There never seems to be enough money to go around. Am I right?
You get it in hand and it disappears in the blink of an eye. If, at the end of the month, you constantly find yourself wondering where your cash went, then these money-saving tips are for you. Use these hacks to spend less and build your savings without having to give it much thought.
10 Money-Saving Tips
1. Pay Bills On Time
Life happens and sometimes when it becomes too chaotic, you forget basic things like paying your bills. There are also unfortunate circumstances when you just don’t have the money available to pay.
Paying bills late incurs fees. If you pay super late and the service is disconnected, you might be charged a connection fee. These extra fees add up and when you’re trying to save money, they can really slow your progress.
If you truly can’t afford to pay your bills, seek professional help. Sometimes, the service provider might be willing to work with you, if you are a good customer.
Write down when bills are due on a calendar or set a reminder on your phone. For bills that cost the same each month, set up a recurring payment through online banking. Do whatever it takes to avoid paying late.
2. Lower Utility Bills
Find ways to decrease your usage of utilities and this will lead to lower utility bills. Even small steps like switching off lights and fans when you leave a room and turning the water off while you brush your teeth can help.
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There are also things that you can do that might require a little upfront cost and effort but are definitely worth it. Conserve water with low-flow shower heads, replace light bulbs with LED ones and bundle phone, internet and cable to cut costs.
3. Quit Paying for Services
Think about services you currently use that you can do without or do them yourself. Cut cable and use Netflix or Hulu to watch TV shows and movies at a much more affordable price. Instead of paying someone to rake leaves in your yard or clean your pool, do that yourself.
4. Avoid Credit Cards
Whenever possible, use cash and avoid credit cards. That way, you steer clear of interest and bank fees. Using cash is also a great tangible reminder of how much you spent. You don’t get that same visual cue when you use credit cards so you might be prone to overspend.
Try the envelope system as a way to parcel out the cash you budgeted for expenses. Every month, place the cash you need aside and only use that money when you shop or pay bills.
5. Eat Out Less
Eating out is a great weakness of mine so I know personally how quickly buying fast food adds up.
To combat this, I started meal planning so that I always know what’s on the menu for dinner and nothing is left till last-minute. Home-cooked dinners can be delicious and definitely more nutritious as you control exactly what is going into your food. But more importantly, eating food cooked at home saves you a ton of money.
6. Buy In Bulk
When grocery shopping, buy in bulk. Buying large quantities of items usually brings the price way down. Of course, since you are trying to save money, this is exactly what you want!
Be careful to only buy items you use frequently in large quantities though and preferably, they should be non-perishable like toilet paper and those with long expiration dates such as canned goods. This way you are not purchasing groceries only to throw them away soon after because they have gone bad. This would defeat the whole purpose of what you are trying to accomplish. You don’t want to literally be throwing money away.
7. Generic Is Good
Supermarkets often offer generic brands of popular items like flour and sugar. Buy these items instead of name-brands to save on groceries.
The generic groceries are usually just as good as the ones from popular manufacturers but are sold at a fraction of the cost.
Avoid generic brands of napkins or toilet paper because you will end up using more to make up for the lower quality. Eventually, this will cost you more.
8. Coffee and Water
If you’re a coffee lover, brew your own at home and take it with you to work instead of buying it while you are out. You may think that your morning cup of joe is only a couple bucks but multiply that by 365 (if you were to buy one everyday). I bet you won’t feel the same about that “small” price tag anymore!
Modern coffee makers allow you to brew flavoured coffee drinks in the comfort of your own home. Once you taste it and a little financial freedom, you won’t miss Starbucks at all.
The same goes for water. Buying a bottle of water frequently can be costly. Fill up a reusable bottle at home and take it with you while you are on the go. Attach a filter to your faucet or use a pitcher with a replaceable filter if you are concerned about impurities.
9. Buy Secondhand
Instead of buying brand new products, try secondhand items from thrift stores or even online. Doing this can save you a lot of money and you can find some quality items too!
Make sure to shop with reputable retailers and inspect any items you buy to protect yourself from wasting money on poorly made clothes or items that don’t work.
10. Have Fun For Free Or Cheap
There are so many ways that you can enjoy entertainment for free or at a really low price.
- Check your local newspaper for free events going on in your area
- Have a movie night at home with some flavoured popcorn
- Enjoy a family game night
- Go to the park or community centre
Be creative and you can have a blast while spending less.
It might seem impossible to hold on to cash but it’s not. You merely have to track what you are spending your money on and find ways to cut back. Use these ten money-saving tips to help you spend less and boost your savings.