I am always looking for ways to save money. Yes, constantly thinking about saving money can be stressful, and I know how hard it can be to consistently put money away. But, it has to be done. I have a few tips and tricks that help me meet my saving goals. Some of them may be more common than others, but I think they make a good combination when put together. Let’s take a look at the 5 ways I am saving more money each month.
Take the 52-Week Challenge
This challenge is not new, and it has been around for a while in various different versions. I wanted to save a nice chunk of change, so I decided that it would be worth my while to try this challenge. Basically, the challenge requires you to save $1 the first week and then add $1 every week until you reach $52 on the 52nd week. Over the course of the year, you will save over $1,300 or so.
I did start this at the beginning of the year, and I have saved more than $500 already. Of course, there was a week or two I was unable to save, but I just kept going with it. Needless to say, it has helped me put money away!
If you want to partake in this challenge, consider setting up an account with an automatic transfer, so you never even have to do it yourself. You won’t have to try to remember, as your bank will auto transfer the money to your savings account for you.
I Cut the Cable Cord
Ah! Not the cable! I did. I am not ashamed of it either. I realized how much I was paying for cable and internet, so I made a change. I was paying out $110 per month, and this was for TV shows and channels I did not even watch. I had to cut it. Should you want to cut the cable bill and keep a few television shows; consider an app such as Netflix or Hulu. You’ll be able to get shows without paying for the full ticket price for hundreds of channels.
Stop the Food Waste
I was very guilty of this, and I mean VERY guilty. Did you know that some households waste up to $2,000 in food every year? When I heard about that, I decided to think a little more when purchasing food.
One of the ways that I found to be effective when it comes to food waste is to have a meal plan in place. I always plan out my meals and only buy what is needed. This way, all of my grocery items are used up, and I do not have to worry about throwing them away.
In today’s world, there is an app for anything, and saving or making money is no exception. There are plenty of free tools you can download on your cell phone that track expenses and do much more. Personally, I am a big fan of the expense trackers because it allows me to take a lighter, hands on approach. I can see my spending habits without having to go hardcore and track everything by hand or with an excel sheet.
I am also a huge fan of robo-advisors, a trend that has grown more popular over the last few years. If you are unfamiliar, robo-advisors are sort of like mini financial advisors without all the fees. Personally, I use Betterment because of the low fees and very cool goal saving trackers.
Use Your Credit Cards
Now, if you are in debt or you have a bad habit of using credit improperly, you should NOT try this method. I have a credit card that earns me 5% cash back on grocery purchases and 3% cash back on gas. Because of this, I make sure to use my credit card whenever I am at a gas station or supermarket. However, I also do not overspend and make sure that I am able to pay off my balance during each cycle. For example, Amazon offers one with 5% cash back.
The main reason for doing this is because I can earn cash back rewards, and I can apply them directly to my credit card balance. It’s a simple way to get a discount on shopping; while it’s small, it will add up over time.
Written By Patty Moore, blogger at Working Mother Life