In times like these, it’s more important than ever to manage how you spend.
If you are like most Americans, you have a personal savings rate of under 20%. Translation? You’ve got just under a fifth of your income you can use to make a nest egg.
Trim the fat! Changes in spending will go a long way. Then start socking away that extra dough.
Here are the top proven ways to save money in your everyday life.
1) Track Your Spending
Ask any personal finance guru, and the number one habit you can start—today—to get on the road to financial freedom is to track your spending.
Take a notebook and record every dollar that goes out. Do it for all your expenses, but particularly for disposable income.
“What you measure gets better,” as the saying goes. And it’s true. Your spending will naturally get smarter by this little daily act alone.
2) Pay Down Debt
With total consumer debt in America at close to $14 trillion and each household with an average of $8300 across at least four credit cards, you’re not alone in your credit problems.
Paying down high-interest credit cards is one of the best investments you can make. That extra $20-$50 per month in fees, multiplied by two, three, or four credit cards? It adds up!
You may experience a cash windfall, like an inheritance, a gift, or a structured or lump sum settlement from a lawsuit. Instead of blowing that extra money on a new car, use it to pay down your high-interest debt.
3) Eat In
Taking some time to cook at home instead of eating out is one of the best ways to save money. Eating out gets expensive. When it comes to eating out versus dining in, taking the time to prepare meals at home will always prove more affordable.
4) Use the Library
Those monthly streaming subscriptions? Even just the $15 per month is money you could be saving to put toward credit card bills.
Check out what your local library has to offer when it comes to entertainment. You’ll be surprised at what you can find.
5) Use Cash
Friction-less spending goes under your radar. The easier it is to spend, the more you’ll do it (retailers love this!). So put some friction back in your spending by using cash whenever possible.
Even just a bit of extra awareness every time you spend will make you stop to think. You’ll likely end up spending less overall.
After cutting corners, how do you put that money away? The best way to save is to automate. Even just a few dollars each week, automatically withdrawn from your account each month, can make saving effortless.
Start Using These Money-Saving Tips Today
Decide to make the change today. Starting a budget will be easier if you can commit to just one money-saving habit now. Soon, you will develop the discipline to live more comfortably and build the nest egg you deserve.
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