Deciding to reduce your spending is a smart financial goal that puts the priorities of your life into clear focus. You can choose what to do with all the extra money left over.
You can put it towards savings or debt or buy something special for you or someone else. Perhaps you need to buy a car, or there’s a trip you’ve always wanted to go on.
You’ll have more control over your life when you can afford the things and activities you want the most. But there’s a difference between opting to cut spending for a month and building some of these productive habits into our daily practice, so they become routine.
Here are six things you can do to save big money now.
Get Out of Debt
Borrowing money costs a lot of money. As interest accumulates, if you aren’t careful, it can take on a life of its own. Sometimes borrowing money is essential for big-ticket purchases. Debt can help people afford a home or their post-secondary education.
But there’s hardly a better way to keep your monthly budget healthy than to get out of debt. As you add to your debts, paying for extras becomes a struggle. It becomes harder to sock money away. Meanwhile, interest rates increase the portion of your monthly payments that go to interest rather than principal. That’s money that you could have used to save for retirement or reach another financial goal.
Your ability to get out of debt depends on your unique financial situation, but it’s a worthy goal everybody should pursue. If your debt is too daunting to go it alone, there are debt relief options that can help you.
Licensed insolvency trustees like G. Slocombe & Associates have measures that can help, such as consumer proposals, which let you retain assets while enjoying substantial debt relief. They can provide you with assistance that is sensitive, unbiased, informed, and affordable. For more details, speak to a licensed insolvency trustee.
Pack Your Own Lunch
You wouldn’t believe how much money gets burned away making the same relatively small purchases every day. Depending on where you work, it can be hard to find takeout options below $10 that serve tasty, healthy food.
Even if you’re spending this much, it adds up quickly! Bringing your own lunch to work significantly reduces costs and lets you control what you eat. You’ll feel healthier when you control your own portion sizes, and you even get to decide for yourself just how spicy is too spicy.
Make a Grocery List
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re in a room surrounded by food. The temptation is everywhere! Soon, things start entering your grocery cart you didn’t intend on buying when you left home.
Determine while you’re still at home what meals you’re going to make in the days ahead, and make sure you have all the ingredients you’ll need. Factor in snacks and whatever other nibbles you like to eat between meals. Preparing a careful grocery list will keep your budget in line and help prevent you from making expensive impulse purchases.
Type up your grocery list on your phone or carry a little paper note with you and a pen to cross off each item after it enters your cart. Whatever the size of your household, make sure there’s enough to have leftovers afterwards. This way, you have home-cooked food for lunch the next day or later in the week.
Pause Before Purchasing
Marketing experts strategically place goods in stores in ways that make us want to buy them more. Impulse purchases are something that can be avoided if you pause before purchasing.
Do you really need to buy it? If so, you can still make the purchase days from now! It’ll always be there.
But revisiting the decision after some time to cool off helps you avoid unnecessary purchases. Take a couple weeks to mull it over. If you’re still yearning for that vinyl or those pair of jeans, you can always buy them later.
Cut Excessive Spending
Maybe you’re making regular monthly purchases that you don’t need. One of the common places people reduce spending is by cutting under-used subscription services. It could be to a video streaming platform or perhaps a news outlet. If you subscribe to multiple services or outlets, you may consider cancelling the ones you use the least.
Likewise, what other fixed monthly bills do you have that could be trimmed? Maybe there’s a cheaper internet or phone plan that won’t limit your usage. Saving is all about ensuring you’re not overspending on anything, let alone regular monthly bills.
Don’t deprive yourself of the things that make life worth living! Healthy savings does not mean living in austerity. The point is to simply ensure you aren’t paying for something you don’t use.
Sell Unused Stuff Online
A penny saved is a penny earned, so it follows that a penny earned is also a penny saved! You may have old belongings that you don’t use anymore, but perhaps they have a high value to someone else. It could be valuable like old jewellery or a watch, or perhaps it’s a rare collectible like a movie poster or something more niche.
The internet is excellent for connecting people who have stuff with people looking to buy it. Website marketplaces are common. Before creating an ad for your product, make sure it’s cleaned and in good condition.
Describe the product accurately in your ad, including any potential imperfections or damage. Otherwise, a buyer will simply leave your home disappointed without completing the purchase, and you’ll just waste everyone’s time. Restore the product if you can and photograph it attractively. If you do this and write a compelling ad, you may be able to get a good price for something that just would have sat in your home collecting dust.
Saving money isn’t just about obtaining the means to splurge. It’s essential to have money set aside for significant life milestones, such as securing housing and a comfortable retirement. You don’t need to do without, but you’ll save some big money if you remember all the tips outlined above.