Saving a few bucks here and there seems simple enough even for the average Joe with no Finance or Business background. But the truth is, with all the compelling ways to spend money today, there’s little chance for a portion of your paycheck to make it into your savings pool. From Netflix and Hulu subscriptions to online shopping, the struggle is real. Here’s 6 ways to painlessly save money and, in the process, secure a financial future for yourself and your family.
Save Pocket Change
Pennies and quarters are often neglected. They end up lying around in dirty corners of the room or stacked in-between books and receipts. Loose change, however, can accrue over time and pay for a week’s worth of grocery or your upcoming utility bill. If you put aside at least 50 cents per day starting January 1st, that’s $180+ you’ll have at the end of the year. And what’s great is that you don’t even feel the impact financially since it’s only 50 cents.
Focus on Housing
Housing is perhaps the single most expensive category that affects people’s budgets. Renters who earn minimum hourly wage can expect to pay half of their monthly paycheck towards housing. If you’re in the process of looking for housing, find a place that’s relatively near your workplace. This eliminates transportation costs, opens the possibility of working from home on slow days, and even lets you grab overtime hours.
Plan Big Items in Advance
Planning large expenses is imperative to cushioning the financial impact on your budget. You don’t want to be buying expensive furniture, car, or a house on impulse as these purchases can cripple your long-term finances. Plan ahead and see if you have the actual means to buy something expensive. Adopting the habit of sleeping on the decision overnight or, better yet, over the entire week helps you identify whether the purchase is an investment or a liability.
Capitalize on Discounts
Discounts and incentive programs are available all around you, but some people avoid it since they associate food stamps and coupon codes with being poor. There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of these deals. Another main source of discounts is your employer. See if they offer discounted rates for movie and concert tickets, computers, and so forth.
The healthier you are, the less medical bills you have. It’s really that simple, yet most families and individuals fail to adopt this principle in life. Drinking a lot of water, for example, leaves no room for other unhealthy and expensive drinks like a Latte or soda. Going on regular jogs every morning also saves you money on monthly gym membership and keeps you occupied from wanting to spend money elsewhere.
Keep is Simple
Some people are afraid to save money because they feel it’s overly complicated. Talking with financial advisers, setting up all sorts of accounts, and filling out paperwork all seem to feel like saving on steroids. Keeping it simple gives you more chance of sticking with your savings plan consistently. For example, you can just get a large piggy bank or a lockbox and just start dropping coins and bills on a daily or weekly basis.
Invest Your Savings
Don’t just let it rot in a savings or checking account. While savings accounts do accrue interest, the amount is usually nominal unless you have millions of dollars in your account in which case you don’t really need to read this article. Invest wisely and look for assets that are low-risk but high-yield. Stocks and bonds are often the safest investment vehicles while commodities and currencies tend to yield the highest ROI.
Saving is a marathon rather than a sprint. You won’t be making considerable cash in a month or two, but by following the seven tips above you’ll be able to painlessly build a retirement nest for you and your family.