It’s not always easy to get ahead with your finances. One study found that about 75% of Americans are “winging it” when it comes to financial planning.
The reality is that many of us don’t have the tools or the disposable income to build up a savings account and accrue financial assets. If this is the situation that you’re in, how can you save money fast?
We’ve got some helpful tips to save money and reach your financial goals that you can start putting into practice right away.
Read on to get inspired and start building up your savings account today.
Find Out Where Your Money Goes
We’re often told that if we want to save money, we need to start budgeting. The problem is that many of us aren’t actually sure where most of our money is going.
Take a look at your banking app and find out if it breaks down the types of payments you’re making. If it doesn’t, install a third-party app that does. Once you know what you’re paying for, you can get a better sense of where you can cut back.
Cancel Any Unnecessary Subscriptions
We live in the age of subscriptions, from streaming services to monthly product boxes. It’s easy to sign up for a subscription and forget that we’re still paying for it even when we’re not using it. If you’re not watching a certain streaming service or enjoying that subscription box anymore, go ahead and cancel that payment.
Find Out About Bundles
Okay, so a lot of us do use all of those subscriptions, but did you know that you might be paying more than you need to? Many streaming services offer discounted bundles that will grant you access to two or more that you’re currently paying for separately. In fact, you can even bundle things like your cable and internet bill and save up to $50 a month.
Automate Your Savings Account
What if you do have a little more wiggle room than you thought, but you’re spending money too quickly to set some aside? Consider automating your savings account.
Many banking apps will allow you to move a certain amount of money per month or per paycheck from your checking account to your savings account. Start with a low number, like $25 or $50, and monitor your progress, adjusting as needed.
Start Strategizing the Way You Pay for Food
It’s time to start grocery shopping the way that your mom did. Come up with a plan for the week, take stock of what you already have at home, and make a list. Then, look online for coupons or join a grocery store’s rewards program so that you can knock some money off of your purchases.
What about going out to eat? Consider setting a specific budget for your meals out and adjust what you order based on the prices at each restaurant you go to. For example, if you have a $30 budget (plus tip), you might skip the beer or appetizer at a restaurant that charges more for entrees.
Take a Second Look at Your Car Insurance Rates
How long have you been using the same car insurance? It’s possible that you got the best rates four or five years ago and that you could seek out better rates today.
Take an hour or so to compare rates and see if you can find a lower monthly payment. Take into account any specifics–for example, some car insurance providers offer lower rates for drivers who only drive to work and back. If you qualify for any discounts, take advantage of them and save up to $200 a month.
Make Extra Money Without Breaking Your Back
Nowadays, a lot of workers have at least one side hustle. The problem is that we’re all human and we need time to relax, recharge, and have fun. Is there anything that you can do to make extra money without taking on extra work hours?
The answer is yes. Assess what you own and what you really need. You can make some extra money by selling old clothes, video games, books, and some companies will even exchange your junk cars for cash.
Plan Your Big Purchases
Emergencies do happen and you can’t always put off making a big purchase. For example, you might rely on your computer for work and discover, one day, that your computer has crashed. Barring these unexpected moments, do your best to plan out your big purchases and shop when the time is right.
Let’s say that you know you’re going to need a new computer, but you don’t need one tomorrow. Keep an eye out for sales and discounts and strike when deals are at their best. (When it comes to laptops, you’re going to get the best deals in late summer, late spring, and right after your favorite brands drop new processors and put older models on sale.)
Stop Saving Your Best Products for a Rainy Day
Here’s a fun one that a lot of people overlook: start using your best products whenever you want. We often invest (or are gifted) higher-quality products like candles, skincare, and clothing and then feel hesitant to use them. The idea is that because they’re on the nicer side, we should only use them for special occasions.
What ends up happening is that we then pour money into lower-quality products to avoid breaking into our nice stuff. Instead of buying more of what you don’t need, use what you already have.
Save Money Fast With a Few Simple Changes
Trying to save money isn’t always easy. Many of us don’t have a ton of wiggle room to pour money into savings accounts or assets. With these tips, you can save money fast and give yourself more options when it comes to reaching your financial goals.
Sometimes, saving money is about making a few lifestyle changes. Take a look at our lifestyle content to learn how to align your financial goals with your life goals.