by Menka Dimitrovska, Money Columnist
Published in Money on 23rd March, 2018
It doesn't hurt to have some extra cash at the end of the month that you can put toward paying down a debt, buying a house or an apartment, and whatever else you need.
Unfortunately, we all know how difficult it can be to save up money, especially during those months where you've run out of cash a week before your paycheck has arrived.
If you feel like you've tried saving or cutting down on stuff a few times before, but none of your tries were successful it's time to try these creative and simple 10+ ways to save money, that you might not have even thought of before. They've worked splendidly for many people, who have shared their success and early retirement stories on the internet, and they'll work for you too.
We all know that it's easier to save up when you have enough money of your paycheck to spare, but when you're living on a budget the situation is different. That's when you need to get even more creative and here are some of those creative solutions right here:
Try to commit to at least one zero spend day a week, during which you cannot buy anything, including food, coffee or gas. Give this strategy a try for at least a few weeks, and you'll see that you'll get even more motivated to try and fit in as many zero spend days per week as possible.
David of Zero Day Finance always pushes himself to save even more, and have as many zero spend days as he can in a week. This strategy saves him much more than some extra pocket money. He managed to max out his 401k and his IRA and saves at least $4,700 per month. His savings rate is 61,5%, and yours can be too if you start following at least a few of the ways we'll share with you today.
The only three things you actually need in life are water, food and shelter. Everything else is something we want, something that makes our life fuller and more enjoyable, but is in no way a necessity.
The most important thing to do is to first make sure that your needs are covered and then think about your wants. If you live by this example you won't be able to lead a very luxurious lifestyle, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. A simple life can be much more satisfying than a life of luxury, if you feel financially stable and your future is secure.
You need to take advantage of good deals. If you see a good deal, on a pair of nice pants for example, and believe you will enjoy them, and have the need for them, then don't throw away a good deal.
Even though you'll miss out on a huge discount, if you know that something is less valuable don't buy it. Buying a good quality product that you can use for a longer period of time ends up saving you much more than buying cheaper products all the time.
I know a lot of you might not agree with me on this one at first. Many of you will say that healthy food is more expensive than a dollar microwave pizza or the 2 for $5 deal at McDonalds or some other fast food restaurant, but hear me out.
Healthy and organic food has been regarded as more expensive, and less convenient to prepare, but if you take the nutritional value of those foods into account you'll come to a different conclusion. Not only does fast food lead to unhealthy habits, but it also doesn't give you enough nutrients, and keeps your body asking for more and more food.
In the end it will cost you way more in order to satisfy your constant hunger and need for junk foods. You will develop unhealthy habits and gain weight, and be more prone to disease.
So in an attempt to save money by choosing burgers over fruits and veggies, you will end up paying more for your junk food cravings, and later on - medical bills.
The easiest way to save money on food during the work week is to prep your meals for the following week on Sunday. This way you'll avoid eating unhealthy, fast foods on your lunch break and you'll save a lot of money in the meantime.
Here's how you do meal prep Sunday the right way:
Here are a few things you'll need to do if you want to open your own ecommerce business:
Note: You will have to do a mid-week prep as well, so that you don't cook all your meats, veggies, and carbs on Sunday and risk having them spoil, but that will require minimal clean up and preparing, since the bulk part will be done each Sunday.
This method will take no more than 2-3 hours on Sunday, and probably half an hour more for your mid-week prep, but it will save you a lot of money in the long run.
A frugal lifestyle or mindset means to spare and be economical with food and money. You can reduce a lot of your daily unnecessary expenses this way, and start appreciating the simple things in life. Frugality means finding a cheaper and more economical way to have something you enjoy. This isn't something that can be achieved in a day or a week, but something that requires a lot of sacrifice, and a lot of changes to your lifestyle.
Once you adopt this mindset, you'll realize that maybe buying a new phone once a new model comes out, or eating out every other day, instead of cooking a healthy and tasty dinner isn't really necessary. You'll start to see things more differently, and start to value the important things in life, and not just those you can buy with money. In the end you'll be richer and more fulfilled than you were when you started out.
If you want to put at least 10% of your paycheck into your savings account or investment fund, the simplest way to do so is by setting up automatic deposits. This way you can make sure you deposit money to your savings and stick to your monthly plan.
This plan might not be suitable for everyone, so if you're living paycheck to paycheck this might not be the best solution for you to save up. You might end up paying overdraft fees, or end up with not enough money for your daily necessities.
The only way to understand how much money you spend and get a handle on your finances is to track everything you spend, starting from drinks, foods, and everything else. We are often not even aware how some small purchases can add up to a large sum, so the best way to avoid small and unnecessary purchases is to keep track of them. You can keep notes of what you buy, go through your bank statement or simply download an expense tracker or manager on your phone, and enter all of your daily purchases.
Always have a list ready when you go shopping. This not only saves you time, but a lot of money as well. Make a list at home and stick to it. That way you'll only buy the necessities and avoid buying extra stuff you don't really need. Just focus on your list and you'll see how much you're actually able to save on a simple grocery run.
Vegetarians and vegans save a lot by skipping on meat. Meat, dairy and eggs are costly, and meat-free options are a lot cheaper. It's the same in almost every restaurant or fast food place. The meat options are always more expensive. Cutting down or giving up meat is not only better for your wallet, but it's also better for your health and for the environment.
Here are a few MORE ways to save money that you can implement today!
There are so many creative ways to cut down on your expenses that save you a lot in the long run so if you have any other tips or ways to save money that we haven't mentioned today, don't forget to share them in the comments.