Saving money is an essential part of financial security, as you may fall into debt if you are spending every paycheck you receive. It can be discouraging to try and save if you have previously tried but failed. However, there are several things you can do to painlessly save money. These methods can be applied immediately to ensure you are not wasting money on unnecessary purchases.
How much you end up savings largely depends on which money saving method you apply.
Some are designed to save you more money, while others only save you a small amount. Do not underestimate how quickly your savings can pile up. Sometimes, it is a series of small savings techniques that have the biggest impact on your finances.
You do not have to make drastic changes to start saving money. Most financial experts recommend starting with small steps as you adjust to saving money. Making slight adjustments to the amount of time you watch television or how often you go out to dinner can have a substantial impact on your savings. This article provides you with five painless ways to start saving money right away.
Reduce Your Electric Bill
Utilities can infringe upon most of your budget each month, as the price for electricity increases with the frequency in which you use it each day. If you want to save money without having to scale back on your spending in other areas, find ways to reduce your existing bills by limiting your electricity usage each month. To reduce your electric bill, limit your television usage during the periods where you are home from work each day and over the weekends.
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If you like to binge-watch a television series when you have time off, limit yourself to only two or three episodes per day instead of five or six. This significantly reduces the amount of electricity you use to fuel your television and promotes healthier habits as well. You can additionally choose to use a streaming service on your laptop, as your computer does not use electricity to function unless you are plugging it in to recharge.
Make Your Own Gifts for the Upcoming Holiday Season
Saving money through the holiday season is difficult since you need to adjust your budget to buy gifts for your friends and family. If you have a lengthy list of people you want to buy gifts for during the holidays, consider making your own gifts instead of buying each present.
You can choose to make a handful of gifts for a few people or you can choose to handmake every present you intend to give this year depending upon your level of creativity. There are numerous online forums you can use to find gift making ideas, with many offering gift ideas for under $20.
You may need to adjust the size of the gifts you are making or the volume you are producing to ensure you stay within a specific budget. Either way, you are consistently spending less money on the holidays when you choose to make your gifts in lieu of purchasing a brand-new item for everyone on your list.
Stick to Your List When You Go Food Shopping
Going food shopping without a list is a surefire way of spending more money than you originally intended. This can be easily avoided with a few minutes of preparation before you head out the door. Take time to write out a shopping list and only jot down the essential items you need.
You can leave room for a few splurge items if you do not exceed your budget by purchasing an excess of snacks and drinks. When you are at the store, consult with your list throughout the process to ensure you are only buying the items you wrote down in advance. If this method works for saving money on groceries, consider making lists when you visit other stores.
Cancel Unused Subscriptions
People often sign up for gym memberships and magazine subscriptions and then disregard these subscriptions not long after paying the sign-up fee. If you are guilty of paying your gym membership each month even though you do not regularly use your membership, canceling this subscription can help you save more money. For this to work, you must be honest with yourself. Do not try and convince yourself this is the month you are going to start going to the gym.
If you subscribe to a magazine and end up throwing half of the magazines away when they arrive at your house, cancel your subscription. Instead of subscribing to a service, you can buy magazine editions from the store when you know there is content you want to read. Having a few open subscriptions may not seem like a big deal, but the money you save each month by canceling these subscriptions can be substantial. When you are looking at subscriptions to cancel, make sure you consider online subscriptions as well.
Prepare Your Own Meals
You may be spending more for takeout than you realize. The best way of eliminating this extra cost in your budget is to start preparing your own meals. You can choose to prepare all three meals a day or you can opt for bringing your own lunch to work if you want the flexibility of buying yourself dinner every so often. You do not need to prepare your own meals every day but adjusting the amount of days you pay for takeout can have a serious impact on your savings.
On average, you can spend anywhere between five dollars and $30 on takeout for one meal, which can add up quickly if you are buying food more than you are preparing it. Purchasing $30 to $75 worth of groceries instead can help you stretch your food budget while still allowing you to have filling meals throughout the day. Preparing your own meals is generally the healthier option as well.
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