If you are sick and tired of never having any money and feeling like you have no control over your personal finances then you are really going to enjoy these 5 simple money saving tips that anyone can start doing right now to put a little extra money back to where it belongs, to you.
Saving money is somewhat of a popular topic these days as our nation has become more cautious about our spending due to recent economic uncertainty.
No matter if your goal is save money to put towards paying down debt, children’s college fund, buying your first/ next home or you just want to stuff your extra cash under your mattress, these easy money saving tips will help you save more money, and fast.
5 Simple Money Saving Tips
Know where your money is going – Keeping track of your spending is essential for you to see and fully understand where all your money is going each month.
You can go old school with a pocket-sized journal that you can carry with you everywhere you go or use your smart phone and download a spending tracking app like Mint, GoodBudget or Mvelopes which are all very user-friendly and highly rated for helping you with your saving money efforts.
The key is to record every dime you spend for a set period, most people do this exercise for between 2 weeks and a month, and where you spent it at.
Once you have completed this exercise you can easily add up your expenditures and get a good look at where all your money went, most people are shocked when they find out how much they spend on things like eating out everyday at lunch, or how much stopping at Starbucks every morning is really costing them over the course of the month.
Once you have your results you will be able to determine what changes you could make and how much you could save by cutting your spending on non-essential items, of course no one is saying you should stop doing things you enjoy all together but knowing where you money is going will give you the power to make the choices you need to make based on your own priorities.
Of all my tips for saving money this is by far the most powerful because once you see where your money is going you will be able to develop a plan of attack to reduce your spending and put more money back for the future.
Take your lunch to work – did you know that on average the American workforce spends roughly $20 a week on coffee and more than $35 per week on lunch? (source Workonomix survey by Accounting Principals)
On a typical 5 day work week that’s $11 a day and that doesn’t include things like trips to vending machines or stopping for breakfast.
Surely, if stopping for your morning coffee, breakfast and/ or going out to eat everyday for lunch is something you are doing then cutting back on this could easily save you money each week.
When I tracked my spending the last time I did it I found that I was spending roughly $60 a week on vending machines, stopping for breakfast and eating out at lunch.
I enjoy going to lunch with my co-workers but I needed to cut back on my frivolous spending so I decided that I would go out 1 day a week and bring my lunch the rest of the week.
I was also buying about 3 bottled waters from the vending machine at $1.25 a bottle when I could bring my own from home for less than 20 cents a bottle.
Just these simple changes allowed me to cut my spending at work by more than 50% and put more than $120 a month back in my pocket, talk about saving money!!
Make your grocery list and use coupons – Many people go to the grocery store without of a list of the things that they need to buy and end up walking up and down every aisle in the store tossing items they probably already have or don’t need in the cart.
Taking a few minutes each week to plan your meals out in advance and checking to see what ingredients you already have and what items you need can save you from buying things you don’t need and can save you a lot of money in the process.
Before you plan your meals, look up your grocery store’s weekly sales flyer and see what deals they have that week and see if you can find coupons from the paper or online that would make those deals even better.
The show extreme couponing has shown us all that we are all spending way to much on groceries each week if we are not going to the store with a plan and taking the time to find the deals and then making the deals even better with coupons.
I am not saying you need to become one of the “crazy” people like on the tv show who spend 20 hours a week clipping coupons and planning their next massive haul but clipping a few coupons for the items you are going to buy anyways and trimming your grocery bill down is a great way that you can save money.
I am probably the only guy in my grocery store who walks through my store with my coupon binder and it may not be “cool” but I would think being broke is a lot less cool than saving money at the grocery store.
Shop around for deals – It doesn’t matter what you are buying, it can be a new pair of shoes, a gallon of paint or even a new flat-screen tv, shopping around is a great way for you to save money on the things you buy.
It is easy to get in the habit of just going to your favorite store and getting the items you need regardless of whether it is on sale or not but if you take the time to do a little research ahead of time you can drastically cut the price you pay.
Now this is mainly only going to apply to medium and larger ticket items as a $2 item is going to be close in price no matter where you get it and burning extra gas running to multiple stores may cost more than the savings.
If you know exactly what you want, take a few minutes and do some internet digging to see if you can save money by ordering online or a particular store has that item on sale.
You never know what you might find when you look around, and as I mentioned above, look around for coupons or special savings discounts.
Many stores will offer special discounts for signing up for the stores email newsletter, you can get the discount, save money and unsubscribe if you don’t want to continue receiving their emails.
24 hour and 30 day rules – Here are two great ways to ensure that you are not impulse buying and only buying things you really need or want.
The 24 hour rule is a simple way of putting the brakes on your impulse buying by giving you 24 hours to think about a purchase before you decide to buy it or not.
The way it works is that when you go out shopping and see an item that was not on your shopping list, you do not buy it and instead give yourself 24 hours to think about whether you really need it or not.
Most of the time you will forget about what it was you were thinking about buying but if after 24 hours you still want to go back and get the item then go for it.
If you think the item may not be there the next day then simply ask to the store to hold it for you, most store will hold an item for 24 hours with nothing more than you name and phone number.
The 30 day rule is very similar to the 24 hour rule but applies to big-ticket items such as computers, golf clubs etc where as the purchase price is enough that you should really think twice before buying.
When you see an item you want at a store, don’t buy it, make a note of the item, price and where you found it at, then take 30 days to think about the purchase and if after 30 days you still want to buy it then go for it but the odds are in 30 days you will have lost interest in that item or shopped around and found a much better deal.
These two shopping rules are hard to follow consistently but can be a very effective way for you to eliminate impulse buys, clutter and are simple ways to save money.
Simple Ways To Save Money
I hope that you found these 4 simple money saving tips to be helpful and give you a kick-start to getting your saving money plan off the the ground.
Saving money is hard when we have become such a instant gratification society but it can be done with the right mind set and consistent action.
I will be spending a lot more time this publishing articles on easy ways to save money and frugal living tips as they are topics I study often so when I find information that I think will help you, I will publish it here on Next35.com, if there is ever a topic you would like more information on or you would like me to do a blog post on, let me know and I will add it as soon as I can.