Everyone wants to be able to put back some extra cash. If you have an unexpected expense or a crisis occur, it is nice to know you have a little financial cushion to fall back on. However, many people think that in order to save money, you have to have lots of money coming in. That helps, but it is not necessarily true. Here are 10 easy, stress free ways you can start putting back extra money today.
Use Money Saving Apps
Mobile apps like WalMart Savings Catcher and Ibotta will allow you to earn money back off your purchases if they find a cheaper price on an item at a competing store. It might just be a dollar or two each week, but every little bit adds up!
Save Spare Change
Throw all your loose change into a jar and don’t touch it. A quarter here and a few dimes and pennies there will quickly build up into dollars that you can use for a special occasion or for a needed expense. For example, if you start in January, you can have a nice amount saved and put back by Christmas to use toward gifts.
Wants Vs. Needs
This is the age old battle that many of us face. Is this purchase a want or a need? Do I want to buy new clothes or do I truly need new clothes? Does our paid for car get us where we need to go just fine? Then we probably don’t need to buy a new one for the sake of appearances. By choosing to only spend money when you need something, you will be able to save up some cash.
Make a Meal Plan
Meal planning is a great way to save money on groceries. If you make a list and a plan, and only buy what supplies and food you actually need (and take stock of what is in your pantry before you head to the store) you will definitely see savings.
Shop Where the Prices Are Lower
It’s no secret that certain stores cost more than others. This is particularly true for groceries. I like shopping at Aldi when I can because it saves me money compared to the other stores in my area. I also try to price match competing stores on things like produce.
Eat at Home, Don’t Eat Out
Want a quick way to really see the savings add up? Eat in rather than eating out. You can cook a delicious meal from scratch at home for sometimes a fraction of the cost of eating at your favorite restaurant. Plus, studies have shown it to be healthier for you, too.
Wait Before Buying
Set a waiting period of 24-48 hours before making any sort of big purchase. This will allow you to see if you truly need it then go ahead. It also gives you a chance to possibly compare prices and see if you might be able to get a better deal somewhere else.
Save Your Tax Return
This is a big one that most of us probably don’t do. Most of us get back a couple thousand each year at least and we spend it on fun stuff, or to pay off things. What if you bankrolled some of that tax return each year. In a few years you would have a decent sized emergency fund!
Pay With Cash
Studies have shown if you pay with cash versus your debit card you are going to spend less. Set yourself a limit and take that amount in cash when you go shopping. Carry cash and not a credit or debit card when you can avoid it. Paying with cash will help you reign in your spending and save money.
All of these are simple swaps or choices you can make each day that will help you save lots of money, probably without realizing it. Do you have other simple strategies for saving money? Share them in the comments!