5 Super Simple Ways To Spend Less And Save More
You know you must spend less to save more, but the day-to-day reality of achieving your goal isn’t always as clear. If you’re having trouble translating your ambitious resolution into an accepted way of life, here are some easy tips to help you meet your goal of fixing your finances.
Don’t be distracted by other people
You wouldn’t be the only one wishing they could cut back on their spending, but don’t let your common goals fool you into thinking the state of your finances is similar. Some people who claim they need to save more are just like those people with speedy metabolisms and naturally slim waists who say they need to drop a few pounds. They can afford to spend (or eat) a little more than you can, so don’t assume you too can invest in a new iPhone X or Spring Break vacation just because they have.
Take the time to identify the people who you think could steer you wrong, and try to insulate yourself from them. This may be difficult at first as you learn how to decline invitations to expensive dinners or holidays, but you’ll get used to it. Help yourself by being honest with your friends and family. Make sure the people you trust the most understand your goals. They might even be able to regulate their own enabling behaviours, so they can stop tempting you with things that involve money.
Cut the cord and ditch cable
So many channels but nothing to watch. Only those with cable understand the frustration of channel surfing for hours. Time isn’t the only thing you’re wasting with a cable subscription. You’re also wasting money. The average American spends about $100 per month on their package. If you find yourself bored by the boob tube, it’s time to cut the cord.
You don’t have to become one of those people who claim they “don’t watch television” just to appease your finances. You can switch to a Netflix streaming subscription, get a ton of great content like Stranger Things 2 and Godless, and pay a fraction of the price. The basic two-stream plan is only $9.99. At roughly 10 bucks, it’s a tiny dent in your budget compared to the crater left by your cable.
Make an appointment with a financial advisor
When you’re facing chronic debt that dates back far beyond the holidays, you may need a professional opinion to tackle your situation. A financial advisor offers up their expert knowledge of personal finances and financial products to help you create an effective plan of attack on your debt. While many see them as professionals who just suggest investments, this is far from their only function. As an amazing resource for all things financial, they offer help on a variety of subjects.
They can help clarify tough financial concepts, help explain the advantages and disadvantages of consolidating debt, and help discover the latest loan options you have when you face an emergency without any savings. With tax season on its way, they can also help you file or reveal tax credits and other rebates you’re eligible for to capitalize on your deductions.
An appointment will cost money. As it varies from professional to professional, call around to your local certified financial advisors to see what kind of fee you can expect.
Embrace your green side
Often the way you run your household has a few opportunities for improvement. When you make your home eco-friendly, you can take advantage of the cost savings of energy efficient habits. Many people assume you need to make huge investments to turn your house green, but it’s not necessarily true. The big things do cost a lot of money up front — like upgrading to solar panels on your roof or an Energy Star furnace — but smaller green gestures promise savings without any upfront costs.
Using your energy-draining appliances during off-peak hours will cost you less per kWh. Insulating your home against cracks can improve the efficiency of your furnace or air conditioner, and relying on blankets and layered clothing to regulate your temperature can help you keep your thermostat at room temperature. Check out a guide to greenifying your house to find other strategies you can adopt, and see how you can save some money while helping the environment.
Automate your finances
Have you ever jolted awake in the middle of the night with the sudden realization you forgot to pay your cellphone bill? Or maybe you had to wait until the utility company sent you a notice to remind you that you’ve been several weeks late on your payments. If this sounds like something you deal with regularly, it’s time you stop relying on your forgetful memory to pay bills on time. You can automate your accounts to do it all for you.
Depending on the type of account you have, you can either do this yourself online or you can speak with a representative from your bank. All you have to do is pre-authorize payees to make withdrawals from your account and specify the time and amounts they’re allowed to take. Then your bank will automatically pay your bills at the right time without you ever having to worry. You can also automate investments into savings accounts and other financial products to help create a financial safety net for the future.
At the end of the day, though your goal may be a challenge, it’s not a lofty one. Spending less to save more is as basic as it gets, so your attempts to achieve it shouldn’t involve elaborate strategies or witchcraft. Sometimes, plain and pragmatic methods work better than any fancy technique. Give these tips a chance to see how easy it is to make responsible spending a reality in the new year, and you’ll save money faster than you thought possible.