We never seem to have enough at the end of each month to pay our bills. We budget and plan, but still have to rob from Peter to pay Paul. The mortgage and a car are a must, so when creating your budget write them down first. The rest is utilities, insurance, gas and food. In this article, we won’t tell you how to create a budget. Instead, we’ll present five great tips on saving money now, no matter your income.
1. Use Cash
We live in a credit card/debit card-run society. Unfortunately for many, this creates the illusion of having money when you don’t. After all, it is so easy to swipe your card to pay for lunch, a quick run to the market on your way home, or that morning coffee. However, carrying cash will keep you from over-spending. Give yourself a budget of cash per week, and once the cash is gone, the spending is done. You will be surprised how much money you will save! To really follow this, cut up your ATM card. In order to get cash, you’ll have to go into the bank and ask for an old-fashioned withdrawal. Yeah, this is a pain, and you’re constrained to certain time frames. All the better to SAVE!
2. Bundle Services
This money-saver not only puts money back into your wallet, it cuts down on the amount of paper and postage you use. Utility service providers are going more and more paperless, so you can likely have your bill sent directly to your email account. Bundling services like cable, internet and phone doesn’t only save money, it can make your life easier! Depending upon the company you choose, you can customize your probably plan to meet your needs. You no longer will have to pay separate bills, taxes and hidden fees each month!
3. Rewards Programs
Banks, gas stations, grocery stores, and many others now offer in-store reward programs. You can earn points for gas, groceries, and gift cards just by signing up for a card and using it frequently. This is an easy way to both save money and put money back into your wallet.
4. Impulse Shopping
Impulse shopping may bring you a moment of pleasure, but it could also cause a mountain of grief. What you need to do is give yourself some time to think about it. Create a rule where you give yourself so many days before you make an impulse purchase. Perhaps 5, but maybe even 15 or 30 days. If you can wait at all, you likely don’t NEED it, so it’s not gonna be a big deal the store runs out. Even more importantly, ALWAYS save your receipt for non-necessary purchases. If you regret it a few days later, you don’t want to be stuck with it! And you never know when you might need that money you spent.
5. Make a List
Before you go to the market, walk though your pantry and examine your refrigerator. Write down the items you need, and that’s it. Check out your favorite market for any specials they might offer, and then finalize your list based on this. For example, when the market is having a special where you are able to buy 10 for $10. Plan ahead before you go shopping, eat prior to shopping, cut coupons, and check the flyers. This can save you money every month, and as you get better, you’ll save even more.
Kayla Stevenson likes to write about couponing, personal finance & saving money at www.homeinsurance.org.