5 Ways to Save Money and Stay Out of Debt
When you are looking for ways to save money, it can be hard finding actionable ways to cut down on expenses. With this guide, we show you a few different ways you can reduce spending and start saving. In 2020, being smart about your finances is more important than ever!
1. Buy Groceries Instead of Eating Out
Going to the grocery store is one of the most effective ways to reduce your weekly spending. Whether you are eating out at restaurants, or drive-throughs and other places, spending your hard earned income on prepared food can make it seem like you are worse off than you are.
When you buy groceries, you can save a ton of money. Even if you are buying pre-cooked and frozen dinners, usually the cost of these meals still come out to less than what you would be spending going out to even sub sandwich places and fast-food. Plus, the nutrition you get from groceries can be significantly more than quick dinners and may even fill you up more!
Take the extra time to think about your grocery list. Make sure you have different meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that you won’t quickly grow tired from. Even spending $20 or $40 at the grocery store can make a big difference, so don’t think you need to spend $100 or $200 to make a trip to the grocery store worth it!
2. Cut Down on Luxury Items, Recreation and Unnecessary Bills
While easier said than done, cutting down on unnecessary bills and recreation will certainly save you money. If you are paying for faster internet than needed, TV channels that go unwatched, or other monthly bills that aren’t absolutely necessary, you are throwing money down the drain that could be used to better your financial position.
Whether you are spending extra money grabbing a few drinks at the bar every weekend, going out to the movies, or have yourself in an unnecessary monthly contract, it is important to identify where your money is going and to find ways to reduce these numbers. That doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun, but if you know you are spending even $20 or $40 more here or there, you can find ways to reduce this outgoing cash and spend it more wisely.
Taking extra trips in your car, buying coffees every day, or paying for streaming services, are all great ways to spend money that you don’t have. Keep track of your small daily habits and take notice of where your money is going that may not be vital. These are some of the best places to start cutting expenses and put your money to work!
3. Apply for Financial Aid Programs
While not so glamorous, applying for financial help can make your budgets make more sense and get you out of a tough year. Not just with government programs, many utility companies and organizations offer different ways to pay less or have subsidized costs on vital services like power and water.
If you need help feeding yourself or your family, the bridge card and EBT programs in the United States can really help out to qualifying citizens. Most states allow you to apply online without having to set up an in-person meeting. They will ask for proof of income, expenses, bills, and rent and help determine if you qualify for help.
Even $50 for groceries can make a big difference for many families and is nothing to be ashamed or weary of. Some families qualify for $250+ a month for groceries. And don’t worry, the cards given look just like normal credit cards and can be used in most major stores for food item purchases/
Don’t forget to speak with your utility companies! They often have different services they provide to customers to help manage their costs. Whether it reduces your cost or finds you ways to save, these services can be tremendously helpful to reduce spending and manage your finances. Just give the customer service number a call and ask how they can help you!
4. Pay Credit Cards On Time and More Than the Minimum
While paying more than your minimum doesn’t seem like a direct way to save money, by paying your credit cards on time and more than the minimum, you save yourself money in the long run be reducing the interest you would pay. By paying on time, you avoid being subjected to late fees and penalties thay may increase your interest rates.
If you are only paying the minimum payment on your credit cards, not only will it take longer to pay off, you pay more in interest rates. You can pay the minimum payment for years and still owe your entire credit card amount. This often happens to people who have had student loans and have had trouble paying them on time while looking for a job.
While paying more than the minimum balance due, when you are struggling to pay other bills, doesn’t seem too helpful now, you can save your self potentially years of paying off debts and thousands of dollars. Be sure to pay your credit lines on time and as much as your budget allows.
Which brings us to our next tip..
5. Make a Budget To Save Money and Keep Your Finances on Track
Writing down every penny you spend in a journal or on your phone is a fantastic way to start getting an idea of how much money you are really spending, and on what. Together with a strong budget, writing down your expenditures and keeping track of your finances will surely help you out of financial problems in the long run.
Having a budget is essential to knowing how much you must spend on mandatory expenses like food and rent, and how much you have left over to spend on yourself, if any. Putting together a list of all your monthly bills, together with the income you draw, is vital to understanding your finances and getting your savings back on track.
When you see exactly what you are paying, you start seeing things that are a waste of money, or un-needed spending such as buying coffees when you have coffee at home. Reducing your bills and expenditure even by $10 or $20 a week can help get you out of a sticky situation and help prepare you for long term financial success.
Now You Are Ready to Start Saving and Becoming Financially Successful
While saving money is never easy, there are a few guaranteed ways to detect and direct your financial position and make smarter decisions related to money. By having a strong grasp on your finances, you protect yourself from getting in emergency or unexpected situations with debt drowning your bank account.
Buy groceries, cut down on recreation, apply for aid, pay more than the minimum payments, and budget your finances. These sure-fire ways of reducing spending will help you save money and find long-term success!