10 Ways to Live Cheaper and Save More Money
Ever feel like you're constantly struggling to keep up with your finances? Do you find yourself wondering how it's possible for people to live on less than what you make in a month? There are many ways to save money and live cheaper. Some of these methods may take a little more time or effort than others, but they will all help you achieve the goal of living on a budget. In this article, we're going to look at 10 different ways to help you reduce your expenses and save more money.
1) Set your budget expectations high enough.
Keeping track of where your money goes will help you understand how much you really need to cover all your monthly expenditures. If you're spending about the same amount each month for several months in a row, it might be time to cut back on some of those less-important things.
2) Don't be afraid of coupons.
Maybe using your scissors to cut out paper printouts is considered extreme behavior by some people's standards - but if you don't take advantage of discounts when they are offered to you, how can you say that YOU'VE saved any money? And don't just stick with the coupons that are being handed out by grocery stores either; try searching online for even better deals.
3) Pay yourself first.
You know that part in your favorite movie where the main character finds a mysterious bag of money, only to discover it belongs to the town's corrupt mayor who kept it hidden because he didn't want to give up his lavish lifestyle? Well, your priority should be saving at least 10% of every paycheck you bring home so you don't have any regrets later on.
4) Don't borrow more than you can afford to pay back.
Yes, sometimes borrowing money is necessary, but try keeping track of how much debt you're racking up each month and decide if it's really necessary to borrow more money until you pay back all your debt first.
5) Using your credit card to pay for things that go on sale in a few weeks or months.
It's never smart to use your credit card when something goes on sale months later if your cash will stretch just as far. And any time you do use a card, try sticking to whatever the minimum payment is each month so you don't have to pay interest on your purchases.
6) Living too close to work/school/public transportation.
Look at population maps, and you'll see most people tend to live around where they work or study, but why not save yourself some cash on rent by moving a little further away and using public transportation.
7) Shop around for the best possible deal.
Giving your business to that one local store or restaurant may not seem like a huge mistake at first - but if you're paying more than you should be for things like groceries, phone plans, internet service, and insurance, then you're essentially throwing money away. You can find multiple websites to compare prices and services. Whether it's cutting your phone bill in half or saving hundreds of dollars on your grocery bill every year, there are several benefits to buying certain essential items from an online exchange as opposed to a physical store.
8) Have an emergency fund.
Instead of letting your savings account sit there collecting dust, try putting aside at least 3-6 months worth of your necessary monthly expenses in case an emergency pops up. Even though you may not think it's likely to happen, the price of car repairs alone is enough to drive anyone to bankruptcy.
9) Don't eat out as much.
This is especially true if you're living on a budget - unless you're super hungry, just whip out that old cookbook and try tackling some simple recipes for rainy days. Ordering food for meals when you could've made it yourself. You can find millions of recipe budget-friendly recipes online. Don't order food that is not only unhealthy but also expensive when delivered
10) Shop around for the best possible deal when it comes to insurance.
Always make sure that you're getting what you've paid for, and don't let any salesperson convince you otherwise by lying about how much coverage you actually need, even if they get mad when you take your business elsewhere. Remember - if something were to happen, would you be able to afford the repairs without screwing up your budget? Or even worse, would you be financially destitute because of the injuries or damages done during an accident? Always check out other places before making a decision.
You can save money on your daily spending habits by tailoring them to the happiness factor. If you're not happy with what you buy, then it's time to make a change because people are more likely to spend their money on things they love or even need, whereas if someone buys something that makes them unhappy, they will either use the product less often or return it altogether. The same goes for paying off debt faster and building wealth - understanding how different factors affect our financial decisions is key in making wiser choices about which direction we want our finances to go.