Everyone would love to have more money in their wallet every month, but we know that spending less and saving money is easier said than done. Don't worry. We have some tips for cutting back on nonessentials and saving those bucks. Recently, several frugal-minded men and women had an online chat to reveal the easiest ways to save money that anyone can do.
1. Change Your Mindset
Although challenging, many people recommend changing your thinking about money. Be bold and ask yourself a multitude of questions about every purchase. "It is not about saving and not spending," explains one frugal woman. "Ask yourself: Do you really need it? Do you have room for it? Can it wait? Ask tons of questions before buying." Re-wiring your brain can work wonders!
2. Start Small
Becoming one of the world's experts on saving money doesn't happen overnight; sometimes, you must take baby steps. Saving just a few dollars a month can eventually add up significantly; while transferring $20 to your savings may seem like small stuff, keep the faith. Over time, your wallet will thank you!
3. Start Keeping Diligent Records
Putting expenses down on paper accomplishes more than visualizing your costs. It makes you more mindful of possible unnecessary spending! "Write down everything you spend money on — everything," professes one expert. "It makes you more aware of where it goes and what little things actually add up."
4. Work More
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in many cases, working more has tangible benefits. Whether you're a workaholic or not, nobody can deny that you'll (in most cases) make more money the more you work. In addition, sapping yourself of free time will lead to fewer opportunities to spend your hard-earned cash. It's interesting logic, but even skeptics can't deny it!
5. Wait 24 Hours Before Any Big Purchase
Countless people advise you to step back and wait before committing to any moderate-to-large purchase. Often, 24 hours is plenty of time to assess whether you need to buy what you're thinking about buying. I've had buyer's remorse more times than not, and in many cases, I wish I had taken the time to properly evaluate the decision waiting in front of me.
6. Talk Yourself Out of It
Playing devil's advocate with yourself is a clever trick to save money. Before buying anything trivial, try to verbalize why you shouldn't be doing it! It's ingenious. "Serious answer: Try and talk yourself out of buying stuff," reveals one woman. "If you can come up with two good reasons why you don't need something, you don't need it."
7. Set Up Recurring Transfers
For many people, the key to saving money is to set it and forget it: recurring transfers, that is! Scheduling transfers from your paychecks into retirement or savings accounts is one of the easiest ways to keep more money in your wallet. Eventually, with enough time, you'll be rewarded with a healthy savings account because you were financially savvy enough to schedule recurring transfers.
8. Utilize Budget Software or Apps
Nobody likes sitting down and painstakingly creating a budget spreadsheet, but thankfully, countless apps and software packages will do it for you! "Get good budget software and use it," advises one woman. "Input your net income and start subtracting average spending on food, utility, mortgage, and anything that you consider as a necessity. The money left is your disposable income for you to save."
9. Stop Trading in Your Cell Phone
Here's a dirty little secret: Cell phone technology has not progressed significantly in the last five or six years (unless you love the idea of folding screens). You can officially stop trading in your iPhone or Android phone every year! Many people report they saved significant money over the years — think in the thousands of dollars range — by keeping their phones for three or more years.
10. Use Credit Cards Like Debit Cards
One of the simplest ways to save money is to avoid debt — including credit card debt! Using your credit card like a debit card can go a long way in securing your financial health. Only spend as much as you can pay off right away," reveals one expert. "If you can pay off your full credit card debt every single month, you're in good shape and are also building your credit score."
11. Cancel Streaming Subscriptions
By this point in 2023, you're probably subscribed to more streaming services than you realize. From Disney+ to Netflix (and everything in between), your monthly streaming bills are most likely close to what you were paying for cable ten years ago! Do yourself a favor, look at what services you're signed up for, and eliminate at least one. I bet you'd be surprised how much you don't miss it!
12. Stop Driving Everywhere
As someone who drives to the gym located half a mile from my house every morning, I should know better. To save on wear and tear on your vehicle and to generally be healthier, everyone should stop driving so much — especially when walking is an option. I can't begin to fathom how much money I'll save on gas by just walking (or jogging) the fifteen minutes it would take to get to the gym each morning! Source: Reddit.
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