Saving is something we all know we need to do, but too many of us convince ourselves we cannot. Life has a way of making everything else seem more urgent, until we suddenly need money we don’t have.
Smart Tips for Saving Thousands of Dollars
At that point, most of us fall back on credit cards, which makes us spend even more time and effort to deal with things for which we could have been ready—had we been shrewder and more willing to delay gratification.
With that in mind, these smart tips for saving thousands of dollars will help you build a sizable nest egg and live debt-free.
Pay Yourself First
It sounds so simple, but too many people overlook it. Get in the habit of putting at least 10 percent of every dollar you earn away for unforeseen circumstances.
A smart way to do this is to open a savings account at your bank and set up an automatic transfer each payday. This way it’s gone before you see it and it happens with no effort on your part.
Use a Budgeting App
Keeping to a budget can be painful experience, there’s simply too much effort involved. However, that effort pays dividends and is one of the smartest money saving tips. With budgeting apps like the ones offered at Clarity Money, you see exactly where your money goes. This makes it easier to resist impulse spending. It also helps you observe the progress you’re making toward your financial goals. This can be terrific incentive to stay on track toward making them.
Forego Credit Cards
Yes, the economic system is now predicated upon plastic. However, there’s a huge difference between using your debit card and your credit card — interest. When you pay for items using a traditional credit card, you run the risk of incurring interest charges on those purchases — effectively making them more expensive.
When you use a debit card linked to your checking account, it’s the same as paying cash or writing a check. You pay for the products or services when you get them and that’s it.
Shop for Better Rates
It’s so easy to walk into the nearest bank and open an account — or to stick with the same bank because your parents used it. However, you can shop for banks like you do everything else.
Different institutions have varying perks. In many cases, you might be better off with a credit union than a bank. They pay higher interest, have lower fees and offer pretty much all of the same services.
While you’re at it, if you have credit cards, you can negotiate lower rates — if you’ve always paid on time and kept to a reasonable balance. Look for cards with cash back deals and no annual fees. Just be careful to pay attention to the terms so you don’t wind up paying more in the long run.
Grocery Shop Using a List
Walking into a grocery store absent a plan is a great way to spend more money than you’d planned. When you have a list, you’ll get what you need and be better positioned to resist impulse buying.
While we’re on the subject, pay attention to what things cost and audit your receipts. Those automated systems cashiers use sometimes make mistakes. A sale price may have been overlooked, codes could get crossed up — or the store could be over charging.
Look for Deals
Why pay full price when items always go on sale? Before you convince yourself, you need that new item, wait 30 days before making the purchase. If your desire is still strong, you probably really want it. Meanwhile, you’ve given it time to go on sale.
Stores mail money to your home every month in the form of circulars containing coupons. Rather than discarding them out of hand, look through them to see if deals are being offered on things you buy regularly.
Stop Equating Used with Dirty
Why buy new, when used will do just fine?
A new car is one of the most wasteful purchases you can make. The price of used cars have taken depreciation into account and if you shop carefully, you can get all of the same benefits of a brand new model, they also cost less to insure.
Similarly, consignment stores are loaded to the gills with wonderful items being offered at a fraction of the original price. This holds for clothes, furniture and any of a number of other items.
These smart tips for saving thousands of dollars will put more money into your budget each month and help you live debt-free.