Easy Money Saving Ideas That Work
Before we talk about some money saving ideas, let’s first look at why it's so important to start saving as soon as you can...
You see I know what you’re thinking – how on earth can I put money away when I'm only just getting by? Well that’s what these ideas are for – to find your hidden money. But like everything, if you don’t know why you’re doing it – there’s not enough motivation to see you through the challenging parts.
Do You Have A Money Plan?
Why You Need To Start Saving Now!
One of the main reasons I started saving as soon as I could was because it made me feel abundant! When you’ve got even a little money stashed away it makes you feel so much more ‘secure’… and being in a positive mindset about your finances is one of the best ways to shift a negative situation.
Now if you want more practical reasons - how about saving so you have at least 3 months worth of monthly expenses put away ‘just in case’…
…. or having emergency funds for those unexpected bills...
….. or a school fees fund....
..... or perhaps a dream holiday fund ☺
All your big expenses are worth saving a little towards each month so you don’t have to panic when the day comes and you have to pay up.
And lastly – once you’ve got those handled, the real granddaddy of them all – saving to get your money working for you. Which means saving money to invest, or buy property or even start your own business…
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves….
Some Ideas To Get You Started
So now you know why you’re going to start saving, lets look at some great money saving ideas. Here are some easy ways that even you can find some money to save……
Money Saving Ideas - #1 Grocery Shopping
We all know it’s best to shop using a list. But go one step further and plan your menu for the week and build your list from that. This may seem like you’re becoming a bit of a control freak (hey and what’s wrong with that?) but it really works and after you’ve done it for a week or two I know you’ll agree it makes things so simple!
First, write a list of all the evening meals of that you prepare weekly, as well as breakfasts and lunches. As new ideas occur to you add them too.
Each week before you go shopping choose seven evening meals and whatever lunches/breakfasts you decide on. Then check your current supplies and only buy the ingredients you need for that menu.
Shop once a week on a particular day. This means you only buy for the coming week and also get into a routine. If you’re forever popping to the shop to buy something you need for dinner, you will always find other things to buy while you’re there – especially if you’re on the way home from work, tired and hungry…. Plus trying to keep track of all those little expenses is confusing - you’ll probably give up after a week!
Did I mention don’t shop when you’re hungry? If you have to shop on your way home from work, eat a snack on the way.
Compare prices in the store and look out for specials. This may sound obvious to some of you, but you’d be amazed at how many people have told me they don’t do it. Once you get into this habit you will know the prices of your regular items and your shopping list becomes even more targeted.
Write down the approximate cost next to each item on your list. By working out what you're spending before you even leave the house you know you'll spend within your budget. This way you also see if you have a little left over (it does happen!) and you can take advantage of any specials you might see (or just save a bit more).
Are you better using cash or a card? Choose which way you pay that works best for you… I shop using my check/debit card.
If I use cash the change just magically disappears…. I have this weird feeling that it’s ‘extra money’ and it doesn’t matter if I fritter it away. But if I use the card, the ‘change’ stays in my bank account.
However, if you’re bad with cards and are likely to overspend – then use cash and only take with you the amount you have budgeted to spend.
Money Saving Ideas - #2 Bank Fees
Check that your bank is not charging you too much. Many banks now have a ‘one price fits all’ bank fees – so you pay a fixed amount no matter how many transactions you make. You can also get accounts that don’t charge you any fees as long as your balance stays over a certain amount, or you make a deposit every month.
Also make sure you know what you do get charged extra for. For example, if you only get 3 free withdrawals a month, make sure you only withdraw cash three times and only in the way that is free (sometimes over the counter is charged for, whereas from the ATM is free).
If you tend to deposit cash into your account – check if you get charged to do so and if you do, ask your clients or whoever is giving you the money to do an EFT deposit instead.
Do a few comparisons with other banks, and if you think your bank is expensive, it may be worth switching.
Money Saving Ideas - #3 Telephone, Internet and Cell Phone Costs
Depending on which part of the world you live in, different options area available. Some countries have such great cell phone offers that a landline becomes obsolete. With the advent of 4G, mobile wifi is as fast as ADSL. Things change often, so do a little research from time to time to make sure you have the best option.
Try bundling your internet, land-line and cell phone together. If you still have a landline, most major providers will give you quite a discount if all your telecommunications are with them.
If you’re a chatterbox on your cell phone, go prepaid so you only have so much airtime per month. Many plans nowadays give you unlimited national calls, even on prepaid. Again, doing a little research is worth the time it may take.
Make sure you’re on the best internet package for your usage. ISP’s often introduce new products and don’t tell their existing customers. I’ve saved money and increased my data allowance a few times just by checking this.
Money Saving Ideas - #4 Find Your Hidden Dollars
What habits can you change to save money? Big ones are quitting smoking or drinking (or at least cutting back). Or you can cancel the gym membership and start running or cycling instead, cancel the cable TV and start reading books to feed your mind, or find a cheaper online service like Netflix. You can also cut back on your food and drink purchases at lunch break.
As an example, instead of buying lunch every day – start to make your own. If you’re spending $15 a day on lunches = $75 a week. You’ll save an extra $3,900 by the end of the year!
Money Saving Ideas - #5 Leisure Time
Cut down on eating out, or getting take aways. Invite people over for dinner or a BBQ instead of going to a restaurant, and ask everyone to bring a plate.
If you love going out to the movies, get a discount card or only go on half price night.
If books are your thing, join a library instead of buying books. If you have a Kindle (and you can now download free software onto your computer to read Kindle books) there are plenty of specials to be had on Amazon, some books as low as 99c and some for free!
Plan to combine visits to friends, relatives or places if you can – uses less petrol, which nowadays can be a big saving.
Instead of paying for leisure activities plan a hike or walk with a picnic lunch, or go to the beach. You’ll get fit as well as saving money.
These money saving ideas only skim the surface, but they are easy to implement straight away.
Save It Before You Spend It
Right now, decide which ideas you’re going to use and work out what you’re going to save. Do this each month and when you get paid put that money straight into your savings account.
For example, if you’re going to save $150 on your shopping bill this month, or $120 by taking your own lunch to work - put it away NOW, don’t wait until you’ve actually saved the money (by not spending it) – I promise you it will disappear by then!
It may only seem like small change to start with, but it’s amazing how it builds up. And once you start you'll begin to find all sorts of ways of saving money. So get started right now – open a savings account and use these money saving ideas to start building your nest egg.
Your next step is to go plan the best way to save using these tips. By planning what to save for first you keep it simple, and we love simple!
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