by Bo, May 20, 2013
We all want a little extra money in our pocket. Life can be expensive. There are bills you have to pay. There are certain things you have to buy. However, you can manage your money smarter and save so you don’t feel the financial pinch on your budget. Whether you make $30,000 a year or $300,000 a year, there are simple ways to save a little money and create a little breathing room. Here are a few money saving tips to make sure you keep a little more of your hard earned cash.
Limit Credit Card Usage
Instead of purchasing everything with a credit card, try using cash or checks. When you use credit cards you don’t actually see the money leaving. In fact, people sometimes won’t even hear the amount of their purchase and just hand over a card.
Just writing down the amount you are paying can give you a better understanding of your spending habits. Seeing the numbers can help you stick to a budget, because it’s really hard to ignore them when you see exactly how they keep adding up. Checks are also easy to track because of the carbon copy and the check register. You can track your total balance at all times. Using checks or cash can help you have a real picture of your spending habits.
Finally, credit cards come with high interest rates, and using cash or checks can keep you from paying too much in the long run. Instead of paying money toward interest rates, use the money you have to pay for a product – not for the accrual of interest.
If you want to save money, cut some of your expenses. There are services that many of us can afford to lose. While it is nice to have someone come and fertilize your lawn, it is a luxury, and if you are struggling for money, it may be time to fertilize your own lawn. Look at all the services you pay for – cable, home security, lawn care, pest control and AAA to name a few – and see which ones you can either do without or do yourself.
Reoccurring monthly payments can add up. If there are luxury services that are easily performed yourself, spend the extra time and keep your cash. You may have to be strict with yourself and try cutting some of the services that you may think you can’t live without. For example, many of us think cable is a necessity. Try going without for a little while. You may find that you don’t miss it at all.
Make it Automatic
It may be difficult to physically put a percentage of your paycheck aside for a rainy day. Instead of having this internal struggle every two weeks, set up an automatic withdrawal from your savings account. You can have a certain amount transferred from your checking account to your savings account each month. This way, it will happen whether you remember or not.
In fact, if the money never makes it to your checking account, you will start learning to survive without it. We often spend the amount of money we have. If that money never shows up in our checking account, we may realize that purchasing new shoes once a month isn’t in the budget. And best of all, our savings will grow much quicker than may be expected.