This is a collaborative post about saving money.
How many times have you said, “I’m bad with money” or “I just can’t save”? Maybe you’re guilty of always moaning about your finances but you’re not prepared to do anything to put you in a better position. If so, it’s time for a change. Let’s talk about some simple tricks that are proven to help bad savers save more money.
Lower Monthly Expenses
Set yourself a challenge to see how much money you can shave off your monthly expenses. Check to see if you can get an interest rate reduction on your existing student loan by refinancing with a private lender. This will lead to lower repayments and more money in your pocket each month.
See how much you’re spending on groceries each month and find ways to reduce it. Can you buy items that are on sale in bulk or are there vouchers you can use to make your money go further? Explore the different options that are available for car and health insurance – is it time to switch provider so you can enjoy lower premiums? These are all things to consider.
Have a Plan
Budgeting apps and spreadsheets can help with this but they’re not necessary. It’s time to take things back to basics and see where your money is going. How much are you making? What are your expenses? How much are you left with after everything is paid?
Then ask yourself where you want that money to go – is it to a savings account, a 401(k) contribution or would you like to make small investments? Once you decide, it’s important to automate the process so that the money is taken out of your account each month without you having to take any action.
Get Rid of Debt
Debt is the biggest stumbling block for most people when it comes to money management and saving. Debt is intimidating and embarrassing but don’t be trying to push it under the carpet.
Face it head on and formulate a plan that will help you to pay off the money you owe in full. Write down how much you owe and who you owe it to. Make sure you take interest rates into account when calculating.
Next, determine the amount you can comfortably pay off that debt each month and do the math on how long, based on that amount, it will take for you to be debt-free. This will give you a clear path forward into the green.
Start Saying “No”
If you’re a yes person (i.e., that one person that agrees to everything), it’s time to cut back and say no to the things that are not financially feasible for you. We’re talking about those times when a friend suggests splitting the bill, even though you’ve had the least expensive thing on the menu. We’re talking about those times where you agree to go out for pizza despite having a freezer full of frozen meals at home.
This point also relates to buying new things that you simply can’t afford. Practice mindful shopping and ask yourself if you really need a new pair of shoes. Following this one piece of advice could leave you with hundreds if not thousands of dollars to put in your savings each year.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.