We are all enthusiastic about saving some percentage of our salary when we get it, but our wallet gets empty right before the next paycheck. It’s easy to find some excuses and blame the car tire that got damaged and needed to be replaced or a costly unplanned event that held you back from sticking with your plans. However, most of the time, it’s not about unanticipated expenses that ruin your goals but poor spending habits.
We act more carelessly when it comes to making some small, unplanned purchases. Thinking that a $25 new vase for your living-room or a $10 new phone case won’t make much difference, you end up spending a considerable amount of money. Eventually, you ask yourself, “Where did all my money go?” and cannot find the answer. While setting the intention is essential, actually following it through and being persistent is what matters the most.
Why Should I Save?
Before moving forward, let’s understand why you should even consider saving money?
Firstly, saved money is a form of insurance, as whatever urgent costs occur, you are prepared against them and won’t have to borrow money or increase your existing debt. Besides, by saving money you can also make money, as it will allow you to invest your cash after all.
By increasing your income and decreasing your debts, there will be a place for entertainment too. Plan the vacation you dreamed of and start to save for it. Short-term goals like this are easier to achieve and a great way to reward yourself for moving towards a stress-free financial life.
Tips to Consider if You Want to Save Money in 2020
Here are a couple of easy ways to keep you on the money-saving track. Try them one by one and start with the ones that seem more fun to you. Over time, by adopting a couple of these strategies and seeing the difference they make, you will never go back to living paycheck to paycheck again.
1. Downsize your home
Home maintenance encompasses many different expenses like property taxes, utility bills, repair costs, homeowners insurance, etc. There are other minor costs, too, including gas for the lawnmower or filters for your furnace. To understand how much you spend on your house maintenance on average, you can calculate using the 1 percent rule, meaning that you spend 1% of your home price annually. For example, if your house costs $300,000, you spend $3000 a year, or $300 each month.
Moving to a smaller and less expensive house will definitely make your wallet happier and your life simpler.
The same logic applies to having a car. A more affordable vehicle will cut a lot of small daily costs that you don’t even notice, but they actually make a decent amount of money.
2. Target unnecessary expenses
Whether it’s a subscription to a channel you don’t watch, fees for a debit card that you don’t use, or your pricy cellphone plans, these costs take small bites out of your budget. If you have a gym membership but don’t use it, just cancel it. There may be other lessons you wanted to take and paid for them but couldn’t find the time. Track every dollar you spend and cut all the unnecessary costs. You will be surprised at how much money you waste.
3. Buy Secondhand
Buying secondhand products can save you a ton of money, and there are so many people who just have too much stuff and want to sell some of them. Buy designer bags, clothes, wedding dresses, or some fine jewelry at a pleasantly low price. You can also get cars, bicycles, furniture, workout equipment, books, toys, and so much more in excellent quality.
4. Declutter your house
People gather so much unnecessary stuff around them over the years. You may be surprised at how many things are never used and make a lot of space in the house. It’s hard to get rid of things, but here is a simple trick. List all the items you haven’t used for the last six months. They have to go. Also, make a list of things you rarely use, and decide which you can do without. Sell the and not only you will get extra money in your wallet, but also a lot of extra space in the house.
5. Adopt a healthier lifestyle
This is a tip with numerous benefits. First of all, give up smoking, reduce the amount of alcohol you take, stop eating fast food, and get rid of all the trashy habits you have. We aren’t going to talk about all the health benefits you will get, but in terms of saving money, this is one of the best tips. It encompasses both long-term and short-term financial benefits.
First of all, fresh fruits and veggies are much less expensive than the candies, chips, burgers, and all the junk food you like to consume. Besides, having a healthy lifestyle will insure you against most diseases that are so costly to cure.
6. Start Cooking
Cook your meals at home and for saving even more money, prepare your lunch, and take it to your workplace. According to Forbes, cooking at home is five times less expensive than dining at a restaurant, and three times less costly than using meal kit services. You can calculate how much much money you can save by making your meals from scratch. If you don’t know how to cook, it’s a good motivation to learn something new.
7. Buy a water filter
As a continuation of the previous tip, instead of buying bottled water, use the one coming from your tap. A bottle of water costs somewhere between 50 cents to $5, compared to tap water that costs only $0,01 for one bottle. So, why not buy a reusable stainless steel water bottle and take it with you whenever needed? That will definitely be a budget-friendly and eco-friendly decision.
8. Save the Change
It’s an old but working method. Why not make it even more fun. Take a cute jar and decide to fill it with the change that is left every day. It’s easier to put aside some coins as we don’t care about them that much. However, when you count the amount you saved at the end of each month, it will make a decent amount of money by the end of the year.
9. Learn the Ingredient List of the Products You Use
This may sound strange, but once you learn the ingredient list and what all those complex words mean, you may discover that most pricy products have basic ingredients. Most of the time, you pay for the brand of the product and not what it contains. With your knowledge, you will discover so many amazing products with such a low price that you will eventually have a better self-care routine with an incomparably lower price.
10. Set no-spend days
Decide five days in a month that will be declared no-spend. It will save some dollars, plus you will learn to entertain yourself without money. Our generation is too dependent on money, and whenever we meet our friends or loved ones, it almost always includes going to a cafe, a cinema, or a restaurant. We have incorporated spending money in most activities throughout the day and we wonder why we can’t save some cash.
The Bottom Line
Once I’ve read somewhere, “Money is our life transferred into paper” and that’s true if we take into consideration the amount of time and efforts we invest in making money. Then let’s not spend our lives on unnecessary things and before buying something, decide if that new phone is worth 30 days of work, for example.