6 Easy Ways to Save Money Most People Never Discover
To many people, the thought of saving money is about as appealing as a root canal — and twice as painful. With the multitude of bills the average person has and how easy it is to spend disposable income, it isn’t hard to understand why.
Surprisingly, setting aside a bit of money each paycheck isn’t that difficult. All you need are a few simple tools and procedures, and you can be on your way to a healthy safety net.
1. Have a Budget in Place
It seems obvious, but many people still don’t take the time to devise a true and accurate budget. And of those who do, many don’t keep it in a readily accessible place where they can refer to it often.
With a truly mapped-out list of all your income sources and regular bills, you get a better picture of your financial situation and are prepared for deciding how much you can save and how often. Just don’t forget to add your savings amount to that budget!
2. Have a Savings Goal
Now that you have a framework in place, it isn’t a bad idea to create some benchmarks to keep you on track. If you are saving for a specific purchase, such as a car or major home improvement, you should have a good idea how much it will cost. Divide that amount by how much you plan to set aside each pay period so you know how many paychecks it will take to reach your goal. If your planned purchase is time sensitive, divide the cost of the purchase by the paydays until your deadline to find the amount you need to save each paycheck.
Even if you don’t have a specific purchase in mind, keeping tabs on how much should be in your savings keeps you honest and on top of your savings plan.
3. Utilize Store Savings Programs
There isn’t much wiggle room when it comes to certain bills. Rent and mortgage payments, internet service and car payments are typically the same month to month. When they change, it’s usually a permanent increase and calls for a budget adjustment.
Utility bills, such as water and electric, fluctuate based on usage and have to be estimated for your budget. They are also harder to save on since skipping a shower brings its own troubles.
The best place to lower expenses is on your regular shopping, especially groceries. Most stores offer a savings program card, typically free, that lowers the price of everyday items. Taking the time to acquire one is often more lucrative than clipping coupons every shopping day.
4. Get a Rebate App (or Two)
Saving money on your grocery bill is great, but getting money sent back to you just for shopping is even better.
Check into apps for your smartphone designed to get you rebates. The Walmart Savings Catcher app gives you rebates for a whole host of purchases, often just by scanning your receipt. They take a little time to build up, but regular use can net you a fair sum of money.
There are tons of free survey sites. Spend a few minutes each day taking surveys and you can easily earn $10 or more per day.
Check into survey companies where you can earn money online and get started right away. Once you sign up make sure you fill out your profile. This way the company can send you targeted surveys. A lot of these companies will get you credit for each friend you get to sign up under you. You can usually cash out for Amazon and other store gift cards or paypal cash.
6. Be Disciplined but Lenient
The biggest hurdle to saving money isn’t a bill or process — it’s you. Remember: You won’t be perfect. Even if you include some entertainment money in your budget, but you will go over sometimes. As long as you continue to put money aside regularly, it’s okay to dip into that pot once in a while for a splurge.
Use a literal piggy bank if seeing your money pile up encourages you. If that temptation is too great, get a savings account that requires a trip to the bank for access.
Stay on course, forgive a stumble here and there, and you’ll have your nest egg sooner than you imagined.