- Say goodbye to debt.
Monthly debt is the biggest drain on savings. Debt Steals Your Income! So it’s time for you to get rid of this debt. The fastest way to pay off debt is the debt snowball method. This is where you pay off your debts from smallest to largest. Sounds pretty powerful, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, it’s more about behavioral change than numbers. Once your earnings are released, you can use them to reach your savings goals.
- Cut your grocery budget.
Most people are shocked to find out how much they spend on groceries each month after creating a budget. If you’re the average American family of four (with two kids 5 and under), you might spend about $928.1! It’s so easy to walk down those aisles, grab a bag of Oreos here, a few bags of chips there, and fill up on fun treats at the register. But these small purchases (as measured by budgeted expenses) add up little by little and blow the budget every month.
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Save money on groceries by planning your meals each week, taking a look at what you have in your pantry before you go shopping. Because you want to buy more than what you already have? If you really want to stay on the list, leave the kids at home.
Want to save money and time? Get groceries online or get them delivered. Most major grocery stores offer it these days (sometimes for free), and it can save you a lot of money. Grabbing your groceries will save you from the temptation of floating through a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie. In other words, you’ll need to stick to your list and avoid these impulses.
- Canceling Automatic Subscriptions and Memberships.
You probably pay for many subscriptions like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, gym memberships, trendy subscription boxes, and Amazon Prime. It’s time to cancel any subscriptions you don’t use regularly. Also, make sure you turn off auto-renew when you make a purchase. If you cancel and find you can’t go without it, sign up again, but only if it fits your new and improved budget.
And for those subscriptions you want to keep, consider sharing your membership with family or friends. Many streaming services like Netflix and Hulu allow you to watch your favorite shows on two or more screens (with an upgraded subscription). That way, everyone wins and saves!
- Buy generic items.
One of the easiest ways to save money is to give shoes to name brands. In most cases, the only thing better about branded products is the marketing. Look at that box! The logo is gorgeous! It’s about where it ends. Common brand name drugs, food staples (rice and beans, etc.), cleaning supplies, and paper products are much cheaper than their name-brand friends, and they work just as well.
- Disconnect the cable.
It’s no secret that cable prices are skyrocketing. The average monthly cost of cable TV is about $217 a month including all fees, which works out to over $2,600 a year!2 The good news: Cable isn’t the only way to watch your favorite shows these days. Find out how you can cut the cord and save big with cable alternatives like network apps and streaming services.
But remember, don’t just happily go to the booking service. Only subscribe to streaming services you will actually use. If you sign up for everything out there, you might end up spending more than cable!
- Save money automatically.
Did you know that you can save money without even thinking about it? Yes, you can set up your bank account and transfer money from your current account to your savings every month. If that sounds daunting to you, you can set up direct deposit to automatically transfer 10% of every paycheck to your savings account. Growth!
- Spend extra or unexpected income wisely.
When you get a nice job bonus (trip!), an inheritance, or a tax refund (or random bonus!), put it to good use. And when we say “put it to good use,” we’re not talking about adding that fancy new stamp to your stamp collection or just putting it in the bank.
If you still have debt in your life, it’s better to use that money to pay off your student loan or credit card balance instead of hiding it. If you’re debt-free, use those extra dollars to build your emergency fund.
Bonus tip: If you get a big tax refund each year, it’s time to adjust your payroll deductions so you can bring home more money each month. In addition, you