Isn’t it time you had money work for you instead of against you? Little money tricks like delaying big purchases for 30 days, making a complete weekly grocery list, finding discounts for entertainment venues and getting the best cheap car insuranceare all ways to take control of your money and have it work for you. But we don’t stop there! Explore our money tips and tricks and get ready for a prosperous New Year!
Save Every $5 Bill
In these days of using credit and debit cards, it might be a little rarer than before to come across a $5 bill, but when you do, hide it away in a box somewhere and you might be surprised at how much you’ve accumulated over the course of a year.
Can You Buy an Item Twice?
Not that you would, of course! But a great way to decide if you can afford an item is to figure out in your mind if you could buy it twice. When you think about it this way, you’ll see just how much (or little) you have in your account and it will make you think twice about the impulse purchase.
Open a Savings Account
Yes, you probably already have one and there’s nothing terribly clever about it – until you make it so you can’t easily access the funds inside. If you have to physically go to the bank (no card and no online access) to withdraw money from this account, you’re more likely to keep it in there as it requires additional effort and time to think about if you really want to do it or not.
Ask Yourself Why
Before you purchase something, ask yourself why you are buying it. Is it to make yourself feel better because you are down? Is it because your neighbors just bought something similar and you’re trying to keep up with them? Unless you have a realistic, valid excuse for the purchase, think twice, and put it back on the shelf.
Buy in Bulk & Use Coupons
What do you buy over and over again? You can probably find it cheaper if you buy it in bulk. You don’t want to go overboard with this and start hoarding items you’ll never use, so set realistic goals. If you’re buying something online, look for promo codes (regardless of what it is) and coupons to bring the cost down.
Track Every Purchase
Whether you work better on an app on your phone or with a little notebook, write down every single purchase you make so in a week or months’ time, you can better understand your spending behavior. Once you see your purchases in black and white, you’ll be more conscious of the everyday decisions you make that are eating into your budget and savings.
Go Old School with a Piggy Bank
Nobody likes carrying around a lot of coins, so rid your pockets and your pocketbook of any coins at the end of every day into a piggy bank (or jar). Watch the mountain of metal grow until it reaches the top, then roll the coins or take them to a cash-for-coins machine (be aware these charge for the service).
Don’t Make Savings What’s Leftover
Great! You’ve started a budget. And double great! You’re maintaining it, too. However, one mistake many people make is to use whatever monies are leftover to go into their savings account. This isn’t putting you and your future first. Instead, pay yourself just like you would any other bill so your savings will grow proudly.
Always Keep an Emergency Fund
The saying is – whatever can go wrong, usually does. That means at any point in time a storm could whip up and take tiles off your roof or your dog could require some type of surgery, or your computer blips out of existence. Ideally, keeping an emergency stash of 3-6 months to cover bills and expenses is recommended.
The Best Things in Life are Free
Yes, most of us love going to sporting events and musicals and concerts, but these outings can cost literally hundreds of dollars, especially when you add in dinner and drinks. Regardless of the season, do a quick internet search for “free things to do near me” and you are likely to have your eyes opened to a bevy of interesting outings and experiences you never thought to do before. And – for free!
Cut Back on Spending at Work
You go to work to earn money, but for most of us there’s that… and spending it, too. Going out to lunch with coworkers, stopping for gourmet coffee on the way in and oh yeah, why not pick up a dozen donuts for the crew, too? If you’re writing down every dollar you spend, you might find that your expenditures at work are holding you back from saving hundreds of dollars a year.
Your money can work for you if you let it! Take a step back and figure out where your money is going and why it’s going there. Be more frugal with every dollar and it will be like you gave yourself a raise!