Saving money isn’t easy, especially in this economy where we are barely keeping it together and paying all the bills on time (if we’re lucky). We all know that it would be smart to save money, especially in the long run, but many of us struggle with doing it successfully. However, it can be easier than you think, because saving more money doesn’t just mean spending less, but slightly changing some of your habits so that you don’t need to spend so much money – for example beginning to shop smart, taking care of your clothes more effectively or making some other seemingly small changes that will keep the money inside your pocket rather than spreading it unnecessarily and going broke. Here are some tips and tricks to help you save more without stressing out.
The first thing about saving money is deciding on where you are going to save it. You should find a bank that looks out for your best interest (or as much as possible), which means no ATM or overdraft fees. Then, you should consider dividing your paycheck immediately after receiving it between your savings and checking account (if there is enough to divide), and make sure you always know what’s happening with your bank account, so you can gain control over your spending. Finally, when you withdraw money from an ATM, see that it is an affiliate of your bank, so you don’t have to pay fees. Losing money on such a simple thing is just silly.
If you can’t even consider waxing yourself or doing your own hair, there are some salons on sites such as Groupon and Living Social where you can get discounts for these kinds of services, while not lacking in quality. By using these coupons, you can save a lot. You also don’t need to go to a hairdresser every time your hair needs to be washed – do it yourself sometimes and you will see how much money will be left for your savings account.
Next, taking good care of your health (meaning eating healthy, taking vitamins, sleeping enough, taking good care of your personal hygiene, etc.) will help you delay and minimize your visits to the doctor, which can, we all know, be very costly. So this is actually a good savings plan. To stay healthy and fit, we need to exercise, right? Right – but that doesn’t mean you need to spend tons of money on some fitness classes in a fancy gym. There are a lot of free fitness classes that you can sign up for, at least for the first month or so, so take advantage of that opportunity. If not free classes in fitness centers, you can choose to exercise with free online exercise videos and take care of your body in the comfort of your home. But if you don’t like exercising alone – invite some friends to join you, and it will never get boring.
Drinking, smoking and taking drugs is not healthy. No kidding, right? But besides being damaging to your body and mind, these habits are also very damaging to your wallet. Think about how much money you would save if you stopped smoking or didn’t go out as much (or did go out, but cut back on tequila). Think about all the things that the money saved could buy. When you put it on paper, you will see that you should give up expensive, bad, unhealthy habits in order to save money.
Also, instead of going to the cinema often, you can occasionally play a movie at home and watch it with your family. The experience might not be the same, but it will save you some money and you will still get to spend time with your loved ones.
5. Taking care of your home
You can save a lot of water if you, for example, turn it off while scrubbing the dishes. You can first get your dishes wet, and then scrub them with a sponge and detergent, and then rinse them. By doing this, you can save up to 500 gallons per month. This is an enormous amount of water, and saving it you will contribute to the protection of the environment, while at the same time having to pay less money for your water bill, which directly translates to more money in your pocket.
If you want to save money, leaving the lights on all over the house is not the smartest choice. Instead, whenever you are going to another room and leaving the one you were in empty – turn off the lights. This will not save you much money right away, but switch by switch, you might end up with a much cheaper electricity bill at the end of the month. Another thing you can do to save more, regarding the lighting, is to buy energy efficient light bulbs. They really are more expensive, but they will pay off, because they need less energy to function and they break less often.
You see, making these changes might seem boring or difficult to you right now, but you will become a pro very soon. When you realize how much you can save by doing so little, changing some of your habits will come very easy to you and you will be delighted with the change and with the balance in your account.