Whether you’re a college graduate trying to pay off student loans, a stay-at-home mom struggling to survive on one income, an aspiring blogger who dreams of quitting the 9-5 world, or if you just suck at sticking to a budget, this collection of simple money-saving tips will teach you how to save money for financial success.
Life has a way of being unpredictable. The moment you start to feel comfortable with your finances, something unexpected happens. You might get a flat tire on the way to work, your roof might spring a leak, or you might be faced with something more serious that comes with financial burdens you simply can’t afford.
It can be downright scary!
The good news is that there are certain money-saving tips you can adopt today to help you stay ahead of your finances so you’re not constantly drowning in debt.
Are these strategies easy?
They will require a bit of planning and preparation on your part, and there will probably be an adjustment period as you learn to say no to the things you don’t need, but if you’re serious about learning how to save money, these financial strategies will teach you how to stay ahead of your monthly bills and be prepared for unexpected expenses when they arise.
1. APPLY FOR A LINE OF CREDIT
In a perfect world, you should not carry a credit card balance every month as the sky-high interest rates do nothing but increase the amount of money you’re paying over time. Can’t afford to pay off your credit card(s) in full? Make an appointment with your bank to discuss other options, like transferring your balances over to a personal line of credit. The interest rates are often lower, which can go a long way in helping you make a dent in paying off your debt each month rather than simply making your minimum payments.
2. LEARN THE ART OF MEAL PLANNING
When done correctly, meal planning can significantly reduce your monthly expenditures while also helping you stick to a healthy diet to help with your weight loss goals. Don’t have the foggiest clue how to do this? Erin Chase offers a fabulous course called Grocery Budget Makeover that will teach you how to create an effective shopping list, meal plan effectively, stockpile, avoid marketing traps, and score freebies, and she’ll also teach you the art of couponing (if you live in the US) as well as some fabulous time-saving kitchen and cooking hacks.
You can learn more about Grocery Budget Makeover here. Please note that registration is only open a few times a year, but at $49, I feel this is a steal as so many people (myself included!) have cut their grocery spending in half after taking this course.
3. STICK TO WATER
It’s no secret that empty calorie drinks like soda, juice, certain smoothies, hot chocolate, frappuccinos, flavored lattes, ice teas, and lemonade are loaded with sugar, but they are also incredibly expensive. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to cut them out entirely, but indulging in an afternoon caramel macchiato should be the exception rather than the rule. Try to stick to water, and if you absolutely must get your daily dose of caffeine (absolutely NO judgement here…), brew it from home to save a little extra cash.
4. PACK YOUR LUNCH
When I worked in the corporate world, I spent an average of…wait for it…$300 a month buying my lunch. $300! Of course, that’s what everyone did back then, but when I accepted a job at a large insurance company in the middle of nowhere shortly after I got married, I had 2 options: eat the questionable cafeteria food or brown bag my own meals. I ended up doing the latter, which saved us a ton of money and helped me eat healthier.
5. CANCEL YOUR GYM MEMBERSHIP
No, I’m not telling you to stop working out, but if your gym charges ridiculous monthly fees and/or you find it too difficult to find the time to actually use your gym membership, consider doing online workouts instead. With over 200 online workouts, Fit2B offers fabulous family-friendly workout videos you can do from absolutely anywhere at an affordable price, giving you a ‘no excuses allowed’ gym membership at a fraction of what typical gyms charge.
Find out more about Fit2B here. Memberships are only $14.99/month, but if you purchase an annual membership, it works out to only $10.75/month!!!
6. CANCEL YOUR CABLE ACCOUNT
In a day and age where things like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Roku exist, expensive monthly cable bills should be a thing of the past for all of us!
7. MAKE FREEZER-FRIENDLY MEALS
Freezer meals offer another great way to save time and money. All it takes is one trip to the grocery store and a few hours in the kitchen, and you can have a week’s worth of freezer meals at your fingertips for a fraction of what you currently pay to feed you and your family. Of course, there’s a science behind this method – you need to know what to buy, what to make, and how to prepare it FAST. Thankfully, Erin Chase offers another fabulous course called MyFreezEasy which will teach you how to make 10 meals in an hour. I’m not kidding.
Learn more about MyFreezEasy here. Plans start at only $7/month, and there are heaps of different meal options to choose from – gluten free, slow-cooker, all chicken, etc. – and you can customize your plans as well!
8. SHOP ONLINE
Wherever possible, do all of your shopping online so you can take the time to be more deliberate with your purchases, price match, and find the best coupons and deals available. Ebates offers a fabulous platform for online savings by paying its members cash back every time they shop online while also providing access to the best coupons and deals available. It’s free to join and offers a great way to make a few extra dollars on your every day purchases.
9. START A BLOG
Whether you want to make a little extra money on the side, or wish you could quit your day job and earn a full-time income from absolutely anywhere in the world, starting a blog is a great start.
Learn how to start a blog in 6 simple steps here and sign-up for my weekly blogging newsletter while you’re there to receive my best tips and tricks for creating a profitable blog!
10. DITCH BAD HABITS
If you have bad spending habits you can’t afford, take a long hard look at what causes you to engage in those activities and figure out a way to ditch them for good. Confide in a close friend, join a support group, or seek out therapy, and then put on your big girl underpants, stop making excuses, and take responsibility.
Steven Pressfield once said, ‘the difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits. An amateur has amateur habits. A professional has professional habits. We can never free ourselves from habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones.’
Regardless of how minor or dire your financial struggles may be, my challenge for you today is to identify 3 areas of your life where you can make improvements in the next 12 months so you can end the year ahead rather than behind.
You may be overcome with regrets about poor decisions you’ve made, but I’m a firm believer that what’s done is done. You can’t erase the past, but you better believe you can change the future, so make a commitment to be the change that needs to happen in your life!
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