There are so many small things you can do to save money every month. It is really easy and they don’t have to be huge burden on your wallet. You can cut back in some areas and find as little as $20 dollar a month to tuck away for your retirement, investment, or rainy day. Here are few simple steps you can that will produce surprising results in a year from today if put them to practice as part of your New Year resolution for 2015.
- Pay Yourself First
Set up an auto debit payment from your checking account to your savings account each payday. Whether it’s as little as $20 every two weeks or whatever amount you can afford, don’t cheat yourself out of a healthy long-term savings plan. At the end of one year, you will have a saving of $1040 if you put away just $20 dollars. Use your Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) as your own little tax haven if you live in Canada. A TFSA is an official setup that shelters your investment from taxes. You work hard for it and who better to get paid first than yourself? By doing this, you will automatically be putting away something regularly every pay period to build a savings nest. It’s not how much you put away that matters but that you put away something, anything every month.
- Become value conscientious consumer
Everyone has at least one bad habit. Maybe you smoke, drink Cosmos like no tomorrow, or love expensive lattes. Whatever it is, cut it out. You’ll be surprised how much money you will save. You must have heard of the “Late factor”. You know friends who go buy their lattes every day at the coffee shop and drop nearly $5 every day. That’s $25 per week and a whopping $1300 per year. This is your late factor and you can eliminate or reduce it and direct it toward your savings. Another easy way to save.
Shop for Bargains
When shopping, look for clearance items or two-for-one bargains, buy used books instead of new, and order the special instead of something off the menu. You will find tons of deals in thrift stores and online on ebay, Craigslist, or Kijiji for bargains. Never pay a full price for consumer goods. Use coupons from Groupon and look for sales in grocery specials and buy in bulk to save. By looking for a bargain, you will be saving more money than you ever imagined.
Pack Your Lunch
An obvious money-saving tip is packing your lunch. If buying lunch at work costs $7, but bringing lunch from home costs only $2, then over the course of a year, you can create a $1250 emergency fund or make a significant contribution to saving plan or retirement fund. I pack my lunch every day except when I am going out with colleagues or for business. The savings from this small step of packing my lunch saves me a ton.
Though the term may be trendy, the ideat behind it is solid: instead of dropping several thousand on airline tickets overseas, you may want to look in your own backyard for fun vacations closer to home. We recently had two picnics in the fall with friends near our place and we pack the food and drinks. Everyone had fun and enjoyed the scenery and nature. I am sure you can find spots in your area to staycation.
- Use your local library
Public libraries are full of free resources you can use. In my city, the libraries are connected so I can always order books and materials from various branches at no extra cost. Did you know that most libraries offer you the chance to check out DVDs, CDs, and other forms of entertainment free of charge? Well, they do, and by taking advantage of this resource, you can eliminate the money you spend on buying CDs and renting movies.
Cut the cable
I know this might sound drastic but you will save a ton of money on this alone. There are so many free online sites to watch popular shows. If you’re a movie hack, you can subscribe to Netflex for $9.99 a month, much cheaper than the big cable companies. You should also shop around for your internet service provider. I stay away from the big ones as they are too pricey. Instead, I subscribe to small provider for dirt cheap ($29.95) from Worldline. What’s great about them is their price for unlimited internet use is the same every month. I have no affiliation or relations with them except that I like their price and service.
Reduce energy consumption
Save on your energy consumption by buying appliances that save you money. As well, use thermostats and lower/raise temperatures few degrees depending on the season to save you money. When not using, unplug all your appliances instead of switching them off as they can save a lot on electricity. As well, don’t leave lights on when not in use. These few steps will bring down your energy bills.
East out less
One area that is easy to spend money on is eating out. Dinning out is fun, social and expensive. Try to dine out less often as opposed to several times a week. This step alone is going to shave off some expenses for you. Use promotional items or dine out when they offer deals (lunch) as opposed to diner. You can also save by shopping around for deals being offered by restaurants in the form of happy hours and etc.
10. Eliminate wants
We all have more wants than needs. Find your wants. Things you can survive without having. Make a list and start eliminating them and you will be amazed at how much wants you will find and save on. I found a cable was a want for me and I don’t miss it. I have eliminated other wants and I am sure you will find something to eliminate in your list of wants to eliminate. Try to make a list and you will be surprised how long of a list of wants you have.
It is very easy to save money by doing any of the above steps. It takes a will and discipline to change one’s behaviour. Studies have shown that it takes 66 days to learn or undue a habit so you will need to do it for that long to get rid of bad saving habits. The most important and easy step is to pay yourself first and start saving. This step alone is going to make a difference in your saving habits and get you on the right footing. You can also become a conscious consumer, shop for bargain, pack your lunch, and eliminate your wants to save money. These just 10 simple things you can do improve your savings.
Are you doing any of the above to save money? What other saving tips do you have?