Saving money can seem like a pipe dream for many of us at the best of times. But according to a 2020 Financial Literacy survey from Savvy, 51.3% of respondents pay their credit card bills on time each month.A further 41.75% of respondents also keep track of their expenses with apps, like the Budget Direct Money Manager app.
Here are some 11 things you can do to boost your chances of successfully saving money:
Make a budget
Budgeting your money is the cornerstone of a sound financial plan, and seeing all the numbers in black and white can offer valuable perspective on where your money is going and where you could put it to better use.
There are three basic steps to setting up a budget:
- Write down your monthly income.
- Write out your monthly expenses.
- Make sure your income minus your expenses equals zero.
Track your spending
Once you’ve created a budget, continue tracking your spending to see how your actual spending habits align with the ideas you’ve outlined in your budget. For this you can use:
- Pencil and Paper.
- Computer Spreadsheets.
- Budgeting Apps.
No matter the method, you have to make tracking your expenses a habit to win with money. If you aren’t watching where your money is going, you’ll always be wondering where it went.
Focus on recurring expenses
Fixed expenses are usually recurring expenses. In exchange for the time it takes to negotiate a lower fee or to research a better service plan, you may be able to decrease your cash outflows for months. The benefits of decreasing a fixed expense can last for a long time.
Control your impulses
An impulse buy is anytime you purchase something you weren’t planning to.
It can be as small as grabbing a candy bar in the checkout line that wasn’t on your grocery list or as big as walking into a car dealership “just to browse” and walking out with a brand-new SUV. If it’s not planned for in your budget ahead of time, it’s an impulse.
How control your buyer impulses?
- Create a 30-day list.
- Monitor your urges.
- Take a deep breath.
- Calculate the value in life energy.
Plan your meals
If you learn how to meal plan, you can eat healthier and save time, sanity and money—three things you need for all the important stuff in life, like spending time with the people you care about and crushing your money goals.
When you get organized before you hit the grocery store, you won’t buy food you don’t need. That’s because you’ll look at the recipes you’ll be using, see what’s on sale, and know what ingredients you already have in your pantry. Then you’ll make your grocery list for only what you need.
That means no more random purchases of things you might use because they seem like a good idea in the moment.