6 Unique Money Saving Tips
Money management doesn’t come easy to everyone. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself, but you need to have a good grasp on how often you are treating yourself. Make a budget and do your best to stay well below your income. Stay focused on what you are saving for and put some different savings ideas to work for you.
- Saving Apps: The tried and true method of saving your pennies just got digital. With every online purchase that you make, you can round up your purchase to the nearest dollar amount. That spare change will go into an investment account to start growing your portfolio. There are several apps that offer this service. Acorn, Stash, Wealthfront and Betterment are a few. It’s easy to start. You only need about $5 to begin an account, as opposed to $3,000 to open an IRA. It’s free for students, and costs about $1 or less to maintain each month.
- Move bank accounts: You’ve been with the same big bank for several years, and now you have multiple accounts with them. Are you sure you’re getting the best deal? Do some research on what your local banks and credit unions can offer for savings and checking accounts. You may be surprised at the interest and fee differences. Local banks want your business more than the box banks. They’ll be more willing to work with you and find you a deal that works in your favor. It’s an easy way to save more money, and make your dollars work for you.
- No Impulse Buys: None whatsoever. Don’t make any purchases over $100 without thinking about it for 30 days. If you’re still in need of it in 30 days, then you can consider making the purchase. Odds are, you want it at the time, and you aren’t looking at the long term usage. This also goes for smaller purchases. Don’t get suckered in to the impulse buy aisle at stores. There’s a reason why they put $1-$5 items next to a cash register. They want you to look at it, want it, and think ‘it’s only $1–no big deal”, and buy it. If you keep doing that at several different locations over the course of a month, you can easily spend $50 or more on needless things.
- Coupon Coupon Coupon: Don’t buy without a coupon or a rewards program. There’s no need to pay full price for things anymore. Most grocery stores offer a rewards program and have weekly coupons on everyday items. Wait and buy until you find it on sale or have a coupon for it. Before you buy, double check online to see if you can find a better deal at a different store. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a price match at the counter. Odds are that the store will want to keep your business and honor the better deal.
- Avoid The Stores: If you are tempted to spend, then avoid the places that suck your money. If you love to see the latests fashions, but you have a closet full of clothes, then avoid shopping malls. If you don’t see the alluring window ads, then you won’t want to step inside the store. Take it a step further, and unsubscribe from store emails. They love to bombard your inbox with unbelievable deals. You’ll talk yourself into why you need it, and there goes more money. If you don’t have to see it every day, then you’ll be more successful at saving.
- Cook At Home: Restaurants are great every now and then, but they can cost a pretty penny. Even fast food is becoming a costly outing. When you cook at home, each person can eat for around $3-$5, instead of the $15-$20 plates. Plus, it’ll be healthier too because you can control what goes in it.
The general rule of thumb is to use 80% of your income on necessary items like rent, food, and gas, 10% on “fun”, and the other 10% should go into savings. Tuck some cash away that you won’t touch for emergencies that pop up. Set goals for a new car, or a big vacation. It’s never too early to start saving for retirement! Seeing the dollars increase every week will help you stay focused on your goal.