We all want to do more with our finances. To spend less and keep more money. When people think of getting savings, they normally think of scraping together pennies for minimal growth. However, that’s just not true at all. It’s more than possible to make some real money. You just have to be vigilant. You have to never let the opportunity escape and know how to find a bargain in any situation.
Know how much you’re spending
The first thing you have to recognize is that you need to know what you’re already doing with your money. If you don’t have a good overview on how much you’re spending, then how can you know how much you’re saving? Your first step needs to be making a budget. You have to see where your money is going to start to see places where you’re definitely spending too much. It can also help you create forecasts of how much you’d actually like to spend.
Clear your credit card debt
You might be looking to save money to get rid of your debt. That’s a good goal. But even if you have other motivations, that debt is going to make it harder for you to save money. You’re going to have interest and potentially late payments to worry about. The quicker you can get rid of your credit card debt, the less it will impede your ability to save in future. Just make sure you get rid of the debt with the highest interest rates, first.
In your business
If you own a business, then it’s likely going to be a serious drain on your resources. Yet there are all kinds of way you can better save money in that business. Even if you’re a freelancer working from home, you should first consider what kind of tax breaks you can get. Particularly if you have any assets or tech that you bought specifically for your work. Getting a separate business account is a good way to make sure that you don’t accidentally dip into your personal finances, too. Of course, the same goes for the reverse.
On your energy use
Whether it’s in the home or in your business, energy bills are going to constitute a big part of your financial outgoings. But they are perhaps the easiest bills to save on. Nowadays, it’s a lot easier to get green in the home. Keep your heating working for longer by properly insulating and ventilating the home. Don’t leave appliances on when you’re not using them. Look into getting your air conditioning and heating replaced if they’re older. Not only does wear and tear have an effect on them, but new models are much more energy efficient.
On utilities and subscriptions
Including energy, we all have our fair share of regular payments. For one, you need to take a closer look at them and figure out which are necessary. If you have a video streaming service or the like you don’t use, it’s easy to forget about it. Especially if you have it coming out of your bank automatically. Stop automatic payments and take a month to look over your bills. Look at what you can cancel. For those you can’t, call up with your provider. See if you can’t negotiate a better deal for them. Don’t be afraid to say you’re walking away from the table to another provider. That can open up a lot of doors.
In your car
Just behind the costs of the home, your car is likely to be the second biggest cost in your life. But there are a lot of different ways to save on it. First, if you’re buying a new car, get pre-approved. Don’t go for finance at the dealership; that’s how they get you. Take care of your spark plugs and drive defensively to spend less fuel on the road. Spend a little on more regular maintenance to save yourself from the big costs when you break down or malfunction.
With your shopping
We’ve already hinted at looking at other providers with your bills and subscriptions. Why don’t you do the same with your shopping? From groceries to clothes. Mixing and matching between different providers can drastically change how your receipts add up in the end. There are price comparison sites you can use for just about any kind of shop, too. If you’re able to, split your grocery shop into two or three days. Visit different stores for different things. It’s just a little effort to get a lot of savings. Make sure you take advantage of their loyalty systems, too.
Clearing out the cupboards
Saving isn’t just about how you spend less money, either. It can be about how you get more of it back, too. In this consumer-driven culture of ours, it’s easy to build up a glut of possessions we don’t want or need. And to even spend more money and space housing them. Instead, you should look online for some of the best places to sell your unwanted stuff. You can even create something of a profit if you visit sites dedicated to the particular kind of products you’re looking to sell.
With your fitness
If getting your exercise is important to you, we know that you don’t want to cut down too much on that. But a lot of people are able to get all the push they need from bodyweight exercises and aerobics they can do from the home. If that doesn’t fit your needs and you absolutely need to go to the gym, you still can. Perhaps you should just consider something like a pay-as-you-go gym. You might not get all the perks of a regular gym membership, but you should consider just how many of those you use in the first place.
On your food
We’ve already covered shopping to a degree, but with food, it’s best to plan ahead for it. Buy your food in bulk and buy whole foods. People might consider whole food ingredients to be more expensive than processed food. However, when that cost is split over several days and several different recipes, the opposite can be true. It can be more expensive to keep buying junk food meals rather than learning how to plan and cook with real ingredients. Besides, it’s also a lot healthier for you.
On your home
We’ve already talked about how you should be looking for extra ways you can make money from your pre-existing assets. Your home shouldn’t just be a place where you can skimp from your bills with a bit of smart thinking. It should be a place that can make you some money, too. If you have a room, then taking in a tenant is the most obvious way to make money. However, you don’t have to go to those lengths, necessarily. You can just easily rent out some storage space from your home. You can even rent out your driveway. If you live near an airport, train station or city center, your drive can make you a lot of money.
While you travel
If you’re someone who travels often, then you should consider some of the ways you can get a lot more out of your journey. Whether it’s for work or for pleasure, you can see here there are plenty of options for being able to build up your savings. There are specific cards that can help you finance your traveling as well as saving up points on your next trip.
Savings in your shopping don’t just have to be made by comparing prices and planning ahead. Just about anything you spend money on can probably be made cheaper by coupons and vouchers. So be willing to cut away and to look for books that could really help you save. Otherwise, you can spend a bit of your spare time earning those coupons, too. A lot of survey sites are willing to offer big savings for a bit of your time. If you’re lucky, you may occasionally find a survey that offers you real cash, too. It’s not likely to get you rich, but it will help.
Take another look at your insurance
Naturally, we all want to insure the things that matter to us. Our health, our homes, our cars and more. But in being cautious about protecting those things, we can sometimes throw caution to the wind in terms of costs. Particularly when it comes to coverage that we really don’t need. Take a closer look at your insurance policies. Be willing to spot those parts of the coverage that you’re particularly unlikely to use. You should also be wary of the extra costs that might have gotten added on without your noticing it, too.
With the above tips, you’re well on your way to developing the keen sense of hunting a bargain. You don’t have to live like a frugal hermit. A lot of these options are just there to help you enjoy your lifestyle and have a lot more money left over.