What would happen if you have extra money in your monthly budget? Could you finally afford a real vacation at your dream destination? Or you wish to sock something away for a rainy day? Perhaps you will finally be debt-free at last. This expert guide can help you learn how to save money on everyday and monthly expenses and it also includes tips on setting aside funds for the future.
Avoid thinking of money-saving methods as restrictive. At Smartly Biz, we think about creating a monthly budget as a spending plan because saving money doesn’t mean you have to quit spending every dime. It just means you have to prioritize a few financial goals over other less important ones which include entertainment or eating outside.
Plan a Monthly Budget
If you are ready to create a monthly budget, then the following are some expert tips to follow. We suggest the 50/30/20 budget for smart money management. Try to devote 50% of your income to utilities, 30% to entertainment, and 20% to savings. If you find errors in these portions and one is exceeding the other, make a few adjustments to fit the formula.
As you progressively work toward your ultimate financial goal, ensure to put your newfound funds in a good high-yield savings account to boost your money. Some of the best online accounts pay interest rates as much as 150 times higher than large traditional banks.
Everyday Money Saving tips
Minor tweaks to your daily routine can yield small savings that add up over time. Check out the tips below to find ways to save on everyday activities such as grocery shopping, dining out and entertainment.
1. Use an Automated Tool
Find a mobile app or bank account that takes the work out of saving. There are many banks that can automatically transfer small amounts from your checking account to a separate savings account. Major banks does the same each time you swipe your card. Learn and download these mobile apps that automate savings for you.
2. Take Manual Savings Actions
It might seem odd but try to empty your pockets each day and start collecting that extra change. Then take your entire collection to the bank and put it directly into your savings account rather than your checking account. When you want to impede your frivolous spending habits, use dollar bills instead of credit cards. It might seem harder to part with cold hard cash.
3. Prepare for Grocery Shopping in Advance
A little work before you go to the grocery store can go a long way to help you save money on groceries. Check your pantry first and make a grocery list, or use coupons and loyalty programs to maximize your monthly savings as you shop.
4. Order Small Servings at Restaurants
When it comes to saving money, your social life doesn’t have to suffer. Eating out every single day will deal a major blow to your bank account, but you can still choose to dine out and stick to your budget. Order appetizers or split an entree with your dining companion to save money when you eat out at your favorite restaurant.
5. Get Discounts on Entertainment
Take advantage of free days at local museums and national parks to save on entertainment costs. You can also ask about discounts for older adults, students, military members, and other discounts when purchasing tickets for everything including movies, concerts and theme parks.
6. Think about Major Purchases
Perfectly time your purchase of appliances, furniture, or electronics based on annual sale periods. Don’t purchase anything hastily either. Always wait a day or two before buying to limit the buyer’s remorse.
7. Stop Shopping Online
Make it more difficult to shop for online products. When you shop consistently at a retailer’s website it’s easier to create an online account to save your billing information. But if you force yourself to input your shipping address and credit card number each time you order, you probably will make fewer impulse purchases.
8. Create Your Own Gifts
The cost of birthday, wedding and graduation gifts can quickly add up. Go the DIY route or save money with affordable gift ideas, like herb gardens and gift baskets.
9. Lower your Car Payment
Refinancing your auto loan to take advantage of lower interest rates could save you $1,000 or more over the life of your loan. However, that’s just one option and you should discover other ways to save on car expenses.
10. Bundle Cable and Internet
Try to lower your cable bill by as much as $40 per month by changing your cable package. And you could save more than $1,000 over two years by bundling your cable and internet service, depending on your carrier. Find more ways to save on internet service.
11. Switch your Mobile Phone Plan
Changing your plan is another way to save money on your cell phone bill, but it’s not the only way. For beginners, you may not need insurance. Removing it from your plan could save you nearly $100 per year, per line.
12. Monitor Your Electric Bill
Big and small changes in your regular energy usage can help you save as much as $550 annually on your electric bill.
13. Reduce Your Student Loan Payments
Income-driven repayment plans can lower your monthly student loan payments by several hundred dollars each month. Student loans can be a barrier for you when it comes to saving money.
14. Cancel All the Unnecessary Subscriptions
Uncheck the auto-renew option on any subscriptions you aren’t using regularly, such as subscription boxes or streaming services. That’ll help cross at least a few recurring charges off your monthly credit card statement.