Having some money in your savings account is always a good idea. One can never know when some unexpected expenses, that have to be paid immediately, will occur. However, saving money is not an easy task, but still, it isn’t an impossible one.
Yes, it can be tough and it requires a lot of planning and discipline. Due to this, we have decided to provide you with the list of tricks you can use to lower your spending and increase monthly savings. You can’t just cut down some of the expenses such as food and utility bills, but there is a way to reduce the total amount of money you spend every month.
Divide the Expenses
Before doing anything else, you should consider all the usual costs. Gather all the receipts from the last month and go over them. In order to gain a better insight, you should divide them into two categories – fixed and flexible.
As you can assume, fixed fees are those that are pretty much the same every month. These include rent, utility bills, phone bills, health insurance free, any type of loan you are paying back, cable TV, Internet service, and so on.
On the other hand, there are so-called flexible expenses. These can vary from one month to another and include some basic needs like food and clothing, but also electronics, hobbies, gifts, and other things you purchase to treat yourself.
Draw up the Budget
The next thing you should do is set a budget. Our advice is to write everything down on a piece of paper or use some programs and charts. The latter ones are going to provide you with numerous appealing and useful tools, so you should learn more about them.
Firstly, begin with your monthly income. If you have some additional earnings besides the regular paycheck, you should add them up. Now that you have the total sum of money, you should subtract the fixed expenses i.e. the money that you have to spend each month.
Then calculate 10 percent of the remaining sum. Why 10? Well, that is the smaller sum that you should try to put aside every month. Clearly, if you have a higher income, you should also increase the savings. When you do this, you will be left with your monthly budget.
How to Save on Food and Groceries?
When it comes to saving money on food, there are a few things that you can do. First of all, you should start planning meals for the entire weeks. This way, you will be able to buy all the groceries you need once a week and also won’t be tempted to eat out. Write a detailed shopping list and make sure to include everything that you might need.
Furthermore, start using coupons. Some people might argue that these cannot help you save a lot of money, but this is simply not true. When combining different coupons and discounts you can actually save a significant amount of money. Multiple stores offer these either on their website or via newsletters. Create a separate email address and sign up for them. Just make sure not to forget to check these before going shopping.
Buy some things at a farmer’s market. Even though stores are usually cheaper than these, some groceries such as eggs, milk, and cheese, are not only cheaper on markets, but they are oftentimes fresher. The same thing clearly goes for fruits and vegetables.
Cut Down the Electricity Bill
Clearly, you cannot live without electricity, but you have to keep in mind that this is usually the highest bill in every household. Still, there are certain things that you can due to reduce it. You should unplug all the devices when you do not use them. Start with kitchen appliances such as coffee maker and toaster. Then move on to electronics like TV, computer, phone chargers, and so on. Even when these are turned off, they are still using electricity if left plugged in.
Cancel Cable Subscription
Yes, there is absolutely no doubt that cable TV is the most popular method of entertainment. However, if you are paying for some premium channels you might want to think about canceling the subscription.
Why? Well, simply because, nowadays, there are numerous platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime that offer great content and cost significantly less than a cable TV.
Reduce Transportation Costs
This trick is probably an obvious one that is going to help you save some money. Depending on the location of your home and the distance you have to cross to your work or somewhere else, you can walk, ride a bike, or use public transportation.
The first two are completely free, and what’s more, you can think of them as a fitness exercise. Oftentimes, 30-minute walks are enough to ensure you stay in good shape. On the other hand, if walking isn’t an option, you can ride a bike. Another kind of exercise, don’t you agree?
Lastly, you can opt for a bus, train, metro, and so on. You will have to pay a monthly fee to use this, but it is nothing when compared to the price of gas.
Moreover, if you want to keep using your vehicle, and save some money at the same time, why not organize carpooling? This is a great way not only to cut down your costs but also to spend some time with your friends and colleagues. You can collect money for the gas every week, and also take turns when it comes to driving.
How to Save on Entertainment?
It doesn’t matter how much you want to increase your savings balance, you cannot stop from going out and having a social life. If you enjoy eating out, our advice is to opt for some cheaper restaurants. Hey, if you want to save money, you cannot eat at the hottest place in town, right?
If you enjoy reading books and watching movies and TV shows you can always borrow them. When it comes to the former one, you can join a local library and borrow a copy of your favorite books. Also, when it comes to movies, instead of renting them, you can ask a friend to borrow them to you every few weeks.