It doesn’t matter where you are in your financial journey, it is always wise to evaluate your spending habits on a regular basis. If you’ve just moved out of your family home and are experiencing life on the outside for the first time, or if you are coming up to retirement – there is always a good reason to get a handle on your income and outgoings.
You need to set a personal financial plan. How can you measure your success if you have nothing to aim for? Your first step should be to set a budget. List your income, and your expenditure. Make sure you use your after tax net income for your figures as you want to be as accurate as possible. Set yourself some time aside each week for four weeks to categorize your spending, for example, housing, transport, grocery shopping and entertainment. By analyzing your findings over a month, you will be able to see where you are leaking cash. Identify achievable financial goals to work towards.
To help you reach your goals, here are some sure ways to save some money – you will not be saving mega bucks, but every cent helps.
1.Check your bank account
Are you paying a monthly fee for your banking? Go online and check out new banking deals that may offer a better deal. Banks often provide new accounts with sign-up offers that should be taken advantage of.
2.Turn off your television
Did you know that the average American spends 5 hours a day watching TV? Whilst you will save money from your electricity bill immediately, you will also stop being influenced by continuous exposure to advertising. Use your time more productively – you may even start a business to supplement your income in all of your free time!
3.Sign up for free customer rewards programs
It doesn’t matter where you live, there are retailers that want to reward you for shopping with them. These loyalty schemes can provide you with great discounts and vouchers to spend in store.
Have a good look through your cupboards and drawers as you may just have untold treasures in them. Make a pile of any unused and unwanted items and get them listed. Check those drawers for unused gift cards that have value on them. Use the internet to sell your treasure trove and sell gift cards online. You will be surprised at the unclaimed money that you have lying in your drawers.
For purchases that are not necessary, implement the 30-day rule. If your heart is set on buying something, wait for 30 days before you reconsider the item. Any impulsive purchases will be prevented by following this simple method.
6.Plan your meals
Plan your meals with what is on offer at the supermarket. Look at what is on sale and use those items to dictate what you are going to eat. By planning, you can batch cook meals and freeze the remaining food. You will find that after a few months you have not only saved money, but have a freezer full of prepared food that will save you time too.
7.Holiday shop after the holiday
People think about this after Christmas, but there is no reason not to do this for all holidays. For example, wait until a couple of days after the holiday to get your themed bargains, whether it be for Mother’s Day, Halloween or Thanksgiving, the discounts are great, and you can store the items away until next year.