Managing personal finances can be a struggle, and it requires regular effort to monitor spending, save enough and invest properly if you want to achieve major results. Your initial focus may be on improving your budget. If you want to know how to save on monthly expenses, you are not alone. Some people critically need to adjust their monthly budget so that they can live more comfortably. Others may be looking for ways to save additional money so that they can bolster their savings and retirement accounts. Regardless of what your motivation is, the good news is that there are some exceptional money saving tips for families and individuals alike that you can follow.
PAY ATTENTION TO CASH DRAINS
When you want to know how to save more money, it is important to first determine where exactly your money is going. For the next two or three months, carefully monitor every penny that you spend. Consider using the Mint App for tracking expenses. At the end of each month, assign a category to each item, such as food, gas, entertainment and more. Add up the totals for each category. You may be floored to see how far off budget you are in different areas. This can be enlightening as you look for ways to reduce spending, and it can make you more vigilant about how everyday spending can add up over the course of a month.
ASK FOR DISCOUNTS
If you are not asking for discounts every time you spend money, you may be missing out on a prime opportunity to save. When you want to know how to save money with a family, you may already be using online coupons and clipping grocer’s coupons for additional savings. However, some vendors may be willing to extend a discount to you simply for asking, and others may tell you about a promotion that you did not know was going on. You can ask everyone from retail stores and plumbers to hotels, vets and others for discounts. While this may seem embarrassing at first, you may soon become accustomed to it. More than that, you may find that sales staff and others are eager to help you find savings as part of their desire to serve customers well.
FOCUS ON YOUR GROCERY BILL
Your grocery bill may be costing you must more than you thought, and you may now be focused on ways to save money at the grocery store. First, always create a list, and shop only off of the list. This will help you to avoid costly impulse buys. In addition, plan your meals carefully, analyzing the cost of the meal before you decide on it. Avoid buying pre-cut fruits, veggies and meats. These often are priced at a premium and can dramatically escalate your grocery bill.
LOOK FOR ENERGY SAVINGS
The home energy bill is also commonly a source of concern. This is a variable expense, so it is difficult to budget properly for. When you want to know how to save on your electric bill, you may consider switching providers. In many locations, you can select your provider and electricity plan for financial savings. If you want to know how to lower electric bill, you can also make improvements around the house. For example, you can upgrade to a programmable thermostat, add more insulation to the walls, seal the windows, invest in ceiling fans and more. Investing in solar panels is another great option to consider. There are often rebates and tax incentives available to offset the cost. By doing so, you may be able to reduce or entirely eliminate your energy bill.
FOCUS ON YOUR LAUNDRY
Your laundry may be costing you more than you might think. To reduce this cost, first avoid buying anything that needs to be dry cleaned. Second, tear your dryer sheets in half or thirds, and consider re-using these pieces a second or third time. Your dryer is one of the largest consumers of electricity in the house. Consider hanging clothes out to dry, or run the dryer during a cooler time of the day so that you can take advantage of the heat it puts off to maintain an ideal climate in the home.
START A GARDEN
At first glance, gardening may not yield much savings. After all, produce is relatively inexpensive. However, you can plant different crops in the garden almost year-round in many areas for more significant savings. Herbs are particularly expensive, and you can maximize savings by growing them. If you grow a surplus, consider selling your items in a farmer’s market for profit. The best news is that you may spend so much time gardening that you may not have time to waste money going out to eat, going to the movies and more.
When you initially looked at your budget, you may have thought that it was impossible to trim it down any further. You may have already shopped for low insurance rates, adjusted your cable plan and taken other significant efforts to reduce monthly spending. While these are effective at producing great results, you may still have plenty of additional room to trim down your budget. Take time to thoroughly review each of these tips, and you may easily discover the ability to save several hundred additional dollars or more each month on your budget.