Regardless of where we are in life or how much we earn, most of us probably thought about cutting our living expenses. Thinking that cutting something out or changing won’t do anything to help you is the first thing you need to stop doing. Instead try to sit down and see where your money is going, and don’t worry, no one can figure it out at once. Give yourself a month, take note of your regular monthly bills and your free spending, your groceries and any other expenses you might have. You can’t start saving adequately without knowing what you are spending.
A lot of times we underestimate the small things to the point of dismissing them. For instance, loose change gets pushed around and lost, what’s the big deal? It’s just a few pennies! Take any sort of a container, cup, piggy bank or a zip-lock bag and drop your change in there; once it fills up take it to a Coinstar kiosk to see what the big deal was. Coinstar kiosks are located in many of your local grocery stores and super markets, if you do not have one, you can always take your change to the bank, but be sure to count it beforehand!
The same applies when it comes to recycling. Many of the products we consume come in packaging that is recyclable and for which you get money back. Keep your cans and bottles in a bag or a bin separate from your trash and recycle them at some point when you go to get your groceries. There are places that buy scrap metal, plastic, or paper and they usually pay by the pound, some even buy old broken appliances. Do some research to find one near you and you will be eco-friendly (economy and environment-friendly). If you have any new or used, but in good condition, clothing or items that you don’t use anymore, re-sell them. Chances are they are only creating clutter in your home, so why not earn a few bucks? You can sell them through various places online, take them to a second-hand shop or do a garage sale.
Go over your monthly bills. A lot of times things change, it might be your needs or the cable company changing their line up. It’s sad, but many companies will try and throw in random charges, a few bucks here a few bucks there, in the hope that you wont notice. Keep your bills in check, and even if everything is on point, call in to see if you can get lower rates. Often times you can work out a better deal and get promos that are offered to new customers, especially if you say you are looking around and thinking of switching!
Credit cards are awful in so many ways that it doesn’t even need mentioning. Give all your credit card companies a call and try to work out lower rates, or at least lower monthly payments. If you have always been good and on time with your payments, mention that and you might be rewarded. However, if you have been falling behind, try talking to them about it and seeing if you can work something out so that you can afford paying them and they actually get the money from you on time.
A big change your lifestyle that you could opt to make for a cheaper and a healthier lifestyle is switching to public transport. Some of us live in places where there is no adequate public transport provided; however, if you can effectively use it definitely do, at least try it! Not only will you save money by not spending it on gas, but you will also get in shape as well by walking to and from the bus stops, etc. This one will probably take a lot of talking into to try, but it’s a wonder what a difference it makes, both for your pocket and your body.
Lastly, take a look at your spending habits. Rent a DVD for a movie night instead of going to the cinema, make a homemade diner rather than dining out. Don’t impulse shop, go to the store with a pre-thought out shopping list, and use any coupons you can Just make sure you use the coupons for things that you were already going to by rather than looking at the coupon and then buying based on that!
The best way to realize the impact of your saving is not only to follow these, and other saving tips, but to also put the saved money aside. You could put it into a savings account or a safe at home, save it for a rainy day or a car repair, or any other occasion where you might need that emergency fund. If you don’t put it away, chances are you will save it and then just blow it on something else. This way you know what you’re doing, you have money put aside and it’s there ready for when you need it.