Save for your goals faster with these five tips
It can be intimidating to save for a down payment or large expense when you’re starting from scratch (or at least it feels like it). Even if you’re already putting aside part of your paycheck, it can seem like your goal is still out of reach. When you’re working towards a savings goal, every dollar counts but sometimes you just need to see the needle moving to keep you going. Here are some small changes you can make to your lifestyle that will add up to a big difference in savings.
- Take stock of all your monthly payments
Ask yourself some simple questions when reviewing your bills like – do you really need unlimited data on your phone plan if you have easy access to Wi-Fi? Are you actually watching all the premium TV channels you pay for? Try this exercise with all your monthly bills and chances are you will find that you’re paying for more than you need.
- Track your daily spending
Saving money is like dieting. When you track what and how much you eat (or spend), you can see where you’re going overboard, and how to cut down. There are many apps that help with budgeting and tracking expenses, but even a simple spreadsheet will do the trick.
- Prepare before you shop
Whatever you’re shopping for, from groceries to clothes, it’s best to go in with a plan. Make a list of what you need beforehand and take a few minutes to look online for deals. And a very important thing to remember – never shop hungry! According to research from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, hungry mall shoppers spent 64% more money than those who were less hungry.
- Make it yourself
Stopping at a coffee shop every day and eating out often can quickly become expensive habits to maintain. Making your own coffee at home will give you your morning jolt of caffeine at a much lower cost in the long run. It’s also a great idea to prepare meals on weekends or any evenings you have free. It’s beneficial to both your wallet and your health!
- Buy generic products
While you may automatically pick up brands you know, you can save a lot by buying generic products wherever possible. If you think about it, you don’t really need brand name garbage bags, plastic wrap or even frozen or canned food. When in doubt, compare the ingredients/description of generic and brand name products to help you choose.
Do you have any other quick, money-saving tips? Share it with us in the comments section.