From bills and loan payments to groceries and gifts, there’s always something to spend on. If you never seem to have extra money, you might want to improve your saving habits. After all, it’s always good to have rainy day funds to use for emergencies, expenses and holiday splurges. Here are some easy ways to save money.
Keep Track of Expenses
Do you know how much you’re spending every month on groceries, bills, entertainment and general expenses? If you can’t think of an exact number, it’s time to start keeping track. In addition to writing down everything you purchase, you should compare your records to credit card and bank statements.
Once you know how much you’re spending, you can create a stricter budget. When budgeting, consider the following:
- Necessary expenses (i.e., rent, utilities and food)
- Personal expenses (i.e., entertainment)
- The amount you want to save
See if you can cut down on spending that isn’t necessary (such as going out to eat, television subscription services and excessive purchases). Try to make a budget and stick to it — remember, you can always change this in the future.
In 2020 alone, almost 90% of Americans used coupons. Discounts are a great way to save money on your regular purchases. Every dollar you don’t spend is extra money that goes straight to your savings. And now, thanks to the internet, you don’t have to wait for coupons to come to you — you can go online and find them yourself. Here are some cost-saving resources to check out:
- Groupon: This global marketplace sells coupons for restaurants, activities, travel and more.
- Cash back apps: Apps like Honey and Rakuten, which you can download directly on your computer, give you money back on online purchases.
- Rewards programs: Many stores and online marketplaces offer free rewards programs. In exchange for signing up, you get access to discounts and deals.
Looking for coupons before you buy something can help you save big in the long run.
Search for Cost-Effective Alternatives
Saving money doesn’t that mean that you can never have fun or buy anything special for yourself. However, you should be more aware of your spending. One of the best ways to save money if you’re a low-income earner is by searching for cost-effective alternatives to your usual activities and purchases. Here are some ideas to try:
- Look for free events: Many towns and cities host free concerts, shows and fairs for locals. Consider attending a complimentary event next time you want entertainment.
- Skip the brand names: Many clothing brands charge extra in exchange for their logo. You can find high-quality clothes and materials for a portion of the price by selecting a more generic brand.
- Take a staycation: How well do you really know your local area? Instead of traveling across the country during your vacation days, try taking a “staycation” and exploring your local neighborhood.
Before you make a purchase, ask yourself: Is there a less expensive option? The more alternatives you find, the more money you’ll save!