How many people want to save money but cannot because of monthly bills, food expenses, insurance payments and even car payments? This seems to be the norm with a lot of families. These families are struggling to keep their “head above water” paycheck to paycheck. However, with just a few tips and a savings attitude they can manage to survive even when times are tough. Some of these tips may just take a few minutes but some of these tips will have to be done on a regular basis. Little money saved equals big rewards.
Having a “saving money” attitude is needed. This is saying ‘I want to start saving money’ and actually doing this. This is easier said than done, right? Wrong! If you get into the habit of putting as little as $1 a week in a savings account, it can make a big difference. That is $52 a year that you just put back. However, ideally the amount that you should work up to is 10% of your net income. This sometimes is not possible. As mentioned earlier try putting back $1 a week and then the next year put $2 a week in savings. Keep doing this on a regular basis and before you know it you will be able to get up to the 10% of the net income.
Most people sometimes cannot afford to put in $1 a week in the savings. However, if you follow these tips you will be well on your way to saving money and putting it in the bank. All it takes is taking that first step. The first step is always the hardest. Once you reach that first step the rest should be easy. Below is some tips that you can follow to get you equipped with the savings attitude.
Make a budget: This is helpful because you will see what you have and what you are spending. First calculate how much your income is and then make a list of what is going out. Remember to include your spending habits other than bills. In other words, know exactly what you are spending.
Turn of lights, televisions, etc: You will be surprised how much a person can save just by turning off a light switch. Save money on the electric bill by turning off the lights when you are not in the room and by turning the lights off during the daytime. Use the natural light during the day. This will save you big money!
Make gifts instead of buying gifts: There are tons of things that you can make for gifts and they are inexpensive to make. A person can make food, blankets, soap, candles, etc. The best part is that it not only is coming from the heart but people will use them instead of letting the gifts pile up in their closets.
Make a list for shopping and stick to it: This little tip will help control the “impulse: buys. Make a list of things that you need before you go shopping and do not break from that list, no matter how tempting. You will be amazed at how low your shopping bill will be when you do it this way.
Master the 30 day rule: The whole method with the 30 day rule is that if you see something you want, wait 30 days to think on it before you buy it. Chances are you will forget about it and won’t buy it. You could write it down but if you just keep it in your head, you will save money.
Invite friends over, instead of going out: Friends can have just as much fun spending no money as they would spending money. Invite friends over for a cookout or potluck. Afterward play cards or have a movie night with popcorn. Who knows, they might return the favor one night.
Repair damaged clothes instead of tossing them for new ones: Don’t throw a shirt out just because it is missing a button. Sew a button on and keep the shirt. If a pair of jeans is torn in the knee either patch them up and wear them around the house or make them into shorts to wear in the summer. New clothes can really add up, so fix them up. Simple sewing can be done by anyone and it will save a fortune on clothes.
Don’t spends loads of money entertaining kids: This maybe hard for some parents but take into consideration that kids just want to spend time with you and not the things that you buy. Give them a toilet paper tube and then watch their imaginations soar. You don’t have to spend big money to keep the kiddos entertained.
Have more home cooked meals: Eating out is very expensive. For a family of four to eat out every night can average around $25 a night. You could buy a whole weeks worth of food to cook at home for that price. Yes, sometimes this just isn’t possible when both parents are working but buy in bulk and make four times the amount of a casserole. Eat one the night of preparation and freeze the other three. That way, you won’t be spending money ordering out. Just take it out of the freezer and heat it up. Easy and then you won’t have to order out.
Plan meals with the flyers from grocery stores: This may sound silly but look at your grocery store’s flyer and plan your meal around that. Get the sale items and use whatever you have on hand and you can make a pretty decent meal. Plus, this is fun especially when you like to create your own recipes. It sure beats buying expensive stuff for a gourment meal from a cookbook.
Stop spending money to “unwind”: If you go shopping after work to unwind before coming home then you are impulsive buying and you won’t be able to save money that way. Instead think of something else to do to unwind from the day’s stresses. For instance learn yoga, take a walk, meditate, etc. These methods will leave you feeling refreshed and doesn’t cost a lot of money.
Cancel gym memberships: An average membership to a gym for a year is around $135.00. Why pay someone to sweat when you can sweat for free? Go hiking, ride bikes, jogging or even jumping jacks will get you fit and it will not cost a dime.
Keep hands clean: If a person washes their hands on a regular basis, then that cuts back on bacteria and therefore, cuts back on doctor expenses. Yes, I know sometimes people get sick and there is no way around but washing hands will go along way towards keeping someone from the doctor visits.
Do holiday shopping after the holidays: Most people do this after the Thanksgiving holiday for Christmas gifts but you can do it for every holiday. After Easter, buy Easter baskets, decorating kits, etc. After Mother’s/Father’s day pick up some extra cards for the following years. After Christmas, pick up some wrapping paper, bows, etc. A person can store this stuff in the closet and have it for the following year. It can add up to big savings.
This is just a few tips to get you started on the savings attitude. Just remember taking the first step is always the hardest. However, once you take that first step, the rest of the steps will be easier to follow. Good luck at saving money.