Who doesn’t want to save as much money as possible? Purchasing a new home, budgeting for retirement, planning for children, all of these life changes require a good nest egg to bring to fruition.
Budgeting requires daily and weekly dedication, so we’ve listed a few great ways that you can incorporate it into your lifestyle. So whether you like to go out for happy hour twice a week or take luxurious trips twice a year, we’ve got you covered.
1. Take stock of select items when they go on sale
If you see certain food or grooming items at a discount at the store, purchase bulk to get the price that is much lower. Stores like Costco and Sam’s come in handy for large families who love discounts for buying in bulk.
This way, you will have enough food to last until the item goes on sale again. Before buying bulk, double-check the expiration dates and use or freeze any that are expiring soon.
2. Buy generic products
Why buy generic brands? You don’t need to buy brand-name products when you can get a cheaper, almost identical product for a fraction of the price. Look at the main ingredient of the product, and if they are identical, opt for the cheaper option. While you may not be able to notice the difference, your budget will.
3. Save more with coupons and apps
You can find a number of money-saving apps that you can get for free. Coupon and budgeting apps such as Honey, Dosh, Ibotta, Mint, Pocket Guard, YNAB, can help you save a lot of cash–and they’ll show you where you’re spending the bulk of your money every month. Coupons and apps can help you save money in grocery stores, restaurants, and retail stores.
4. Avoid eating out
Instead of eating out at restaurants and fast food places, try staying home twice a month on the weekend. Cooking at home is a great way to save money and bond with your family. Or if you want to get out of the house, try to find restaurants or local spots that have a special discount night.
5. Nail down your monthly living essentials
These “living essentials” are your costs for food, housing, transportation, and all other utility bills. Knowing this monthly average will help you adjust and develop a sensible and balanced budget. Know how much money you need for food, emergency funds, clothes, and grooming essentials, home bills, and transportation.
6. Plan your week’s meals
A meal plan will help you make sure you only purchase the food you use each week. It also helps you avoid overspending and prevents you from wasting food. It’s easy to find meal plans online. A simple, healthy meal plan can be a boon for your health.
Use a phone app are the Notepad app on your phone to jot down what do you plan to eat for breakfast lunch and dinner every week–and don’t forget the snacks!
7. Sell your old and unused items
You don’t have to keep your old stuff around if you aren’t going to use it. Instead, turn all of it into extra money. These items can be used to make money, from furniture to electronics to clothing and jewelry. You can sell your items online and increase your savings. It’s a win-win situation. You can declutter your home and make money. Got a few antiques?
Reach out to local antique shops to see if they are worth any money. If you’re wondering whether or not to throw something away, think about if you plan to use the item within the next year. If not, then it’s probably not going to get used at all.
8. Buy things when they’re ou of season
Because of low demand, it’s cheaper to buy things out of season than when they are in season (especially clothes). Let’s take, for instance, summer. Many stores are selling summer merchandise at a bargain price starting in May and June and continuing until February.
You can buy your summer shorts, tees, dresses or flip-flops right now and keep them in storage for next spring and the summer.
9. Spend nothing on your day
Make a promise not to spend more than $5 for a single day. You can prepare your coffee at home, take your lunch to work, or bring one of your prepared home-cooked meals to dinner. This can help you develop discipline towards your daily and weekly spending.
It’s easy to buy a cup of coffee or Bagel every morning and then spend $10 to $12 on lunch, all without seeing how this can total at the end of the week. Remember, it’s all about making your spending visible and clear.
It can be hard to get your finances on track when you keeping to a budget isn’t your strong suit. But with some simple hacks and daily tracking, you can build a budget and stick to it while watching your savings grow. It’s the small steps that lead to big results. So choose one or more of these money hacks, implement them, and let me know how it goes!