Saving money is difficult when living from one payday to the next. However, there are ways you can save cash without much sacrifice.
Our editors tried out different methods of saving money to determine which one is best for actually saving money and not feeling too deprived. Here are the ten methods that worked best for us.
Homemade meals and money savings.
Eating out, ordering in, and mail order meals are all ways the convenience of avoiding cooking can wreak havoc on your budget. Making larger meals and reuse leftovers in different ways throughout the week to help your savings pile up even faster.
Plan travel using incognito mode.
When travel planning, use incognito mode on your browser and delete cookies between searches to get the best rates. This keeps sites from using your browser history and computer type to adjust rates.
Use financial apps.
Apps like Acorns and Stash help track expenses and while growing your savings. Money Brilliant and Betterment are two other good choices for this. Most money apps help with budgeting, saving, and tracking expenses.
Get your bills automated.
Automated drafts for monthly expenses can save you cash in a couple ways. If they’re set to draft on or before the due date, you’ll avoid late fees. Being sure its drafted on or after pay day will help you avoid overdraft fees. Some companies offer discounts for having your payments automated and can help you avoid reconnection fees due to payment issues.
Unlink checking and savings accounts.
Linking checking and savings accounts makes it easy to borrow from savings for unnecessary purchases or holiday splurges. Moving your savings to an unlinked account or a different bank to minimize the urge to overspend.
Cancel unused subscriptions.
Automated subscriptions are forgotten or go unused. Especially when choosing the annual option for a larger discount. Forgetting these subscriptions can cost you more than just paying for unused services. It could cause overdraft fees from forgotten annual payments as well.
Do a 7-day money detox.
For a detox choose 7 days during an 8-week period in which you won’t spend any money. Prepaid services don’t count as spending when using the service. Have plenty of gas and groceries or prepaid public transportation passes to avoid spending on detox day.
Create your own savings challenge.
A savings challenge is an almost painless way to begin saving. Starting with $1 the first week, $2 the second week, and continue adding an additional $1 for 52 weeks. Your savings will total $1,378 upon completion. Find a variation that works for you like reverse it by starting at $52 on week one and working down to $1 on week 52 or a checklist numbered 1 – 52 pick different amounts each week until they’re all used.
Find local free events.
Placing free events on your calendar will enable you to suggest entertainment while hanging out without straining your budget. Use an online search to find free local events such as festivals or concerts.
Utilize free money courses.
Opportunities for free financial literacy courses can be found with an online search. You’ll find free courses at libraries or online. Books can also teach you the basics of money management.