More people than ever are trying to save money. According to a New York Times report, more Americans are saving money now than they have been since 1993. People are putting away, on average 6.9 percent of their income. That is a great place for many to start, especially after the financial difficulties of the last few years. But, saying that you will save and putting this act into practice are two very different things. And, they can be incredibly limiting to those who think they do not have any money to put away. You do.
Save Money By Cutting Costs
The best way to save money is to have more money to put away. You could get an extra job (and this is something you want to consider if you hope to build your savings faster.) However, consider the following ways you can reduce your costs significantly and put those funds back into your savings account.
- Do you work in the same five-mile radius as you live? If so, jump on a bike to go to work and leave the extra car at home. In fact, moving from a two or three car household down to a one or two car household could save you hundreds of dollars in interest fees (if you still have a loan) and hundreds of dollars on insurance costs, not to mention the discounts in fuel.
- Find your money waster. This is the item that you buy every day or every week that you just do not need to. It could be that $5 gourmet coffee in the morning or the $10 a week you spend on soda at work. Cut it out. Put that money towards your savings. $5 a day savings equates to $150 a month for savings, or $1825 a year.
- Eat out less. Buy a $30 slow cooker, start your meals in the morning in it and then skip the take out. This in itself can save most families between $50 and $150 a week in eating out. That is money to put into your savings account so that you can take a trip or even just pay down debt.
- Cut utility costs. When was the last time you called your cable provider to reduce your monthly costs? Have you taken the time to consider bundling your services (phone, Internet, cable) into one to reduce your costs? How about the water bill? you can save hundreds by repairing leaky faucets and reducing shower time. A programmable thermostat keeps the home warm when you are home, but decreases costs when you are not. Unplug those electronics.
One of the biggest money savers is to have a budget. Work out a budget that you can live with and then stick with it. Do not rely on credit cards at all for your monthly costs. Rather, focus instead on a cash only budget. Give yourself money to eat out or for entertainment, but limit these costs so that you can actually be putting money away.
You can save a great deal of money by simply learning how to cut out the extras in your budget. However, to know what those extras are, you need to keep a record going of what you are spending money on. Everything from parking meters to the kid’s school lunches should be part of it. This gives you a clear idea of where your money is going. Then, you can cut out the extra and start saving money.