips to find extra funds to save and cut your monthly expenses
If it seems like every news article you read drags you down, and every trip to the gas station and grocery store makes your budget cry, then you’re not alone. Yes, prices are rising. Sometimes it seems like they’re rising daily, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to save more of your hard-earned money. It just means that, at least in today’s market, you sometimes might need to get a little more creative about how you go about saving money. Although this list isn’t all-inclusive, here are several tips to get you started.
A whopping 80% of Americans have consumer debt. So, it comes as little surprise that eliminating some or all of your debt will free up more funds to help you pad your savings and investments. If you have a lot of debt, consider speaking with a financial planner to help establish a goal to get back on track.
Another option is to list your debts from smallest to greatest and pay them off in that order. The snowball method allows you to see small wins with your debt as you continue working on it. Smaller wins can help encourage you to keep pushing forward.
Shop Bargain Stores
Bargain stores have much to offer, depending on what you’re shopping for. There are bargain stores for nearly everything, from groceries to clothing and more. Some bargain stores, like surplus salvage stores and secondhand clothing stores, offer quality brand products at reduced prices. Buy the things you need while saving money.
Splurges are a significant factor for many of us. We like entertainment, dining out, those cute Jimmy Choo heels, and the list continues. However, if you’re trying to cut spending and save more, it’s better to rationalize your spending habits. Ask yourself if you really need this or if you want this. Sometimes a want can feel like a need, but there is a difference. If it’s not a genuine need, it might be better to establish a sinking fund for that item and save for it instead.
Speaking of savings, if you’re not already doing so, consider automating your savings. It’s easy to do. Most employers pay via direct deposit today. Simply complete a form with your employer or bank and designate a percentage of your paycheck to savings, with the rest going to the checking account you regularly use to pay your bills.
Cancel Unused or Rarely Used Subscriptions or Memberships
It’s easy to get carried away with subscriptions and memberships, then have little to no time to use them. Many of us have had this happen at least once or twice. Go through your current subscriptions and memberships and ask yourself if you’re really using them as much as you should to get the most bang for your buck. If the answer is no, then now might be the time to cancel that membership or subscription and redirect those funds to your savings account instead.
Brown-Bag Your Lunch
It seems that food is growing more costly by the day, including in restaurants. You can save yourself a bundle each week. A value meal at a popular fast-food restaurant that used to cost $5 can now set you back by $10 or more. That’s $50 a week for a typical five-day workweek, or $200 a month! Think of what else you might do with those extra funds.
You can eat on a budget and do so healthily by bringing your lunch from home. To save time and money, prepare your lunches in advance and have them ready to go in the fridge or freezer and in microwaveable containers when necessary.
Skip the Coffee Shop and Brew at Home
Like brown-bagging your lunch, brewing your coffee from home can save you more money. It’s not unusual to spend $5 or more at the local coffee shop for your favorite brew, yet you can brew at home for pennies on the dollar. If you like flavored syrups in your coffee, those are easy enough to get. Many grocery stores sell them, or you can find them online in an abundance of flavors, made with sugar, sugar-free, and even Keto-friendly.
Sell Your Clutter
We all have a little clutter here and there. That might be clothing, electronics, college textbooks, or something else. Whatever your clutter, if it’s sat unused for a long time, it might be time to purge it and earn some extra cash while you’re at it. However, selling your clutter doesn’t necessarily mean you must set up and maintain a yard sale, unless you want to. Today, there are many ways to sell your stuff online, from digital marketplaces to eBay, Esty, Amazon, and more.
Use Cash Back Apps
Cash back apps and websites are picking up steam. Apps like Ibotta offer grocery rebates, while Upside and others offer gas rebates. There’s an abundance of cashback apps to choose from, too, so determine your needs and find an app that best suits you. Another option is websites that offer cash back – often in the form of gift cards to your favorite stores. MyPoints is a big one, but it’s far from the only one. Sometimes it pays to look into all the different ways you can save more money.
Finding ways to save more money and cut non-essential spending isn’t hard. But it does require establishing your goals and changing your mindset. Even during uncertain economic times, saving money is still possible, but you must be ready to take the steps necessary to reach your financial goals. Don’t let the trip to the gas station or grocery store get you down. Instead, protect your finances by adjusting your spending habits.