If you’re worried about your finances right now, you’re not alone. Between increased grocery & gas prices, and higher rent & mortgage rates, saving money can feel nearly impossible. While it may not be possible to find the extra funds you need right now, it’s good to evaluate your expenses regularly to ensure you’re not spending unnecessarily. Here are some of our best suggestions on saving money when things are tight:
Cutting Down on Unnecessary Subscriptions
All of us pay a premium for a handful of subscriptions that we hardly use. Whether you are paying for an entertainment subscription, a gym membership, a recurring cell phone plan or even a home internet package, reassessing your current needs can save you hundreds of dollars a year. Most premium subscriptions seem necessary to begin with, but are you actually using the added features you’re paying for?
The best way to cut down on your subscriptions is to make a list of all monthly charges. Look through your usage of each service and set a goal to completely do away with 25% of your subscriptions. Evaluate the “must have’s” and check with the provider for special promotions or a lower plan based on your usage. For example, you could be paying a premium for unlimited mobile data when you only use a fraction of it each month.
Plan Ahead and Use Discounts
Marketers around the world have mastered the art of impulse buying. They make good use of promotions to entice you into their business. Planning in advance can help you from overspending and result in saving money!
One good example is to plan out your weekly groceries. As offers change week to week, so too can your meal planning. Nobody said budgeting has to be boring! If impulse buying proves to be your kryptonite, try using online “order & collect” services offered by most grocers. This will not only save you time but limit your spending to the essentials you need.
Many grocers also now offer some form of rewards through a card or app. While usually free to sign up, this could save you money on your grocery shops regularly. There are also a number of apps on the market that bring all current offers to one easy place to optimize your spending. Putting in a little more time to plan & earn points could really help with this expense.
Budgeting Your Monthly Expenses
Lastly, while you’re cutting back on spending and looking to be saving money, focus on setting money goals. Understand your finances and distribute your monthly needs into a budget that will allow you to maintain a well-balanced lifestyle.
We recommend using the Mint app by Intuit to budget for your monthly expenses. The app links up all your bank accounts, savings accounts and credit cards into one easy to use app. You can classify the transactions and set a budget on your monthly spending by different categories. Over time, you can reassess your monthly expenses and reduce any additional unnecessary cost that you can do away with. For example, if you are spending $50 a month on buying coffee outside, try to substitute for homemade coffee which should set you back no more than $15 a month. That’s an automatic $35 saving towards paying down your debts or investing into the future.