How Can You Save More Money

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Photo Credit: nattanan23 via Pixabay, Edition by Pamclamille for bitlanders.com

Working for so many years but it doesn’t feel like you have any money to save. You’re probably one of the many workers who earn a lot but can’t seem to save money and still living from paycheck to paycheck. Imagine how happy you can be if you found extra money in your monthly budget and waking up the next day to find out that you’re debt-free at last. Fortunately, there are secrets – not secrets at all – to stay out of debt and build your savings.

Do not leave yourself or your family unprotected against financial storms... Build up savings.

- Ezra Taft Benson

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Saving money begins with your mindset, avoid thinking of money-saving techniques as restrictive, even though they can often feel that way. To save money doesn’t mean you have to quit spending altogether, it just means you have to prioritize some financial goals over others, depending on how much you want to save. Self-control is important to successfully set aside funds for the future.

We all know that we need to budget our money, put money aside for retirement, and stay out of debt, which sounds easy, but many of us still can’t do it. Unfortunately, aside from winning the lottery, there are no shortcuts to build wealth. One thing is certain, you’ll be able to save money and build a good fortune by spending less than you earn and put some of it into savings or retirement account before you can think of spending it. Given below are the ways to make it happen.

1. KEEP TRACK of your expenses.

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The first step to saving money is to figure out how much you spend including every coffee, household item, and cash tip. Once you already gather the data, organize the numbers by categories, such as gas, groceries, and mortgage, and total the amount so that you can limit overspending. In addition to your monthly expenses, be sure to factor in expenses that occur regularly but not every month, such as car maintenance, and don’t forget that your budget must outline how your expenses measure up to your income.

It’s always wise to be debt-free but just in case you’re not, create a visual reminder of your debt. Put it into terms that are easy to understand, make a giant progress bar that starts with the amount of debt you have and ends with zero - each time you pay down a bit, fill in a little more of that progress bar. Keep this reminder in a place where you’ll see it often to keep your eyes on the prize and lead you straight to debt freedom. We all want to get out of any debt, so sit down and plot out which debts you’re going to pay off and in what order. Organizing your recorded expenses and debt into a workable budget is one of the surest ways to put money in your pocket over the long run

2. START SELLING instead of collecting.

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There was a time when people thought their collections would bring them riches such as Beanie Babies and Longaberger baskets who were a big fad at one time. But now you can search those items on resale sites like craigslist and at garage sales for a fraction of their initial cost, leaving those people who sunk thousands of dollars into their “investments” wondering what happened. Stop collecting items of questionable value and if you want to recoup some of the money you’ve already spent on collectible items, why not start selling them now?

You can also go through your closets, find anything you no longer use and turn old stuff you don’t want anymore into money in your pocket. Selling unwanted items can help you profit as much as possible and you can use those funds for any number of worthy financial goals.

3. PERSONALIZED GIFT instead of buying from the store.

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Make your own when you can if you want to save money while also giving generously. Create your own homemade gifts such as candles, fresh-baked bread or cookies, soap, and all kinds of other things that involve your personal touch. To make it more special, include a personal handwritten note with it.

The gift of labor is also always a hit. You can give an evening of babysitting as a gift for new parents, offer the pet owners to take care of their pets when they travel or offer up some lawn care as a welcome gift to a new homeowner. These make spectacular gifts for others because it’s something you can’t buy from a store, and they don’t wind up filling someone’s closet with junk.

4. Stay away from IMPULSE BUYING.

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The mall might be a fun place but it can also be packed with temptation, that’s why you should avoid it unless you actually need to purchase something. Window shopping can be a torture if you’re on a budget so unburden yourself from this habit and find something else to do when you need some entertainment. Waiting 30 days to decide on a purchase is an excellent way to avoid instant gratification. Quite often, after a month has passed, you’ll find that the urge to buy has passed as well, and you’ll have saved yourself some money simply by waiting because it gives you a better perspective on whether it’s truly worth the money.

If you can’t wait for that long, you can try the 10-second rule. Stop for 10 seconds whenever you pick up an item and add it to your cart or take it to the checkout, then ask yourself why you’re buying it and whether you actually need it or not. Put the item back if you can’t find a good answer, this will keep you from making impulse buys on a regular basis.

5. FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT can be inexpensive.

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Going out to eat or  “out on the town”  has a way of completely destroying both your food budget and your entertainment budget in one fell swoop, so consider preparing your meals at home. Get an accessible and easy-to-use cookbook and try making the meals you like, you’ll find that cooking at home is much easier than you think, and way cheaper and healthier than take-out or dining out. It’s also cheaper to stay in with friends and come up with your own entertainment like playing cards, sitting around a fire pit, or watching movies with them. Check out free events in town and look for wonderful parks, free basketball and tennis court, free disc golf, traits, and lots of other stuff waiting to be used. You can go have fun for hours while saving money at the same time.

6. BE MINDFUL on what you pay for.

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One simple way to save money is to drastically cut down on the amount of television you watch and perhaps a lower cable bill if you downgrade your subscription. Many people with cable services are paying for a premium package that they don’t really need so if you want to avoid that situation, get rid of the channels you don’t watch and put that cash back in your pocket. Additionally, to save as much as you can, turn off lights any time you leave your house or even when you leave the room to help keep your electric bill down over time.

Keeping the lights on in your home may not be expensive on a per-watt basis, but it sure does cost money over time, so make it a habit to turn it off. You can also open the windows to have plenty of natural sunlight - you’re not only getting some fresh air but it also lowers your electric consumption.

7. Patronize QUALITY APPLIANCES that will last.

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It’s worth the time to do a bit of research if you’re going to spend a significant amount for a new appliance. A reliable, energy-efficient refrigerator might cost you quite a bit now, but if it continually saves you energy and lasts for 15 years instead of five, you’ll save hundreds of bucks in the long run. Energy-efficient light bulbs might cost a bit more initially, but they have a much longer life span than normal incandescent bulbs and use far less electricity - quality matters the most. Don’t forget to do some basic home and auto maintenance on a regular schedule instead of waiting until something breaks. It will improve the value of your property over time and it will help you catch problems before they become disasters.

8. Buy staples in BULK and try GENERIC brands.

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With items you use a lot of, particularly when it comes to items that don’t perish, buy them in bulk. Buy laundry detergent and diapers in the largest packages you can find, this cuts down on their cost per usage by quite a bit and, over the long haul, adds up to significant savings. Try out the generic version of an item instead of just picking up the expensive brand. Don’t overspend on hygiene products and buy whichever toothpaste is the cheapest, and the same goes for deodorant and the like. You’ll be just fine if you regularly and consistently use it while taking a bath daily and keeping yourself clean.

Do holiday shopping right after the holidays because it’s when the discounts are tremendous and you can put this stuff in the closet until next year. Buy clothes that mix and match well so you can have an endless number of options already. Just mix and remix what you wear by using timeless simple pieces that go well together – this is exactly what you needed in order to minimize clothing purchases and still look professional.

9. Avoid STRESS-SPENDING all the time.

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It’s easy to justify spending money just to wind down from a stressful day at work, but it might be wise to find other ways to de-stress. Instead of buying things you don’t need to make yourself feel better, an exercise is always a good option, as is meditation and even a good old-fashioned nap. When you are feeling discouraged, sit down and spend time with the people you love the most. Ask for encouragement from your inner circle, tell them that you’re trying to trim your spending and you’d love it if they would offer any suggestions they might have.

Find daily inspiration for making intelligent moves and encourage each other to be financially fit. Find something that makes you want to make positive changes, like early retirement, then use it as a constant reminder to save more money as much as you can. Keep a picture of it in your wallet, in your vehicle, and on your bathroom until you find yourself that you’re doing it naturally, and your dreams are coming closer than ever.

Final Remarks

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Don’t toss out a shirt because of a broken button, or pants because of a hole in them, learn to repair clothing instead of tossing it. Most basic sewing jobs can be completed by anyone and a bit of practice goes a long way, so try to fix things yourself. Learning new skills is a great way to save some money so go check online tutorials that show you how to fix almost anything, and all for free. If you have a regular urge to buy clothes, take the clothes from the back of the closet and bring them to the front. When you take the clothes buried in your dresser and pull them to the top, your wardrobe will feel completely different. The key to feel like a brand-new person who doesn’t need to spend money on clothes is to go through everything that you have and see what you might find – you’ll be surprised that what you have is all you need.

Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean it’s worth it. If it’s something that you don’t need but it’s on sale, don’t buy it. It’s better to practice the wisdom-to-those-who-wait philosophy before you buy and learn to live below your means. Look at how you can be miserable if you live a life that doesn’t suit you. Have you ever imagined yourself drowning in debt and living paycheck to paycheck? Don’t let this happen to you and learn to spend time price-checking or pro-and-con weighing before making substantial purchases.

Live below your means and don’t buy unnecessary things to impress other people. Stop investing your money to meaningless status symbol and focus on more important matters. Another thing that you have to consider is that a lot of things depreciate and spending your money on every latest gadget is absolutely the most stupid thing that you could do. Your phone will be the  “latest gadget” for only a few months and after some time, it will only worth just a little over half its original price. Why not wait for at least a year from the date it initially came out if you really want to buy that new smartphone? You work hard for your money and it should also work hard for you, it’s essential to save for retirement from your first job to your last. If you don’t practice good money-saving techniques from an early age, you will find yourself begging for food when you get older.

 

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