If improving your financial situation seems like a pipe dream, think again. No matter how frugal you think you are, there are still many ways to save money and lessen expenses. Every dollar you save adds up. Overtime, you can accumulate a pretty hefty savings account if you learn how to optimize your spending and maximize your savings. Follow these few steps to get started.
Just a Little Off the Top
Every pay period, set aside a small amount of money. Make sure the amount is small enough that you won’t notice it’s gone. Putting away just $25 a week can add up to a savings of almost $3,000 in just two years. If you choose a dollar amount that won’t be missed, this is almost like free money.
Budget, Budget, Budget
Tracking your spending is one of the easiest ways to see where your expenses need to be cut. Providing yourself with a “in your face” view of your own spending habits is often a sobering experience. I bet you didn’t know you spent that much money every month on fast food. Chances are once you see where you’re over-spending; it will be a lot easier to alter your spending habits to cut down on over indulgence.
Visit Your Library
Libraries offer free access to books, magazines, movies, and audio. If you’re an avid reader, how often do you reread a book? If the answer is rarely, then going to the library could save you a ton. Trade your movie rental membership for a weekly trip to the library to cut expenses in that category as well. Taking advantage of free stuff you normally pay for is a direct way to save cash.
Make a Call
Many expenses such as car insurance, credit cards, and cable can be lowered with just a phone call. Call your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate. Call your car insurance company and cable company and inform them of a better deal you found elsewhere. Chances are these companies will do whatever it takes to keep you as a customer, including reducing your bill.
Need or Want
When shopping, always employ the need or want way of thinking. Before buying anything, ask yourself if it is a need or a want. Actively convince yourself that your wants usually turn into meaningless purchases that either go unused or forgotten. Over time, you will learn to shop more conservatively and cut your spending.
Practice energy saving strategies. Turn off the lights before you leave a room, use energy efficient light bulbs, throw a dry towel in with your wet clothes in the dryer, and purchase a programmable thermostat. These are all ways to cut down energy costs and save money.
By making several small changes, we can reduce our spending tremendously. While some things in life are necessary to spend money on, throwing money away for no reason makes no sense. Every dollar you can save will add up and before you know it, you will be much more financially secure and have a whole new outlook on your spending habits.
About the Author:
Alice Davids enjoys writing about finance, commerce, and credit reports.