I’m revisiting my budgeting process so that I can finish paying off my debts by the end of 2018. I want to be free of the debts so I can start pocketing my entire paycheck and saving for what I want to accomplish in the future. I shared this a few months back when I originally starting saving money for this goal. After making some recent changes, I’ve discovered 5 more things that you can do start saving money today.
These tips are simple. Quick. And all but one is completely in your control. That’s the great thing about budgeting – you control how much you can save by making better decisions based on your life.
Even when I’m budgeting I like to keep my normal activities in my life. So in my budget, I include line items for social activities such as dinner or BBQs with friends (depending on the season) and personal care like a haircut I’m getting today. I’ve also shared some budget friendly date ideas, mostly good during the summer months (unless you don’t have winter where you live).
If you’re not into the debt-free life or you’ve already paid off you debts (congratulations!), these tips can still be applied to your budget to save money for future big purchases. Maybe that’s a house or a car. Maybe you want to take that dream vacation to New Zealand. All of these things require saving money – these tips can help.
So look through the list and take action on each today (or at least this week) and you’ll start saving money to pay your debts or reach other goals you’ve set for your future.
5 Simple Things You Can Do To Start Saving Money
Transfer More Money to Your Savings Account
If you’re not already transferring some of your paycheck into your savings account, you need to start. If you’re already doing this, then increase what you’re automatically adding to this account. It doesn’t have to be much – just an increase of some kind. I would say say between $15 – $50 is a good start, but seriously add anything additional you can. Since the money will automatically go into your savings account, you won’t ever see it and will be less likely to spend it.
Soon your money will start to build up and you can start applying some of the funds to moving into your apartment, buying a home or a car, or if you’re like me, paying off your debts.
Write Down Your Grocery List (and Start Shopping Your Own Kitchen)
This is a no brainer, but I know that sometimes even I neglect doing it before my grocery store trip. Take some time at the end of the week and do some meal planning. Start by going through your fridge and pantry pulling out what you already have. What can you make with what you have? Do you need to purchase an entire cart of groceries? If you’re anything like me, you probably already have what’s needed to make your weekly meals. Once you have some ingredients in front of you, start planning out what you can prep. From there make a grocery list of only the foods you absolutely need to buy and stick to it.
Bonus Tip: Find the least expensive grocery store that is closest to your house, pick a day of the week to do the shopping, and get the shopping done early in the day.
Unsubscribe. Unlike. Unfollow.
Have you ever noticed that when you scroll through Facebook or Instagram, most of the updates you see are from companies? I started purging companies, brands, and random pages I had been following for no reason at all months ago. Firstly, you’ll actually start seeing updates from your friends and family which is what I use social media for. Second, you’re not going to be bombarded with as many ads or new products from brands.
If you’re easily swayed by something your favorite influencer shares on their Instagram stores – unfollow them. If you can’t help but purchase athletic clothes from the latest launch of this brand or that brand – unfollow them. If you don’t see it, you won’t buy it.
Finally, unsubscribe from all the newsletters you get in your email everyday. The sale is not always cracked up to what it may seem. If you don’t see it, you won’t buy it.
End Shopping Trips to Those Stores (and Shop Online Instead)
Just reading this tip, you already know what stores you should avoid. For me, Target is a no-go for the time being. Every time I walk into Target for just the essentials, without a doubt I spend over $75. Anything I can get at Target, I can wait to get during my weekly grocery trip – and it’s usually cheaper.
Other stores that I’m avoiding include TJMaxx and Marshalls, both of which I love but are money holes, CVS and Walgreens, and Ulta. If I do need something from these stores, I’ll make a trip or look online first. I personally find it easier to avoid over-purchasing when making an online purchase because I like to be hold something and test it before buying it. Therefore my online purchases tend to be products I’ve bought in the past and I know I love.
Update Your Insurance Policies
This tip is a little different than the others, but I still recommend giving it a try. I just recently did this and it saved me almost 50% a year compared to what I had been paying and it’s for the same coverage. I had been paying the same amount on my car insurance for a couple of years. In a perfect world as your car depreciates your insurance should also go down. I know that’s not how it really works, but I finally felt it was time to re-evaluate what I was paying.
The other thing you can do is look into is bundling multiple policies – for example, car insurance and a renter’s policy. A lot of insurance companies will offer a discount for bundling or paying for your policies together. Also, go paperless and pay your premium in as few installments as you realistically can. There’s usually a discount for both of these options.
This tip is obviously dependent on factors out of your control – where you live, the type of car you have (and coverage), and what other policies you may or may not have to combine.
I hope this tips helped as you get started on your journey. Let me know what you’re money saving tips are down below!