Are you under the constant impression that you are barely making ends meet? It is almost impossible to treat yourself with something expensive, as you seem to have just enough money to get by through the month.1
Also, you have no major expenses on a daily basis, you pay the bills, you eat out maybe once or twice, and then you get your monthly subscriptions and maybe one or two new items. Yet, you still end up wondering where all your money went.
Furthermore, it has definitely occurred to you that you might need to get credit at some point, either for a new car or for an apartment, and that requires a positive credit history. All of these are valid and troublesome concerns, especially if you don’t have at least $1000 in your savings account.
So, here, we will go over how to increase your savings and become more prudent, as well as why saving money is tricky but necessary.
I got it, we save money today to prepare for a better future.
We are all fully aware of the reasons why it is important to save money. For starters, it is the first and most important step towards financial independence.
The second reason is that we need savings in the event things go south for some reason, or if we need money to buy or repair a piece of equipment that is necessary for our work or of us to earn money.
Lastly, you need to know how to properly manage your finances in order to have a positive credit score, which will make it easier for you to get a loan if you ever need one, and you will also have lower interest rates when returning that money.
But saving money always seems to be so difficult…
One of the main reasons why saving has become more difficult is due to micro transactions and monthly subscriptions.
If you want to save money, you need to give up a magnitude of smaller things rather than one or two of them. In other words, any attempt to save money by cancelling one subscription for example seems meaningless, since you aren’t saving a lot to begin with.
Another reason why we struggle with saving cash is because of our daily habits. We have developed certain tastes, and certain rituals that we tend to indulge on a daily basis, so very often, saving money warrants a fundamental change and people are not really fond of them in general.
Moreover, if you have a lot of bills that require immediate attention, it is difficult to think about saving money, when there are clearly more pressing matters.
So, spending money provides us with short-term positive feelings that we have kind of grown addicted to, whereas saving money does not. So, we are in a way stuck in this hedonistic treadmill,2 and we just continue to live on paycheck to paycheck.
What can I do to start saving money?
Now let us go over some of the techniques, habits, and tricks on how to start saving money on a monthly basis. If you somehow manage to adhere to all of these tips, you can look forward to a significant amount of cash. However, we are all aware just how difficult it can be to drastically change your life, so you can also introduce these new methods one at a time.
1. Say no to extended warranties.
Whenever we buy something we want to make sure that the item is high quality and that it will serve us for months or years to come. As a result, we are very often tempted to buy extended warranty, which is, in a way, a waste of cash.
First of all, if you are not particularly clumsy and if you do not cash in on your extended warranty, then there is no need to get one in the first place.
Second, we hate using the same thing for more than a year, so it is very likely that you will buy a new item or gadget even if the old one is still working.
2. Buy refurbished gadgets.
Here is a really good way to save a significant amount of money and get good products at the same time. We usually pay more for something just because it has a strong and well-known brand name behind it.
There is no reason to think of that as a bad choice; after all, a renowned brand means greater security, but it also means that it has good products in general.
In other words, buying branded refurbished gadgets can help you get amazing and useful tech without spending a fortune on it.
The downside of it is that you will not be up to date with the latest product, but eventually, they will be available as a refurbished phone or tablet, or any other gadget.
It is a good way to test yourself if you are buying out of peer pressure and to stay relevant, or if you are buying because you are acting on impulse.
3. Make it a weekly challenge.
A very useful trick for saving extra cash on a monthly basis is the so called weekly challenge. Much like with any game there are the easy, normal and hard mode, and this is how it is done. Basically, you set a weekly sum for yourself that you need to put aside at the end of the week.
You can go with $1, $5, or $10. The key is to double the amount at the end of the next week and so on until the end of the month. So with $5, you have $5 at the end of first week, $10 at the end of second one, $20 at the end of third and $40 at the end of the month.
This is why it is way more difficult to pull it off with $10 as your starting sum. It is a really good way of saving money, and you need to invest it with the rest of your savings into your savings account, in order to accumulate a more significant savings stash.
4. Train yourself to be more patient.
Patience is a virtue and for a good reason.3 When it comes to saving money, you can save a lot if you are patient.
First of all, it gives you more time to research and discover better items at a more available price.
Second, you can wait until there is a sales incentive or discount at the store before you buy something expensive.
Third, many stores offer discounts if you purchase multiple products, so it is better to save money and then purchase in bulk because you are going to save more this way.
5. Save your spendings on transport.
We tend to spend a lot of cash on transport, whether we’re buying gas, or even worse, if we use a cab to get by.
If you make a deal with friends from work to car pool, you can reduce the carbon footprint by relying on one vehicle, and you can save money on gas.
If you spend too much money on taxis, then you should immediately switch to public transport. This is far more convenient and cheaper, plus when the traffic is busy, you will actually get to where you need to be more quickly.
Simply get a monthly pass, or store value on your metrocard to save more money and start walking a bit; it will do you good. Alternatively, you can buy a bicycle and use it to commute; it is also convenient, cheaper, and great for your health.
6. Cancel unnecessary subscription.
As mentioned, a great portion of our funds is funnelled away due to our monthly subscriptions that we do not even fully use. So, limit yourself to a single subscription that you are going to like the most during one particular month.
Private networks like hulu or Netflix usually announce what their users can expect in the upcoming month, so you can check that content in advance and decide which network you are going to use for that month.
7. Don’t pay for brand names.
We tend to pay a lot for big names and influential brands, and these products are usually overpriced for no reason. Sure, you might want a particular phone or PC to have strong components and, since it is a long term investment, you do not mind spending a bit extra.
However, when it comes to chargers, HDMI cables, headphones, or adapters, you can find decent products at a lower price that are going to get the job done. So, when you are buying something, it does not need to be from an expensive producer at all costs, and you can save a lot if you opt for less known, yet still competent providers.
8. Avoid eating out.
One way of committing financial suicide is by eating out frequently. Sure, we love the service, and that food is instantly prepared, but as mentioned, it is important that we practice patience in order for this to succeed.
It is far cheaper and healthier to prepare your own meals, plus you get to learn how to cook.4Today, we have pages and video clips that help us prepare meals, so there is really a small chance that you can mess it up, considering the amount of instructions you can get.
9. Consider energy saving appliances.
Finally, the money you save can be invested into energy conserving appliances and this helps you reduce the amount of money you pay for the bills. You can get energy saving light bulbs, as well as other appliances that spend less electricity, and you can even buy solar panels at one point.
Moreover, you can check your electricity provider to see how much they charge and switch to another one in your area that charges less.
Well these were the tips that can help you save money; you should also make sure to look up how to earn extra money online, just so that you create an even bigger savings account.
Some of these don’t require too much effort, others may include learning new skills, but mostly, it’s about practicing patience and restraint. Hopefully, you will find this article insightful and inspiring, and it will help you save some money.
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