There is an old adage that says it’s the little things in life that mean a lot. That pretty much can be said of how to save money, how to get out of debt, and getting onto the road of financial freedom.
In a world of escalating costs, many people are finding it more difficult to save funds, but there are some things you can do that will fatten your savings account and keep money in your pocket.
Knowing how to save money just takes a few tweaks in behavior. These 12 tips might get you on the road to savings and being able to breathe knowing you have some money saved for an emergency, or maybe a down payment on a home or the trip of a lifetime:
Create a budget and stick to it. Keeping track of your spending is crucial when it comes to saving money. There are a number of budgeting apps out there to help you do just that. Check out Empower or Pocketsmith, for starters.
Avoid impulse buying. We’re all guilty of it. Do you really need that sweater to go along with the other 50 in your closet? Make a list when you go shopping and stick to it. If something off of that list should catch your fancy, don’t buy it right away. Put it back on the shelf or rack and sleep on it. If you really feel you must have it go back the next day.
Stockpile your groceries. Look for sales and do a big shop, maybe twice a month instead of every week. You could get up to 25% savings on groceries every year if you stock up on items when they’re on sale. You can do this with non-perishables like canned food. Even butter and bread can be frozen.
Pay for things with a cashback credit card. These cards allow you to accumulate cash rewards. You can rack up hundreds in cash rewards, miles, or points by using your credit card for all monthly expenses. Your credit limit has to be large enough to support your spending. Pay off the balance right away to free up additional credit so you can continue to use your card for purchases. Look for cards that have zero annual fees.
Price match. Most stores these days will match the lowest prices of other stores. Take flyers with you to your favourite store and present them to the cashier. This way, you don’t have to drive all over the place to get the lowest prices. You can easily save about 10% by price matching. In other words, a family of four can save more than $1,100 a year!
Make your lunch. It’s easy to fall into the habit of buying your lunch every day. It only takes a few minutes to pack a lunch the night before. You can even take the dinner leftovers. Making your lunch is so much less expensive. Even on the low end of things, if you buy your lunch every working day for $7, you’ll be shelling out more than $1,800 a year. Wouldn’t that be better in your pocket or a savings account?
Buy a pre-owned, rather than a new vehicle. There is nothing wrong with buying a good, used vehicle. In some cases, buying a used vehicle can save you thousands of dollars. There are many quality used car dealers around. Do some investigating. Grab a used vehicle book from the library to narrow down your options.
Spend less time eating at restaurants and getting take out. It’s nice to splurge every once in a while and have dinner at a nice restaurant or order take out food. But, it can put a large hole in your pocket if it becomes habitual. Preparing food at home will save you loads. The average Canadian household spends about 30% of the annual food budget eating out.
Make your coffee at home. Cha-ching! This is a big one for most Canadians. We love our coffee, and most of us use the drive-through to get it. Buying your coffee instead of making it might be costing you more than $1,100 a year. That’s a lot of coffee beans.
Live within your means. When you’re looking at saving money, it’s not the time to compare your lifestyle to those of others. Keeping up with the Joneses won’t do you any good. Stay with your saving money goal, stick to a comfortable budget, and don’t buy what you don’t need
Get setup for automated savings. It’s always wise to pay yourself first when you’re trying to save money. There are apps that can help you to do that. Check online to see which App best suits you.
Plant a garden. Growing your own herbs and vegetables in the spring and summer is not only relaxing and rewarding, but you’ll save money having to buy those veggies that you’ve grown yourself.
Learn more tips for saving money here.