Want to save more money but aren’t sure where to start? These ten proven money tips will have you saving like a pro in no time!
1. Set up an automatic savings account - This may be a feature offered at your workplace, but either way, setting up an automatic savings plan is a great way to keep money out of sight and out of mind! You may need to consult with HR to see if your employer can deduct a certain percentage of your paycheck and deposit it into a savings account. You can also have your bank do this directly by scheduling a fixed amount to be deducted every month.
2. Don’t neglect your spare change! - It all adds up! Even your spare change! At the beginning of the year, set aside a large jar or coffee can to put your spare change in. At the end of the year, add it all up and put it into an emergency fund. You may be surprised at how much you’ve saved! If you put aside fifty cents a day, by the end of the year, you’d have nearly $200!
3. Don’t cheapen out on preventative healthcare! - Preventative healthcare includes things like child wellness visits, vaccinations like the flu and pneumonia shot, as well as routine dental and eye exams. These may seem like simple things that you can put off until later, but healthcare (especially low cost or no cost visits like these that are often covered for free by your insurance) is one thing you don’t want to skimp on! It’s better to learn beforehand that your child needs glasses or that you need a dental filling than wait until the problem gets worse!
4. Plan meals ahead of time and take your lunch! - Planning for meals ahead of time means making a grocery list for the week with all the items you need to prepare meals ahead of schedule. This also means making extra that you can take to work as your lunch for the next day. It may not seem like much, but if you figure that buying your lunch at work costs around $10 and you do this every day, you’ll have saved $3,650 in a year!
5. Consider generic prescriptions and store-bought medicine - You’ll want to consult with your doctor before you do this one, but if your doctor determines that generic prescriptions could help you just as much as name-brand varieties, you could save hundreds of dollars every month. The same goes for store-bought over-the-counter medicines. These medications must have the same active ingredients in them as the name brand varieties, but at a much lower price.
6. Comparison shop on bigger purchases - Whether it’s athletic shoes or airline tickets, any time you make a larger purchase, don’t hesitate to shop around. There are plenty of online comparison sites out there that can help you get the best deal on almost anything if you’re willing to put in the time to research!
7. Put your bills on auto-pay - This ensures that they’re paid on time, every time. In some cases, going paperless like this may also net you a bit of a discount or a lower interest rate depending on what the bill is for. Just like with automatic savings, the money is out of sight and out of mind, meaning you’re less inclined to spend it.
8. Calculate your purchases in terms of hours worked - It really puts purchases in perspective when you can tie them to a number of hours worked. For example, if you have your eye on a purse that costs $50 and you make $10 an hour, it would take your five hours of work to afford that purse -- is it still worth it?
By following these eight simple tips, not only will you develop the right mindset for saving, but you’ll have a nice cushion for emergencies or occasional splurges on the things you really want!