5 Simple Money Saving Tips to Try Today
They say “money doesn’t buy happiness”, but we can all agree that money does buy things that make you, and the people around you happy. Having money can mean having the financial freedom to actually spend time with people who matter most to you. Do you want to be a step closer to financial freedom? Start by taking control of your money instead of allowing your money to take control over you. Treat your money as a tool to achieve your goals and not something that should dictate your every move.
“Saving money” sounds like an easy task but how many saving money challenges have you done in the past only to end up not finishing through to the end? Everyone wants to save but not everyone knows the “right how to”. Because your financial situation is different from everyone else’s, your journey to savings and financial freedom may be a little different too.
Don’t know where to start? Here are some ultra easy saving tips that you can start doing today:
Make an inventory of all your paid memberships and subscriptions
Now, probably more than ever in history, there is a boom on online subscriptions and memberships. From streaming sites, dating platforms, coaching sessions, to exclusive shopping apps - it has become such an easy exercise to enter your credit card information and be done with it. You won’t even realize how much you spend until you get your monthly statement.
Start by doing an inventory of all your memberships and subscriptions - write them down (or type them out in a document) and really evaluate each of them. This includes both online (e.g. music and video streaming sites, etc.) and offline memberships (e.g. gym memberships, exclusive clubs, etc.). Do you need it? How often are you using it? Are you taking advantage of the service and all its possible offers? Are there better and cheaper alternatives out there that’s available to you?
For the subscriptions that you really want to retain, check if there are available membership and payment plans that allow you to save. You’re going to be paying for it anyway, why not save in the process?
How about those “free for 6 mos subscription” offers that you signed up for and said you’re unsubscribing at the end of the free period? Did you end up actually unsubscribing to them? These monthly subscription payments may be small from month to month, but if you add these up, you’ll be surprised how much of your hard-earned dollars are going to waste.
Use credit card wisely
A credit card is a very useful and rewarding tool, but only for those who know how to use it. If you’ve watched or read “Confessions of a Shopaholic”, then you probably know how the lead character’s life was taken over by credit card debt. While she did end up taking control of her life and finding true love, the same will not be said for you if you continue to be unwise in using your credit card.
Again, credit cards are not the enemy! Credit cards are amazing tools - think of all the reward points, airline miles and other benefits! The way people use credit cards usually is the problem and it seriously needs to stop. Think of your credit card as an equivalent to the cash that you own. If you see something you want to buy and you can’t buy it, or pay the monthly installment with the cash that you have, then don’t use your card for it. Live within, or even lower, than your spending power, and your bank account will eventually reward you.
If you can, pay every month’s balance in full. It is not “ultra easy” as the title of this article promised, but if you are wise in using your credit card, it will be. You will be in a more difficult situation if you don’t pay your credit balance in full.
Know when to buy in bulk
There’s a belief that buying in bulk saves you money. It does, on many occasions, but not all the time. If you’re buying in bulk, you have to be very strategic about it because it is still more money that you spend paying upfront.
If you buy in bulk, you’d need to have storage space for it. Will you end up buying the extra space you need to store the items you purchased e.g. containers, extra cabinets, etc.? Within what period of time are you going to use the items that you bought? Is it going to be the same quality when stored?
The next time you’re tempted to buy in bulk, think of the value you’re getting from it and compare it with the price you’re buying it for so you can make a better decision.
Delete apps that make you spend impulsively
Do you ever have that moment when you can’t sleep so you picked up your mobile phone and you started browsing? You found yourself going to your installed shopping app and after 30 minutes of mindless browsing, you’re waiting for your deliveries the next day - you go to sleep owning a few hundred dollars less in the process.
These apps are amazing, but admit it, they make you spend impulsively. They entice you with sales and ads for things you don’t need but buy nonetheless! In the same way that you can’t eat popcorn that’s not in your pantry, you can’t also shop if there’s nowhere to shop at. Granted that you can easily reinstall it, but it is in the hopes that you catch yourself in time before the app even gets installed (again).
Money won’t be the root of all evil if you know how to use it and you establish your dominance over it. In a way, money does buy happiness because it lets you afford things that will make you happy, give you peace of mind and make you and your family live comfortably. Money does buy happiness but it is not everything - the sooner you realize that is the sooner you step towards the direction of your financial freedom.