Saving money might seem difficult, or even impossible, but if you take a few key steps and get motivated about keeping your cash, you might be surprised about how much you can actually save.
Drop Your Monthly Expenses
Every month, you have money leaving your account to pay for phones, cable, internet, and a myriad of other services. If you can drop these costs by even a few dollars, you’ll be able to immediately put all that money towards your savings. First of all, decide what you may be able to do without and consider lowering your costs by decreasing the number of unnecessary channels you get or moving to a limited amount of minutes on your phone. You should also take a little time to look around at competing cable and phone companies and find lower prices. Even if you don’t want to change your company, calling customer service and telling them the cheaper prices you’ve found online could yield surprising results.
Take on a Side-Job
Time spent sitting around at home could often be used to make a little extra cash on the side using skills you already have. You can sell products you know how to make, do work around your area, or take up a job online. The Internet is full of ways to make money, especially for those who are decent writers. Blogging can net a profit, especially if you can write about something that others want to know about and get ads on your site creating revenue. Be creative and use your talents and passions to bring in extra cash on the side.
Decrease Entertainment Costs
If you’re not careful, the amount of money flowing out each month for dining and entertainment can quickly become staggering. Look at how much you spend each week eating out, going to movies, and hanging out with friends at the mall; you might be surprised how much you’re losing to these activities. If you change your habits, though, and start making your own meals and enjoy spending time with friends at home rather than going out and spending money, you’ll find yourself much richer by the end of the month.
Pay off Debts
If you have high-interest debt, on credit cards or in the form of car payments, getting rid of those as quickly as possible will allow you to save money that would be wasted on interest, allowing you to instead put that money towards your investments. Once all of your high-interest debts are paid off, only use your credit cards to purchase items you can currently pay for, and instead of paying interest, use cards to get rewards and cash back.
Get Your Money Making Money
If your extra cash is sitting in a savings account earning less than 1% interest, you’re essentially losing money due to inflation. Speak to a financial adviser and find an investment vehicle that will work with your goals and will allow you to make money off of your savings. Once you’ve gotten your savings started and add all your extra cash each month, you’ll quickly see your money compounding and adding to itself, making you money simply by letting it sit there.
Once you create good habits and lower your costs, you can start increasing your savings, which can then be invested and start making you money. These good choices now can lead to financial freedom in the future and security against anything that might go wrong in the next several years, which is worth much more than another dinner at a restaurant or a few extra channels on your TV.