There are a ton of reasons that everyone should have at least one savings account. Emergencies happen, unexpected events come up, unforeseen medical expenses; anything that isn’t necessarily planned for are reasons a savings account is essential. And – you’ll want extra spending money for when you retire, of course.
I’ve seen a lot of articles that tell people how to save money and while I agree with some of their tips – others just seem to be wastes of time, (no offense). So – what are some realistic ways to save money?
Take Savings into Consideration when creating a Budget.
Everyone should have a budget and it should also include savings. Depending on your lifestyle and income, (among other factors), everyone will have a different ‘savings goal’ within their budget. I’ll create some printables for creating a great budget – SAVINGS included 🙂
Cook at home. Don’t eat out as much.
I know – it’s hard when you drive past so many restaurants daily. But, it’s a fact that millennials eat out far more than generation X. I’m guilty of it. (It’s hard to turn down Subway when it’s right there). But, cooking at home, over time will save you a good amount of money. PLUS – you’ll likely eat healthier if you cook for yourself 🙂
Pay off your Credit Card/s every month.
Ah, credit cards. They come with loyalty points and the ability to buy stuff when we really don’t have the cash in the bank to do so. It’s easy to get behind on a credit card payment. I have an Amazon credit card and love getting those Amazon points. However, don’t neglect paying your credit card bills – you don’t want that pesky interest to end up adding up to an overwhelming amount.
Find a number of realistic ‘Savings’ Challenges & stick to them.
For instance, I always save my change. I re-purposed a large dill pickle jar that I fill up with change. Change surprisingly adds up quickly. Also – every time I have a $5.00 bill, I put it in an envelope in my file cabinet. Saving those small amounts of cash or change can and does add up over time. (I use that sort of spare cash for Black Friday Sales 🙂 ).
Sell things you DO NOT USE.
We had an inversion board that we purchased on Black Friday that wasn’t the best quality. It was hurting my ankles and my guy didn’t ever use the damn thing either. We let it linger in our spare room for way too long. Finally, we got the “Let it Go” app, (which is great, by the way), and sold it. Anything you don’t use – you don’t need. It’s potential spare cash just sitting there, taking up space. Have exercise equipment you don’t use? What about furniture? How about outdoor furniture? Make a list of everything you have that you never use and put it for sale online.
Make lists of “What to Buy” and don’t stray from it.
Impulse purchaser? Eh, me too. Big box retailers are design their stores to put things in front of so we buy crap we don’t need. Hey, what can I say, their method works. Went to Wal-Mart once with the intention of buying one video game – came home with four, (one that I ended up hating). LISTS will save you money – if you stick to them of course. Yes – there may be a crazy deal on a 65′ inch TV, but do you really need it? Probably not. (Or, maybe you do – some deals just can’t be passed up). Know how to recognize those deals and stop, (or at least cut back on the impulse buys).
Learn where to buy stuff cheaper that is the same quality, of course.
I’m going to make a list of all the online retailers and actual stores where you can buy things to save money. I would never recommend compromising quality for a good deal though – you’ll likely have to replace is faster. However, there are places where you can get great deals. There’s an app called “Slick deals“, and even though it’s led to quite a few impulse purchases, we have found some pretty incredible deals on there.
ALWAYS take advantage of Rewards Programs.
Seriously, if you’re buying something at a store and they offer a rewards program, just sign up for it. Many stores have them – even discount stores like Gabe’s and Ollie’s. They usually just want an email address. Take advantage. Gather up those reward points. And – download the Shopify app. 🙂
Buy Generic when it’s exactly the same thing.
I used to hate buying generic anything. I used to get no other multivitamin than the “One a Day” brand, until I took a look at the Equate brand and realized their ingredients are nearly identical. This goes for things like: Paper towels, toilet paper and certain food products. If it’s the same thing – get the generic. You’ll save money.
Only use coupons for things you know you’ll use in the future. For instance: toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, dish soap – things you’ll always need. Use coupons for those things & only those things. Also, download the Ibotta App and get cash back for purchases you already make. (But – don’t make the mistake I did and buy stuff just because you have a coupon for it. I did this with food items we never ate). Aside from the Sunday paper, here are the 2 best websites, in my opinion for finding printable coupons you’ll actually use:
Master some DIY skills
Be your own handyman. Learn to fix things yourself and/or how to make your own products. Do your own laundry. Master the meal prep. Make your own holiday decor. Learn to color and cut your own hair. The options are endless. If you know how to do things yourself, you’re less likely to have to pay someone else to do it.
Even if you live in an apartment -there are always room for containers. If you eat a lot of fresh produce, grow your own when you can. (I’m addicted to tomatoes and I grow my own cherry tomatoes). I’ll be honest though. It’s not going to save you a ton of cash, but it’s a good hobby to have and it can save you a bit of money.
Live a Healthier Lifestyle.
Truly, this will save you money on medical bills in the long run. Exercise, take those vitamins and do everything and anything you can to be healthier. Medical bills are expensive. Avoid having them by simply living healthier 🙂
Cancel any subscription or paid membership that you don’t use.
Do you really need that subscription to that magazine you never pick up? No – ditch it. Go through everything you subscribe to and pay for and ask yourself if you really need it. If the answer is “no”, get rid of it and save that cash for something you do need and will use.
Those are the best realistic ways to save actual money that have worked for me. Remember, at least one savings account is essential. 🙂 I’ll talk more in later posts about savings accounts, how to earn more money on the side and other ways to always keep improving your financial situation.