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How to save money: If there’s one goal that will unite more families than any other in 2022, it’s the pursuit of financial efficiency. After all, the past two years have put a lot of strain on family finances. The pandemic has been a period where the only goal was to survive. Now is the time to start thriving once more.
It may seem as though you are about to take on an uphill battle. With the right strategy at your disposal, though, your immediate and long-term finances will look brighter than ever. As a former financial advisor, I write about personal finance for some of the biggest publishers in the world. Here are my best tips for how to save money.
How to Save Money
1. Prioritize Your Debts
Good organizational skills should always sit at the top of your agenda. Paying off your debts must be the priority ahead of new purchases. Consolidation may reduce your payments. Meanwhile, talking to creditors about the possibility of freezing accounts can be useful too. Aside from boosting your financial health, this foundation lifts a weight from your shoulders. I love to use Trello to keep track of my debt.
2. Build Your Credit Score
We will all need to borrow money in one shape or form. From car loans to mortgages, getting the best rate of interest will make a world of difference. Getting your free annual credit report is the first step to understanding your situation. Following this, you will be able to implement the strategies needed to repair your score and unlock brighter prospects.
If you don’t have a credit history, it might be difficult to get a credit card or loan. Consider taking out a secured credit card or loan to help build your credit. Most credit unions offer these.
3. Consider Using Coupons
While it’s natural to focus on the big potential savings, you should never overlook the little ones. Even when the individual savings are small, their cumulative impact is huge. Using coupons is a great way to reduce your outgoings without impacting your quality of life. You can also add discount finders to your browser to unlock new deals. I love using Honey, Rakuten, and RetailMeNot.
4. Find Cheaper Service Providers
As well as wasting money on things like produce that goes bad, many people are guilty of spending too much on household goods and entertainment. Searching for more affordable energy rates, broadband packages, and cell phone deals. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the new customer deals that are often offered by companies.
5. Repair and Upcycle
Replacing products prematurely is another big problem for the planet as well as your pocket. Our household actively works towards reducing our environmental and financial footprint. Learning to repair appliances or upcycle old pallets will help you save money and the environment. It provides a sense of self-satisfaction too.
6. Stop Wasting Food
Food waste is a commonly overlooked factor. However, the fact that around one-third of all food ends up in the trash should not be ignored. Analyze your grocery shopping and learn to reduce your quantities according to your actual consumption. This can be supported further by ideas like growing fruits and veggies in the garden. It’s cheaper and tastier. We’re also big fans of meal prepping.
7. Make Home Energy Upgrades
Energy consumption is a huge expense in your life. Upgrading your insulation and energy-efficient products like LED lights will serve you well. In fact, your energy company might even offer incentives for doing so (ours does! We use MidAmerican Energy). For the best results, you should consider adding solar panels to the roof. It will require an initial outlet, but the long-term rewards will make it a worthwhile investment.
8. Consider a Different Vehicle
Given that technology has progressed at a rapid rate, the opportunities to drive a green car are better than ever. Hybrids and EVs are more affordable while the running costs are noticeably smaller. If you’re looking for a suggestion, my mom absolutely loves her Nissan Leaf. Alternatively, you could simply downsize to a smaller car that will be cheaper to run.
9. Get Fit
The perceived costs are one of the main reasons why people often avoid fitness. However, the truth is that you can get fit on the cheap through running, cycling, working out at home, and team sports. There is no need for private PTs, especially as there are so many great resources online. Besides, fitness can reduce your risk of future medical bills. It’s an investment in health and wealth.
Financial stability often revolves around how well you use your money and assets. When you no longer need a product, there is little point in letting it collect dust in the garage. It would be far better to arrange a garage sale or sell them online. Getting into this habit could boost your financial health to the tune of several thousand dollars. Alternatively, you could donate to a local women’s shelter and receive a tax write-off.
11. Negotiate Your Salary
Increased salaries will naturally make your life feel more comfortable. If you feel that you are currently being underpaid, try to investigate it (can we normalize discussing wages with coworkers?! Seriously, it only helps the employer for you to keep quiet about it). Get your resume valued and look at job posts to see what other people are paid. You can then speak to your boss about getting a raise. Or if that doesn’t work, it may be necessary to seek employment from another company. Sometimes that’s the only way to increase your salary.
12. Monetize Your Hobbies
In addition to your primary source of income, you may look to create new revenue streams. Monetizing hobbies can be an ideal way to boost your financial health while also having fun. This could mean becoming a content creator, selling your creations, or tutoring. Whatever solution you opt for, the benefits can help you enjoy a far more comfortable lifestyle.
13. Consider Leasing or Renting
We live in a world where it is often suggested that ownership is the only possible solution. However, there are some instances where rentals are better. Car leasing deals are a great example for millions of drivers. Meanwhile, renting outfits for a friend’s wedding or equipment for a special occasion or vacation can save you money, too.
14. Consider Cheaper Brands
Be more open to using generic brands. We all love wearing or using luxury items, and there are times where paying for quality is best. However, there are many situations where switching to a cheaper solution will be far more rewarding. If nothing else, it’ll save funds that can be used elsewhere. I’ve never been one to spend on luxury goods, but there are a few things I won’t compromise on (I’ve had my Sleep Number bed for over 15 years and I’ll never go with anything else!).
15. Watch Daily Spending
Most people like to think that they use their money quite wisely, but most could make major improvements. Losing the $10 spent in the coffee shop each morning before work could save you over $200 per month. Your home brews won’t cost anything like that. Better still, it’ll allow you to keep your calorie consumption under control. We have a Breville at home and while it takes a little getting used to, we love it.
16. Avoid Unnecessary Fines
There is nothing worse than paying out for something that could have been avoided. Parking fees are a particularly common source, which is why you should use an app to find spots. Meanwhile, late payment fees can be very costly. Using online banking and smartphone notifications will make your life a lot easier. If you live in an area that has tollbooths, get in the habit of keeping spare change in your vehicle if you don’t have an electronic reader.
17. Consider Experiences Instead of Spending Money
We all deserve to enjoy good social lives. However, this is one area where it might be advised to look for more affordable options. Many museums have reciprocal memberships, and taking vacations like camping trips can serve you well. Ultimately, creating magical memories with your loved ones is what matters most. The amount of money spent does not have to dictate your level of fun.
18. Quit Expensive Habits
Removing expensive habits can be as beneficial as adding positive habits. Whether it’s smoking, gambling, or wasting money elsewhere doesn’t matter. The financial benefits will include improved bank balances and easier organizational skills.
19. Understand Investments
If you are committed to making your money work harder, you must learn to appreciate the influence that your investments have. From learning crypto to stock trading, the potential easily outweighs that of your standard bank account. A financially savvy investor will never struggle for financial stability. Just be sure to have a versatile portfolio.
20. Try Budget Envelopes
A budget envelope is one of my favorite methods to teach. You can read more about them here.
Of these tips on how to save money, which was your favorite?
Of these tips on how to save money, which was your favorite?
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