We’re all looking for ways to save money, but it’s not always easy to find the motivation or willpower to make those changes. The good news is that there are plenty of little things you can do right now that will add up over time. Here are some simple ways to save money so you can spend more on what truly matters:
Pay down your debt
Depending on where you are in life, it might be time to start paying off your student loans or credit card debt. If you have a car loan or home mortgage, then it’s time to prioritize those payments over other purchases. The goal here is to pay off as much debt as possible so that you can free up more money for saving and investing.
Consider a second job.
If you need money and are in search of additional income, consider a second job. You can use your free time to pick up a few hours at the mall, babysit for friends, or even start a side hustle. However you choose to earn money outside of your regular job, it could be an excellent boost to your bank account—but it also requires careful planning and dedication if you want to avoid burning out before payday.
Set aside money for retirement
Saving for retirement is necessary. If you don’t have a plan for your savings or if you haven’t been saving enough, it can be hard to know where to start. The first step is figuring out how much money you should aim to save every year.
The answer will depend on many factors like how old you are and what kind of lifestyle you want in retirement. If possible, aim for at least 10% of your annual income (and more if your employer offers matching contributions). Then think about ways that could help make this goal easier to reach: do any new expenses need cutting back on? Are there any ways that extra income could be used for savings instead?
Once your goal has been set, it’s time to put it into action. There are several things that can help make sure those dollars get put away properly: automate the process so there aren’t any chances left open; create separate accounts just for savings purposes; sign up with an online broker who will provide financial advice based on your needs, and figure out whether investing through a 401(k) or IRA makes sense for you and whether contributing enough will allow tax breaks as well as compound interest benefits over time
Invest your money
Investing is one of the best ways to see your money grow over time. With a little foresight, you can take advantage of the stock market’s potential for growth and have your investment portfolio grow at an average rate of about 10% per year.
Investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and real estate provide a sense of security that comes with knowing that you’re making smart financial decisions for yourself and your family. If you are someone who likes having control over their finances but doesn’t want to deal with managing day-to-day expenses or paying bills on their own (or both), investing is an option worth considering if it’s been something you’ve been thinking about doing but haven’t yet gotten around to doing.
You may wonder what is a LIC. LICs stands for Listed investment companies which are another type of investment that many people find useful because they require less maintenance than other types of investments like stocks or mutual funds do while still providing valuable returns over time.
Build up an emergency fund
It’s important to have an emergency fund before you need it, and not just for the sake of having one. Experts say that saving up six months’ worth of living expenses is ideal because that amount will help keep you from getting into debt when life throws you a curveball (think a lost job or broken appliance).
If you’re currently struggling with debt, start small with a $50-100 monthly contribution. It may take several months or more before your account grows enough to cover all of your monthly bills, but once it does, keep adding whatever extra cash you can manage until your goal is reached. If you’ve never had an emergency fund before or don’t know where to start building one now, check out this guide from NerdWallet for some helpful tips on how much money should go into your new account each month based on your current salary and expenses.
Get rid of unnecessary expenses.
The first step to saving more money is to cut back on your unnecessary expenses. This includes things like cable and eating out. Instead of paying for these luxuries, start making dinner at home which is healthier and cheaper.
If you’re looking for ways to save even more money in the future, try switching from your current insurance provider to a lower-cost option. You might also want to get rid of any unused subscriptions that aren’t necessary for work or school purposes or try finding cheaper alternatives for what you’re currently paying for (such as buying generic brand products). Doing these things will help free up some extra cash every month so that it’s available when an emergency happens—or if something unexpected comes up unexpectedly.
You can’t wait until the last minute and expect to save money by making a quick trip to the store. It doesn’t work that way, but if you plan ahead and prepare for those unexpected expenses, you will be able to actually save some money instead of spending it all at once on something you didn’t budget for or know how much it would cost.
About the Author
Monica is a passionate writer and content creator. Her interests include outdoor activities, fitness, technology, entrepreneurship and everything in between. Say hi to Monica on Twitter @monical_lee.