It takes discipline to save money every month, and it’s a lot harder to do that living from paycheck to paycheck. It probably feels like you’re already living below your means, but your savings account is hungry for cash. I’m here to tell you the only way to stop living from paycheck to paycheck is to save money every month. Thinking about putting away cash is tough, especially when you don’t have much of it left over after paying all the bills. But it’s a necessary step to building a safety nest. What could you do with an extra $120, $500, or $1000 at the end of the year? Continue to save? Dip your toes investing in stocks? Maybe start a new business?
If you don’t have one already, open a savings account
Will you really notice a huge difference if you don’t use $5 or $10 of your income every month? Set it up with your bank so that $10 (or any other amount below $15)transfers to your savings account each month. In a year’s time you’ll easily have $120 in your savings account. It’s not a lot, but combined with these other techniques it’s a great starting point.
One day I came across an article that said the only way to spend money is to spend 50% or less of your paycheck. My first reaction was WHAT?! That’s not possible for me.
And that’s true. I live in one of the most expensive states in the country. Rents are sky-high and by a long shot it’s the biggest cost for my family. Not to mention I live in a crummy area! My husband and I are planning on relocating this year, and I’m excited to enjoy more wiggle room in our finances. Don’t mistake downsizing for relocating or moving to a smaller apartment.
Get rid of credit cards with high interest rates and stick to one or two. Cancel a gym membership that’s going to waste or a subscription box service. Consider anything that’s not related to food or shelter an added cost.
Budget your groceries
Know how much you spend on groceries. Try this experiment: Keep all your receipts related to groceries, food, and dining out for a month. In addition to totaling up your receipts at the end of thirty days keep a food diary about what your family ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Take note of what went to waste or what’s still sitting in your pantry unused.
Now that you have a good idea about how much you spend every month, it will be much easier to make a budget. The next step is writing out your shopping list and sticking to it at the store.
Make payments on time
Use a calendar to keep track of due dates for credit card bills. Interest and penalty fees add up. If you have an iPhone set reminders up to a week before. I use Reminders a lot which leaves with me no excuse for forgetting to pay on time.
Cancel cable and opt for an online TV streaming service.
There are plenty of options to keep up with your favorite tv shows without having cable. Maybe I’m biased because I haven’t had to pay for it in years, but I think cable is ridiculously expensive. I’ve tried both Netflix and Hulu, and I never had to pay more than $10 to watch my favorite shows. Save the difference and put it in your savings account.
Can you think of any more ways to save money? Comment below!