USE BUDGETING TOOLS
Sitting down and recording your expenses can be a daunting, time-consuming task. Luckily, numerous electronic tools and apps like Yoyada can simplify the process and help you understand how you’re spending your money and how you can save more. These apps can connect to your bank and credit accounts to perform a quick analysis of categories for where you’re spending and provide suggestions for savings opportunities.
PUT YOUR SAVINGS ON AUTOPILOT
One of the most powerful yet easy methods to save is to automate deposits to your savings account. You can set the transfer from your checking to your savings account or even from the direct deposit of your paycheck. The automatic transfers will help you save money effortlessly. As with budgeting tools, dozens of apps can help you set up the transfer that works for you. Also, your bank’s app is likely to have an automating tool.
MAKE GROCERY LISTS
You may have heard the advice, “Don’t go shopping when hungry.” Whether your eyes are bigger than your stomach or the kids keep begging for a few extra treats, your grocery trip to make dinners for the week can become a no-holds-barred shopping spree.
MINIMIZE ENERGY COSTS
Another monthly expense you have control over is your energy bill. Actions you can take include repairing leaky faucets, using LED lights, and running cold water for your laundry. From the simplest measures, like replacing old power strips with smart ones, to overhauls like purchasing energy-efficient appliances, every upgrade you make saves you money over time.
CANCEL SUBSCRIPTIONS YOU DON’T USE
Subscriptions exist to fit just about every consumer preference and habit. Whether you’re a longtime DoorDash member or haven’t been to the gym in months, you probably have subscriptions you don’t need or no longer use. If you’re making a budget, you may have to decide which subscriptions to cut out. Additionally, there are apps and services that can help list and eliminate your subscriptions if you’ve lost track of them.
REVIEW YOUR INSURANCE RATES
Car insurance can eat up a surprisingly large chunk of your budget. It’s a good idea to shop for car insurance whether you just bought a car or have been with the same company for years, as this could save you hundreds of dollars annually.
PUT YOUR SPENDING ON PAUSE
Whether you’re an online shopping fiend or can’t seem to stay away from restaurants every week, it can help to identify your biggest unnecessary expenses and hit the pause button. Even better, replace it with a free or less expensive option. For example, taking a walk around the neighborhood is good for you and cheaper than opening up Amazon. Have a hankering for a fancy meal? Hone your culinary chops by preparing your favorite dish at home.
REFINANCE YOUR MORTGAGE
Shopping for a better interest rate on your mortgage can save you thousands over the years it will take to pay off your mortgage. Refinancing usually incurs closing costs and origination fees, so you will have to afford that initial expense. However, the reduced interest you’ll pay in the future often quickly makes up for the costs.
The essence of budgeting is to know how much you earn and how much you spend, then adjust your spending. You're not alone if you feel in the dark about your finances. Fortunately, apps and tools from your bank, credit card company, and third parties can help you see where every dollar goes.
REVIEW BANK AND CREDIT CARD STATEMENTS
Not only will this help you see your spending habits and patterns, you can also check for errors and fraud. A few minutes spent looking over your bank statement could save you hundreds of dollars and an immense headache.
PAY OFF HIGH-INTEREST DEBT
If you have multiple debts, the amount with the highest interest rate is likely costing you the most. This technique gives you a path to pay down your debts and free up more of your income. Start by making as high of a payment as possible on the debt with the highest interest rate. Then, once you have paid off this debt, apply that same amount (plus the minimum you were before) to the debt with the next highest rate. As a result, you’ll reduce the interest you pay in the long run and pay off your debt faster.
SHOP HIGH-INTEREST SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
This tip pairs nicely with automating your savings. Take full advantage of your financial discipline by finding the bank that provides the best interest rate for a savings account. You’ll speed up the growth of your hard-earned cash and reach your financial goals sooner with the extra boost.
PLAN BIG PURCHASES
Impulse buying significant items such as vehicles and appliances can lead you to miss out on deals and promotions that most stores and dealers give throughout the year. Additionally, failing to plan big purchases can ruin your budget and make you more reliant on financing, which can cost more in the long run due to interest. Depending on the item, you can save money by either budgeting for it ahead of time to save for the purchase or finding a deal at the right time and place.
IMPLEMENT THE 24-HOUR PURCHASE RULE
A 24-hour rule can help you moderate your spending on all kinds of purchases. Whether you’re looking at a pair of pants online or a new car on the lot, giving yourself a day or so before making a final decision can give you perspective.
MINIMIZE TRIPS TO CUT GAS COST
A night in can save you money in multiple ways: not only will you not be spending on food or entertainment, you will save gas money, too. In addition, you can use a gas app to help you save on your commute.