Saving money is tough just like trying to lose some of those extra holiday LBS we pack on gobbling up all them delicious cookies, nuts & comfort food appetizers and our holiday & christmas parties.Verify my mortgage eligibility (Jan 30th, 2023)
One of the most defeating feelings is trying to save money and then life smacks you around. You have great intentions to spend less, but something always comes up. Life gets in the way - new tires, the dog has a massive vet bill, your kiddos need braces, the water heater breaks, a water pipe breaks and maybe you need a new roof - and what happens? Saving money gets put on the back-burner.
The good news is that money saving guru's like Dave Ramsey give us plenty of ways to save a little extra dough. Now you may not agree fully with him on all things budgeting, but he has great tips that will help you.
Practical Ways to Save Money
1. Say goodbye to debt.
Monthly debt payments are the biggest money suck when it comes to saving. Debt robs you of your cash flow and your income! The way I paid off $30,000 in auto loan, credit card and student loan debt was the debt snowball.Verify my mortgage eligibility (Jan 30th, 2023)
What is the debt snowball? Here it is in four basic steps:
Step 1: List your debts from smallest to largest regardless of interest rate.
Step 2: Make minimum payments on all your debts except the smallest.Verify my mortgage eligibility (Jan 30th, 2023)
Step 3: Pay as much as possible on your smallest debt.
Step 4: Repeat until each debt is paid in full.
2. Set up an automatic saving plan.
Your employer may have the ability to deposit your paycheck into multiple accounts. I have the ability to have 4 account deposits from each paycheck. If your company payroll cannot do this you can set this up automatically with the bank with automatic transfers.Verify my mortgage eligibility (Jan 30th, 2023)
The money flows into the accounts in the following manner.
- 40% BILL PAY ACCT (mortgage, cell phone, utilities, etc). These are my fixed costs. Bills that don;t fluctuate much
- 30% DEBIT CARD ACCT. This account is for my variable costs, gas, eating out, groceries, fun etc
- 15% MONEY MARKET SAVINGS
- 15% NON RETIREMENT INVESTMENT ACCOUNT
Saving Tip: If there is extra leftover in the Bill Pay or Debit Card Acct you can transfer to either the saving or investment acct.
Feel free to steal the ideas for yourselfVerify my mortgage eligibility (Jan 30th, 2023)
3. Cut down on your grocery budget.
After I built my zero based budget, I was absolutely shocked at the amount of money I spent on groceries. I'd be willing to bet, you would also be shocked to find out how much you actually spend at the grocery store each month.
According to an article on US NEWS, For a low-cost budget for a family of four, you can plan on spending $234.10 a week or between $936.40 and $1,014 a month. Moderate-cost plan. For a moderate budget for a family of four, you would spend $291.50 a week for groceries or between $1,166 and $1,263.5 a month.
This came out in August of 2022. I certainly hope inflation doesn’t keep climbing into 2023. A simple way to combat the rising cost of foodVerify my mortgage eligibility (Jan 30th, 2023)
- Don't shop without a list
- Don't shop while hungry
- Plan out your weekly meals
- Avoid the point of sale items or impulse purchases
- Clip coupons
- BUY Generic
4. Get rid of auto draft memberships and subscriptions.
Right from Dave Ramsey's Blog…Chances are, you're paying for multiple subscriptions like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, gym memberships, and Amazon Prime. It's time to cancel any subscriptions you don't use on the regular. And make sure that you turn off auto-renew when you make a purchase. If you cancel it and decide you can't go without it, subscribe again - but only if it fits into your new and improved budget.
And for those subscriptions you do want to keep around, think about sharing memberships with some family or friends. A lot of streaming services, like Netflix and Hulu, let you watch your favorite shows from two or more screens (with an upgraded account). That way, everyone wins - and saves!
5. Downsize utilities.
Here are two quick examples:Verify my mortgage eligibility (Jan 30th, 2023)
Get rid of cable:
It's no secret that cable prices are rising like crazy. The average monthly price for cable TV is about $217 a month including all the fees - which adds up to over $2,600 a year!2
Lower your cell phone bill:Verify my mortgage eligibility (Jan 30th, 2023)
Do you use all the data your cell provider gives you? Can you connect to WIFI most of the time and you don’t use that much data? If you keep a TV plan does your provider offer discounts on cellular plans too?
Chances are you can downgrade your plan a bit to save. I went from $80 a month down to $45 with xfinity because I have internet service with them.
6. Pack lunch (and eat at home).
I found this nugget on Davey Ramsy's website. The average household spends about $3,526 on food outside of the home each year.3 That's $294 per month!Verify my mortgage eligibility (Jan 30th, 2023)
Eating out a few times a week may not derail your saving efforts, but that amount compounds over the course of a month, a quarter and a year. You can save quite a bit of money just by packing a lunch.
Restaurants seem to be charging far more this year than they have in the past for soft drinks, appetizers & if you drink alcohol, beer or wine that seemingly costs the most on the menu.
7. Reading is your friend. Scope out the library
I've found that expanding my knowledge by reading books on investing, money tips, budgeting, exercise and nutrition and self help really have made this recession a bit less nerve racking for me.Verify my mortgage eligibility (Jan 30th, 2023)
BUT Before you click "add to cart" on that brand-new book, check your local library to see if you can borrow it! Local libraries have quite an expansive collection of books. They may also have the audio version of it too.
According to a national study of Millionaires, over 80% of them read 11 or more books a year. It appears expanding your knowledge will expand your pocketbook too!
8. Sell everything (that you aren't using).
A client of mine just bought a new home and while they were packing up their old home, they noticed a tin of stuff they haven’t been using. The entire family came up with a rule that if it wasn’t used in the last year they had to sell it.Verify my mortgage eligibility (Jan 30th, 2023)
Just before the home sold, they had a garage sale, sold stuff on let go and they made a little over $2,000. That’s real money right there!
Spend extra or unexpected income wisely.
Are you in line for a large commission check or a bonus? Did you get a big tax refund or an inheritance? If so, please put it to good use.Verify my mortgage eligibility (Jan 30th, 2023)
Here is a simple order of importance that our clients have used in the past whe coming into an unexpected windfall:
- Emergency Account ($1000)
- Saving or Investment Account deposit
- Family vacation
How to Start Saving Money
Saving money begins as soon as you decide that living paycheck to paycheck is no fun. Or that financial independence is important to you. Your future has to be bigger than your present. WHen that mindset shift occurs. Saving money begins to be a fun challenge and not a dreadful obligation.
A budget is all about being intentional. It helps you create a plan so you can see where your money is going and find out how much you can actually save each month. When you make a zero-based budget, you're giving every single dollar a name - or assigning it a job to do - before you save or spend it. Remember: It really doesn't matter how much money you make - what matters is how you spend and save the money you make.
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