Building a financial future — whether it’s your retirement, your family’s future needs or simply attaining your personal goals or being able to buy the things you want — all starts with saving. Saving is the best and most important way to make sure you’re financially safe when it counts.
Saving doesn’t just mean getting discounts on the things you buy. It also means putting away money for a rainy day and pretending you don’t know its there. Creating an emergency fund so that if something does go wrong, you won’t be trying to scrounge up money or borrowing from family or friends. Wiping out debt, paying off bills that never seem to go away, and eventually, it means putting your money to work for you.
By finding ways to lower your everyday costs, you’ll build habits that can change the way you look at your life, your household and the future. It starts with some basic principles, budget, savings account and spending habits.
Here are some sure fire ways to help save money.
1. Eliminate Your Debt
- Eliminating your debt frees up additional funds to be allocating towards other things like savings or investing. Add up how much your month debt payments are and see how much you are spending servicing your debt each month!
2. Set Savings Goals
- One of the best ways to save money is by visualizing what you are saving for. If you need motivation, set savings targets along with a timeline to make it easier to save. If you want to buy a house in 2-3 years with a 20% down payment, you have a great target and know what you need to save each month to get to your goal.
3. Pack Your Lunch
- An obvious way to save money is on everyday spending. If buying your lunch costs you $10 and bringing your lunch cost you $3, over the coarse of the year you could create a $1,820 emergency fund.
4. Shop on Wednesdays
- Most grocery stores launch their sales mid-week, if shopping Wednesday you will have first choice of sale items. Usually stores will also honer coupons from the previous week. You can maximize your savings and spend less time waiting in lines because you are beating the weekend crowd.
5. Take a “Staycation”
- Instead of dropping thousands of dollars on airline tickets overseas or for the whole family, look for fun vacation spots close to home that are driving distance. We have some amazing vacation spots that are right her in our backyard. San Francisco, Napa, Monterey, Disneyland, Tahoe just to name a few.
6. Pay Yourself First
- Set up an auto transfer from your checing to savings each pay period whether its $50 or $500, don’t cheat yourself out of a long term savings plan.
7. Record Your Expenses
- Write down everything you are spending money on each month. This will help you figure out what you are spending money on and also help make sure you a staying within the budget.
8. Create a Budget
- Creating a budget is the key to success. Knowing limits on what you can spend on each “category” is key. It is important to sit down with the family to figure out what needs to be in the budget. EVERYTHING goes in the budget not only the important things like food, gas, mortgage but other little expenses you spend money on each month. Nail appointments, hair, dining out, allowances etc…
9. Utility Savings
- Lowering the thermostat on your water heater 10 degrees can save you between 3-5% on energy cost. Installing a tankless water heater can save you up to 30% compared to a standard tank water heater.
10. Spend to Save
- Utility cost seldom go down over time, so take charge and weatherize you home. Call your utility company and ask for an energy audit in order to find out how energy efficient your home is. This will range from easy improvements like sealing windows and doors to installing new insulation or siding, also look into energy star high efficient products. This could save you thousands on utility cost.