Save money live better may often seem like opposite ends of the spectrum. Leading a good life generally demands spending more. With so many bills to pay every month, most of us find it difficult to live a comfortable life; leave aside saving. It can, at times, feel like an unending cycle of working, spending, and feeling bad about not being able to save.
The trick is, however, learning how to live comfortably without overspending. Today, we discuss some simple yet effective ways to be smarter with your money so that you can enjoy whatever you want in life while saving for your goals. Following a few of these tips can make a significant difference to your money management habits and help you save and live better.
How Saving Improves Life
When you have saved some money, you can relax about your finances, knowing that you are covered in case of any emergency expense like a car breakdown or an illness. While money obviously cannot buy you love, friendship, or moments, a savings fund can give you the financial security that keeps you happy and allows enjoying other things better, as money is not your biggest concern now.
Many of us don’t inherit huge funds and valuable properties to fall back on, which only means we have to rely on our abilities to achieve our dreams. While some dreams may require no money, others like buying your dream home or traveling to your favorite destinations do. Every step you take towards saving gets you closer to your achievement.
Saving money also helps you live better if you are under a financial burden. When you have a massive debt to pay off, life can seem troublesome and you can’t find a way out. This is where implementing a few simple habits can help you work your way towards clearing your debt quickly and achieving financial freedom.
Benefits of Saving
If you need some more motivation to start saving money, here are some impressive benefits.
- Ability to cover unexpected expenditure
- Financial freedom
- Getting rid of money-related stress
- Good credit score
- Early retirement
- Affording the biggest dreams
- Being generous
The feeling of saving a small amount every month is enough to make it a way of life. If you are ready to take up this way, we have some great tips that will help you set aside some bucks regularly while leading a comfortable life.
Tips to Save Money Live Better
Here are some of the most effective ways to save money and start living better.
1. Pay Off Your Debt
While clearing the existing debt may not sound like a way to save, it actually helps get rid of spending monthly interest and other charges you may incur on these borrowings. Start by calculating the total amount you pay towards your debt each month. You might realize that you didn’t know you were spending so much.
Once you get rid of debt payments, that money can be used for other expenses or contributed to your savings fund. Discover ways to clear your small debts quickly. If you have a bigger debt, you can go for a debt resolution or settlement.
2. Set a Realistic Goal
One of the first requirements for saving money is to have the right motivation to progress on this path. Instead of setting a random number-based goal, like saving $100 per month, think about what you want to save for. It can be a medium-term financial goal like paying for the down payment of a new house or taking a photography course you always wanted to do.
Whatever you want to save for, it always works to visualize your goal. Once you have set your target, it gets easier to calculate how much you should save over a period to achieve it. Make sure you take into consideration your income and expenditure and set realistic, achievable financial goals. It is much easier to stick to your saving habits if you have something important you are saving for.
3. Automate Savings
The idea of transferring the money left at the end of the month to your savings account hardly works for anybody. If you are like most other people, your account should look almost empty right before payday. Saving money at the start of the month is known to be a more effective way and helps save more.
Consider selecting a percentage of your salary you want to save every month and set up an automatic debit that transfers the sum to your savings account right on payday. This way, you have a better idea of how much money you have left with you and feel good about having saved some money already.
Many peoples are confused if they have more than one Roth IRA, so we have discussed in our guide if whether a person has more than one Roth IRA or not!
4. Cut Down on Utility Bills
Your house utilities may sometimes cost more than they should. If you find that you are spending a lot on energy, consult a professional or the utility company to get your house audited for energy consumption. They can give you some valuable insight into your home’s efficiency and suggest ways to improve. Sometimes, simple things like sealing windows can save you hundreds of bucks every month.
Develop a habit of switching off lights and unplugging appliances when not in use. Such small steps can get you big savings on your utility bills. You can also consider lowering the thermostat on the water heater to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Another effective way to lower your electricity bill is to switch to power-saving bulbs. Upgrading appliances to higher ratings and adding ‘smart solutions’ to the home also help save time.
5. Plan Your Meals
Spending on food is one of the biggest expenses for most people. Eating out every now and then can build up huge sums at the end of the month. You may feel you don’t have enough time to cook your meals, but a little planning and preparation can help you avoid spending unnecessarily on meals while keeping you healthier.
You can take out some time every week to plan your meals, buy ingredients, and make preparation. You can even save on grocery shopping by buying items in bulk. There are so many one-pot, delicious, quick recipes on the internet you can prepare in a few minutes. You can prepare a good amount for dinner and pack for your lunch instead of spending on lunch at work.
6. Save Money on Groceries
It is easy to overspend on grocery shopping by purchasing unnecessary stuff. The best way to avoid this is to make a shopping list before you go. Preparing a list of items you need keeps you from spending on things you are never going to use.
If you follow a healthy lifestyle, you might have to get healthier ingredients and fresh produce which can be expensive. However, you can eat healthy on a budget by buying seasonal fruits and vegetables or getting fresh produce from local farmer’s markets at reasonable rates. You can also use coupons to save on your grocery shopping.
7. Save on Transportation
Using a subway or some other form of public transportation is an effective way to get around and is much cheaper than commuting by car. If you live in a metropolitan, public modes are faster than driving your vehicle in the traffic, which means you will save time with money.
Another great tip that goes hand-in-hand with public transport is to walk to nearby destinations. You will not only save a few bucks but also get the much-needed exercise. If you live near a library or grocery store, you can always choose to walk or bike to such destinations to save money.
8. Do Simple Repairs and Maintenance Yourself
As long as you know how to use the basic tools, it is easy to save a few bucks by fixing broken things around the house yourself. A leaky faucet, for example, is a simple fix that can save you from calling a plumber to do it or spending on a new faucet. The same is true for noisy furnaces, squeaky doors, and broken light fixtures. You can consider watching videos on troubleshooting and fixing small home problems.
Similarly, learning a few basic car repair skills can help you save money and live better. You don’t need to learn to rebuild an engine but simple repairs and maintenance tasks can be taken care of at home to avoid bills from the repair station. Replacing winter tires and changing oil are some easy things you can do to save a lot of cash. Identify and address smaller issues with your car early on to avoid paying more later when it gets more serious. Also, keep your tire pressure in check all the time to improve the car’s fuel efficiency and lifespan.
9. Enjoy a Staycation
One of the latest trends is to spend a vacation near your location. Staycation is recently getting more and more popular. Rather than spending on an international holiday, you can plan a memorable vacation in a nearby place. You get a chance to explore cool places that you didn’t know existed. This will help you save a lot every year while letting you enjoy some beautiful trips on a budget.
Another way to keep yourself refreshed and entertained is to plan picnics and outings with your friends to nearby places. You can carry homemade food, play games, and enjoy a great time in their company without having to spend hefty amounts on travel and meals.
10. Keep an Eye on Free Events in Your Locality
It might seem difficult to resign from your social life to save money. Fortunately, there are ways to enjoy your free time without spending. So many free events keep happening around you all the time and you may not know about them.
Your town may have free basketball and tennis courts, your town hall may be running an outdoor theatre during summer, or the local library organizes an exhibition. You just need to do some research to benefit from them. Join a relevant group on Facebook to stay updated on the events happening around you or check the local news. Pick those that interest you and enjoy them with your friends instead of spending on gatherings and hangouts.
11. Cancel Your Gym Membership
Most people would justify their expensive gym membership by saying that health is more important than money. However, only 30% of the people actually utilize their gym membership. If you feel that you are not hitting the gym quite often, you can decide to get rid of the expense and save over $500 every year.
This does not mean you get rid of exercising and staying fit. You can look for ways to exercise for free. Consider running outside or using the free equipment in the nearby park. You can even invest in some used equipment to do your workout at home. There are many virtual fitness and training apps available for free to guide you. YouTube videos are also great ways to keep your exercise regime interesting while saving a lot of money.
12. Make Money From Your Car
While cars are known to cost money, you can make them work for you and earn some extra cash that you can save. Try car rental apps that allow renting your car out for money. These apps also insure your vehicle so you will be compensated for any damage that occurs. You can also drive people to their destination in your free time and earn from it. Think about peak times like weekends and make yourself available during those times to make some side income.
If you take your car to work, rent out the parking space to make money. Another way to use your vehicle for earning is through advertisements. Reach out to one of the companies that pay for displaying ads on cars. You can receive some free cash without having to do anything; this extra money can go to your savings fund.
Nowadays It’s very hard to save money for your desired car, but it’s not impossible, If you want to know how to save money for a car, then read out our step-to-step guide.
13. Buy Used Items
Saving money should not necessarily translate to living a minimalist life. While it is advisable to avoid cluttering the house with unnecessary stuff, we often need to get items our household needs. A good way to save on these purchases when on a budget is to go to second-hand stores and markets. There are many online and offline places to get minimally used clothing that can save you a few bucks.
Getting your household items from second-hand stores not only saves you a ton of cash but also gives you a chance to get unique, vintage gems. Rather than spending on the same coffee mugs as your friends, you can find a cheaper, retro porcelain set that others don’t have. This will add to your décor while helping you save.
14. Get Rid of Subscription Services
One of the most effective ways to cut down on your monthly outgoings is to spot and cancel any subscription services you are not using. For example, if you have subscribed to a streaming TV or cable that you hardly find time to watch, it is worth canceling it at the earliest. You may have multiple subscriptions like Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, etc. Ask yourself if you need all these or can manage with one streaming service.
If you are quite busy and don’t spend a lot of time watching shows and movies, you can even switch to a free streaming service and cancel all the subscriptions. This will help you save a lot of money every month and make it easier to achieve your goal.
15. Unsubscribe From Newsletters
You keep subscribing to newsletters to participate in offers and contests rolled by brands. As they have your email, they continue sending information about the latest promotions and newest products. Opening such an email can motivate you to spend on things you don’t actually need and ruin your savings. It is, therefore, a good idea to cancel newsletters from brands and items you are not interested in. You will no longer be tempted to buy anything and can progress on your savings goal.
16. Check Your Closets
When you have gotten rid of newsletters, you might feel you don’t have enough clothes to wear. Consider going through your closet and find out what pieces you wear, what you have forgotten, and which garments are simply lying around and catching dust. This way, you can declutter your space, get some new pieces to style, and even be able to earn some cash.
Take out clothes and shoes you are no longer wearing and try selling them on Craiglist, eBay, or local flea markets. If you really need some items, set aside a percentage of the earnings for purchase and contribute the rest towards your savings fund.
17. Make Your Own Coffee
For many people, coffee is the holy grail as it keeps them energetic all day. However, having a daily coffee on your way to work or college can turn into a habit. Even if seems like a few dollars a week, it can add up over time to become one of the biggest spendings. Saying goodbye to a take-out coffee can actually help fix your budget.
This does not mean you stay deprived of this little pleasure. Rather than buying your beverage at a coffee shop, consider preparing it at home and carrying it along in a reusable cup. You are saving your hard-earned money while doing good to the environment with this change. You can always treat yourself by visiting your go-to coffee shop once in a while; our goal is to save money and live better! Consider investing in a coffee machine that will brew you a nice cup of your drink every morning.
18. Quit Smoking or Drinking
We have always been hearing about quitting these habits to stay healthy and save money. However, giving up on smoking is not easy; smokers would know it better. When you are keen about saving some money, it is worth considering the amount you are wasting on cigarettes and liquor.
Calculate the yearly spending on these useless habits and you may get motivated to quit. If you could never afford a holiday, you might be surprised to learn that you could have one in a year by simply cutting down on these two things from your budget.
Another motivation to quit these habits is your health. Try and join some groups and clubs that connect you with people trying to quit smoking or drinking. If you love wine and can’t imagine your dinner without a glass of it, you can try and cut your expense somewhere else. However, if you drink for recreation, discover ways to reduce this expense. Consider going on outings with friends that don’t focus on alcohol.
19. Take up a Side Hustle
If you are really serious about saving money and living better, you must either lower your spending, increase your income or do both. Creating an extra stream of income can make it much easier to achieve your saving goal. Try and find some work that you can do in your free time to earn some extra cash.
Some of the best examples of side hustle include online teaching, freelance writing, freelance virtual assistant, and more. You can sign up for platforms that connect freelancers with employers and start making some money by completing these jobs in your free time. You can also choose to teach on weekends to earn some cash and contribute to your saving.
Whether you are trying to save for your kid’s education, vacation, your dream home, or simply trying to get your finances right, these simple tips can help you reach your goal quickly. Sometimes, little changes in your every day habits can go a long way. Implement what works for you and you will see your financial situation changing gradually.
An amazing thing about saving is that it becomes a way of life once you see your money adding up which will give you the push towards your goal. It is important to remember that learning to save is a process. You should not get discouraged by small stumbles; try to follow these tips regularly and you will surely start saving money and living better.