Saving money is a vital part of life if we want to be comfortable and happy without any money stresses. However, this knowledge and the ability to actually save that all-important money can be two different things at times, especially when money is tight to begin with.
You might think this means you don’t have to save at all – you just use the money you earn, having nothing left at the end of the money, and there’s nothing you can do about it. This, of course, is not the right attitude to have. In fact, it could be quite damaging. That’s because there are always ways to save money, and assuming that you can’t simply means you won’t, even when technically you could.
With that in mind, read on for some easy ways to save money at home that will mean you can start a savings account and begin putting money aside for whatever it is you want to save for.
Have an Ongoing Shopping List
Grocery shopping is one of the worst offenders for places and activities in which you can spend too much money. The issue is usually temptation – you’re surrounded by lovely looking things to eat and drink, and the individual prices might not seem too high (although, of course, when you get to the checkout, it all adds up to a lot).
However, another problem is not knowing what it is you need to buy. You have to guess or assume that you’ll have this or that. This can mean overspending, but it can also mean forgetting important things, meaning you have to go back to the store, and the temptation will still be there, so you’ll overspend again.
There is a way around this. Making a grocery list to take with you is an excellent way to ensure you only buy what you need. If you plan out your meals in advance, there will be very little waste, and you won’t spend money on anything you don’t actually plan to use. When it comes to ensuring that you only visit the store once a week and you don’t need ‘top up’ shops in between, make your list an ongoing one.
Hang it up in the kitchen or hallway, and every time you see you’re getting low on shampoo, toilet paper, cat food, salt and pepper, or anything else, add it to the list. This way, you’ll never run out of what you need, and you’ll reduce your trips to the store.
Look for Deals
It’s good to be strict with yourself about what you buy, and it’s wise to take your time over online purchases; put things in your basket and then leave it for 24 or 48 hours. If you still want whatever the item is, you can buy it, but you might find it’s not actually necessary. If that happens, put the money you would have spent into your savings account.
However, when you do actually need to buy something, it’s a good idea to look for deals before you go through the checkout process, either online or in a physical store. For example, one store might be offering discounts on various items, so it could be a good idea to shop there instead of somewhere else. Or perhaps you take a few moments to search online for coupons before you head out to the store (or browse the internet). For example, a Betsey Johnson coupon could save you a decent amount of money on some fashionable clothes, meaning you get something new, but you get to save money at the same time.
What do you drink during the day right now? Most people will have some kind of hot caffeinated beverage in the morning and perhaps some fruit juice. Then they might drink soft drinks throughout the day, some more coffee (from a coffee shop in many cases), and they’ll end the day with a glass of wine or a bottle of beer or some other alcoholic drink.
This might not seem like too much of a problem, and in most cases, it’s not technically an issue (although it’s important to bear in mind that some of these drinks aren’t as healthy as the alternatives). The issue with this routine is the cost. Coffee, tea, and perhaps herbal tea all cost money. Soft drinks are very expensive. Anything from a coffee shop is a high price. Alcohol is the worst of them all. This is an expensive way to drink.
Could you switch it all for water instead? Water is free when you’re at home, and often it’s free in restaurants as well. Buying bottled water isn’t ideal as it’s bad for the environment and costs money, but it’s a lot less expensive than the lattes and glasses of wine you might be having otherwise.
It’s a big change and not one that everyone will be happy to do, but it will also save you a lot of money, so it could be worth investigating. Even if you just changed your coffee shop purchases to water, you would immediately begin to save.