These days, in our world of instant gratification, it’s more important than ever to be able to stay focused on saving money any way you can. So to help you monitor your spending habits and cut expenses, here are 10 easy ways you can save every day—starting right now.
1. Record your expenses
The first step to saving money is to figure out how much you spend. Keep track of all your expenses—that means every cup of tea, household item and cash tip.
Once you have your data, organize the numbers by categories, such as fuel, groceries, rent etc. and total each amount.
2. Make a budget
Once you have an idea of what you spend in a month, you can begin to organize your recorded expenses into a workable budget. Your budget should outline how your expenses measure up to your income—so you can plan your spending and limit overspending. In addition to your monthly expenses, be sure to factor in expenses that occur regularly but not every month, such as car maintenance.
3. Make saving automatic
Almost all banks offer automated transfers between your current and savings accounts. You can choose when, how much and where to transfer money to, or even split your direct deposit between your current and savings accounts. Automated transfers are a great way to save money since you don’t have to think about it and it generally reduces the temptation to spend the money instead.
4. Master the 30-day rule.
Avoiding instant gratification is one of the most important rules of personal finance, and waiting 30 days to decide on a purchase is an excellent way to implement that rule.
Quite often, after a month has passed, you’ll find that the urge to buy has passed as well, and you’ll have saved yourself some money simply by waiting.
5. Write a list before you go shopping – and stick to it.
One of the easiest ways to save money is to only shop when you have a list. Because when you’re without one, you typically end up making impulse buys and unplanned purchases – all things that cost money.
6. Drink more water.
Not only does drinking plenty of water have great health benefits — it has financial benefits, too. Drink a big glass of water before each meal in order to stay fuller longer and ultimately eat less. Not only will you save on the food bill, but you’ll also feel better after you become properly hydrated.
7. Turn off the lights.
Keeping the lights on in your home may not be expensive on a per-watt basis, but it sure does cost money over time. To save as much as you can, turn off lights any time you leave your house – or even when you leave the room.
8. Buy quality appliances that will last.
It’s worth the time to do a bit of research when you buy a new appliance. A reliable, energy-efficient washer and dryer might cost you quite a bit now, but if it continually saves you energy and lasts for 15 years instead of five, you’ll save significant money in the long run.
9. Balance your “FOMO/YOLO” mind-set
While it is important to live in the present and soak up each precious moment of life, make sure you balance that out by saving for your financial future, too. Without checks and balances in place, you can find yourself saying yes to everything and spending more money than you have—all due to the fear of missing out.
10. Track your progress
Check your progress every month. Not only will this help you stick to your personal savings plan but it also helps you identify and fix problems quickly.
The truth is, there are many ways to save money. Find the ways that work for you, and slowly start incorporating the strategies into your life.