Just about everyone is looking for ways to save money. There are plenty of personal testimonies from people who completely disrupted their lives and learned to live on pennies. These stories can be daunting. Saving money and getting on track with your budget doesn’t mean that you have to forgo all joy in life. It simply means that you make it a priority to get out of the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle so you’ll have money left over to pay for the things you want to do in life. You can do this even if your income isn’t high. All it takes is a bit of creativity and commitment. Here’s our list of 5 savvy ways to save money.
1. Pay Attention to the Seasons
Unless you need to purchase an item right away, wait for the seasonal sales. For instance, the winter months of January and February are the perfect times to buy linens. You can save as much as 50% on sheets for all your beds. The winter is also a great time to buy fitness equipment and televisions. July is hot in most places, but it’s also a hot month to buy personal electronics. Sign up for emails or SMS alerts from your favorite retailers, and you won’t miss out on sales, such as Best Buy and Amazon’s electronics sale coming up in July this year.
2. Use Coupons
Coupons have been around for decades, and they still save you money. If you shop at brick-and-mortar stores, be sure to grab the flyer that is always kept by the entrance. You’ll find many money-saving coupons. For digital coupons and other savings, download the BeFrugal app. BeFrugal works with almost all major retailers to help you take advantage of coupon and cash-back offers.
3. Reduce Your Monthly Housing Costs
Is your monthly rent payment taking up almost all of your paycheck? If so, you might want to consider moving to a smaller apartment in a less expensive area. How about your utility bills? Heating, air conditioning, and electricity expenses can take a big chunk out of your paycheck. Employ some money-saving strategies such as
- installing smart thermostats to regulate room temperature
- replacing your showerhead to reduce water usage
- washing your clothes or running the dishwasher during off-peak hours
- checking your doors and windows for energy leaks.
4. Shop Smart at the Grocery Store
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 60% of your monthly budget goes to groceries. That’s a big chunk of your budget that you can control and save. One way to begin is to reduce food waste.
- Plan meals in advance and always shop with a list.
- Check the freshness of fruits and vegetables and only buy what you know you’ll consume.
- Buy produce when in season. Out-of-season vegetables and fruits come at a premium price.
- Never do your grocery shopping when you’re hungry.
- Skip the food display set up at the end of the aisles. Remember, retailers want you to spend money. You want to save money.
- Use cash at check-out. Studies show that when you charge your groceries on your credit card, you end up spending much more.
5. Reduce Your Debt
One of the savviest ways to save money is to reduce your debt. Carrying high-interest debt prevents you from saving money. Even if you’ve set savings targets and are carefully budgeting, you won’t meet your goals. The majority of your monthly income will go to pay interest on loans and credit cards. Organize your debt accounts and start eliminating them. As you work down the list, make an effort to stay current with your other credit accounts. Paying late or missing payments only results in extra fees and potentially an increase in your interest rate.
Saving money, especially when your budget is tight, can seem impossible. But once you start, you’ll get into the groove of a routine that prioritizes your financial goals. Once you become comfortable as a savvy consumer, you’ll find other ways to increase your savings.
If you are burdened with high amounts of credit card debt and are struggling to make your payments, or you’re just not seeing your balances go down, call Timberline Financial today for a free financial analysis.
Our team of highly skilled professionals will evaluate your current situation to see if you may qualify for one of our debt relief programs. You don’t have to struggle with high-interest credit card debt any longer.