In an ideal world, we’d all have the highest credit scores and no debt. Unfortunately, life often gets in the way, we take out loans or sometimes have trouble paying off debts in a timely manner. While at first getting a handle on your finances can seem daunting, here are some tips that’ll help you save some money in unexpected places.
Stop Any Unnecessary Emotional Spending
Some purchases like certain convenience-based food items or throw-away clothing that was purchased because you were stressed, tired, bored—these are not reasons to make purchases, but are emotional situations that can lower spending inhibitions. Take a look at your credit card and checking account statements and make a note of which purchases were driven by emotions — this could be the reality check needed to prevent future ill-advised purchases.
Set Reasonable Goals
If you’re someone who spends as much as they make each month, you won’t be saving much money over time. Make a commitment to yourself to put a few dollars a day into your savings account, and don’t touch it, over time the savings will accumulate and you may be inspired to add a few more bucks a week.
Really Plan Out a Budget
Look, budgeting doesn’t need to be a bummer. While sitting down and considering where all your money is going may initially be a rude wake-up call, there’s no reason you can’t fit some small pleasures into your monthly spend. Set a realistic amount aside for groceries, bills, and entertainment and look toward budgeting apps to get a sense of which categories you tend to overspend in.
With food, try to eat in a little more often. Buy foods that are in season and look for promotions. Saving at the market may give you a little more leeway for a treat here and there, too.
Do an Audit on All the Services You Currently Pay For
Between cable, internet, Netflix, Spotify and all the many apps and streaming services out there, it’s hard to keep track of ten dollars here and there, but these things do add up. Call your cable company and see if they can offer a promotion. Otherwise, it might be time to cut the cord and stream services instead. Cancel any accounts you haven’t used for a while and see if you can use a friend’s HBO or Amazon account in exchange for something else.
Get Financially Literate
Make an effort to educate yourself about finance. There are plenty of online tutorials and classes you can take to learn more about investing, and making good decisions when it comes to where you put your savings. Or if you’re worried about your credit, this link about your credit score to learn about how you can work toward improvement.
If you’re a shopaholic easily tempted by sales and promotions and the fear of missing out that gets sent to your inbox, unsubscribe. While some of these deals may really be great, buying something every time you get a free gift along with it is bad for the wallet in the long run. Shop when you need to, but weigh your options wisely—so often we buy stuff for the small thrill of getting a deal—we don’t really value most of our purchases for the long run.