It takes conscious effort to save money. Whether you are looking to get out of debt or add more to your emergency fund, there are many obstacles one must overcome to save money successfully.
Fortunately, there are many techniques, rules of thumb, and strategies that can help you spend less and save more. If you are unsure of where to start, try one of the following strategies to see how well each technique works for you.
Track Your Spending
The most crucial step to take when saving money is first to understand where your money is being spent. It is easier than ever before to track your spending thanks to downloadable apps and programs. These tools allow you to see all your purchases in the same place and make a note of precisely what you are spending money on.
Many money-tracking apps also allow you to organize your spending into categories like restaurants, bills, or online shopping. Once you have a better idea of how much money you are spending and what you are spending it on, you can decide what things to cut back on.
Cut Back on Spending
When you take a closer look at your spending, you may find several trivial things that you can spend less money on. The critical thing to remember is that you don’t necessarily have to give things up entirely, especially if they bring you joy. Instead, determine ways to spend less. There are several techniques you can utilize to cut back on the amount of money you spend.
Distinguish “Needs” from “Wants”
Before you place your next online shopping order, take a minute to determine if you actually need what you are about to buy, or if you only want it. The next time you consider making a stop for a specialty cup of coffee, make your own at home instead.
There are many expenses that can be erased entirely if you focus more on your needs, rather than indulging in your wants.
Reconsider Your Subscriptions
Do you pay for a subscription to a magazine you hardly read? Cancel it. Are you subscribed to multiple streaming services? Stick to one or two of your most utilized streaming services and unsubscribe from the rest. If you find yourself spending a lot of money gaming online, try playing on websites where you can instead play without making a deposit.
When it comes to just about every available product in the supermarket, generic brands are just as good as the name-brand ones. If you have been spending more money on name paper products, staple food items, cleaning supplies, and more, opt for generic brands instead. You will save a surprising amount of money without sacrificing quality.
Try to keep in mind that every decision you make has an impact, whether big or small, on the total amount of money you spend.
Establish Goals for Savings
Once you get an idea of things you can cut back on to save money, you should establish savings goals. Determine precisely how much money you want to save and how long you think it should take. The more you need to save and the less time you have to do it will determine just how many cutbacks you need to make.
Give Up Spending for A Day, A Week, Or A Month
This may sound impossible, but even the biggest spenders can benefit from a spending freeze. For a set amount of time, whether it’s a day, a week, or a month, avoid buying any nonessential items. Of course, there are certain expenditures that are unavoidable. But by giving up extra spending for even a short period, you can save a significant amount of money. You can also set aside the money you would have spent or put it directly into savings so you can see exactly how much money you saved during your spending freeze.
Sell Everything You Can
To set yourself up for success and get a head start on saving money, consider selling anything and everything you can. Anything that you no longer use or rarely use, as well as anything that doesn’t “bring you joy” as per Marie Kondo, can be put up for sale.
There are endless ways to sell various items you no longer want or need. Larger or more expensive items can be sold online. Whether you place them for sale on eBay or list them on Facebook Marketplace, there is a good chance someone else will want your item badly enough to pay for it. Any clothes that no longer fit or that you don’t wear can be put up for sale on Poshmark. Local jewelers may be interested in some of the jewelry you have laying around.
Look around your home to see what items you can sell, and consider how much you could potentially make from them. The money received from selling your items can make a big difference in the amount of money in your savings.