There are many ways to save money, but only if you’re willing to make some changes.
Learning how to do it is not even a part of one’s financial vocabulary, and that’s where the problem starts.
It’s more like, how can I find a way to stop living paycheck to paycheck?
Or even worse, what can I buy for $20?
That’s the typical income earning/spender mentality and one that is almost impossible to break.
That’s also why things like “the more you make, the more you spend” come about.
Many financial issues are keeping you on the paycheck to paycheck express and one that can use some help.
To do such a thing, I want to show you how to save more money in the most critical parts of your financial life.
Some of these are obvious but will only come to light with some help.
Just like financial awareness, this post is about to instill.
So before you make like a baby and head out to the grocery store, let me show you how you can save more money starting as soon as today.
1. Act Your Wage
Acting rich is the biggest problem that most have, and it isn’t even them.
It’s the tiny little circle you live in that isn’t even in real life.
It’s those “friends” on Instagram that show pics of all kinds of crap.
These pics are usually of how amazing their life is and how much money they are spending.
The truth of the matter is that everyone is merely competing against each other.
Yet, they say things like “nice pic” when they’re not sincere.
No one needs to know about your finances, and it’s none of their business.
The car you drive, the food you eat, and the places you don’t eat at are for your benefit.
Just because you get approved for a brand new car does not mean you need to get it.
Or at least one that is out of your budget.
Just because everyone is eating out at all these fancy restaurants does not mean you need to do the same.
And just because a commercial tells you that something will improve your life does not mean you need to get it.
Get what you can afford, and you will save hundreds of dollars.
2. Buy Brand X
The stuff you see on TV is always going to be the higher-priced items on the shelf.
They have that vast advertising budget, and they want to make the most of what they spend on it.
That jacks the prices up for those products when the cheaper brand can do the same job.
Take trash bags, for example.
There are crazy commercials about bags falling apart and all that stupid, exaggerated nonsense.
Some even come with a pleasant little smell that will mask the funk that’s going in.
I buy some recycled kind of trash bags for like $2 bucks.
It comes in a box of 50 and does what it’s supposed to do.
And those Febreze-smelling trash bags that are supposed to make your garbage smell awesome?
They do the complete opposite.
It takes that smell and creates a different kind of funk.
You do not need to spend an arm and a leg on something that is going to end up in the dump.
It makes zero sense and is one of the best ways to save you money.
Buying a cheaper brand is just one example, but think about Pepsi, Charmin, and other brand names that aren’t necessary.
The savings are quite amazing.
3. Cancel Subscriptions
You do not need Netflix.
Just because everyone and their mothers have, it does not mean that you should get it too.
And just because it’s only $13, does not it’s okay either.
It’s little subscriptions like this that will eat at your bank account, and you won’t even notice it.
It goes hand in hand with acting your wage as some people join things just because others are in it.
We did great without subscriptions, but there are many of them out there that are causing a lot of people to make sacrifices in other departments.
Think about every single thing you are subscribed to and write them down.
And this includes that dang gym that you use as a real-life social media site.
You’ll see just how much money is being put into these companies when it isn’t necessary.
People are subscribing to anything and everything without realizing that they are putting a severe dent in their bank account.
Dollar Shave Club, Hello Fresh, and whatever subscriptions you might be a part of are not necessary.
Just because a Dollar Shave Club review tells you it’s fantastic does not mean you can afford it, or it’s saving you money on razors.
I have been using the same razor and blade for over a year now, and it still does the job.
As long as you shave right out of the shower, you’ll get a great shave with that same blade.
Trust me, it works.
Now you want to know the biggest subscription you need to cancel if you’re “subscribed” to it?
That multilevel marketing gig that you are paying for because you’re scared to hurt your BFF’s feelings.
4. Go Green
I don’t want you to go out there and start planting trees or trying to use paper straws either.
You can not save the planet, and that’s just facts.
Not a single person and not even some crazy charity that is only a nice tax break for the rich can save it.
What you can do is go green for yourself so that you can save some dough.
Being wasteful is a massive problem in every household and a big reason as to why you’re not able to save any money.
If your wife takes an hour to shower (like mine does), tell them their time is up.
Knock on that door and tell them to get out.
Regardless of whatever reasons they come up with as to why they take so long.
Turn off lights when they’re not in use and get your kids to understand and do the same.
The biggest problems, though, are the things that need to be cooled and heated.
So instead of trying to conserve energy by turning off the AC, consider making some changes.
- Upgrade your AC
- Seal off anywhere that allows for air to escape.
- Pressure wash and paint your roof
Many people think that the major problem is what I just mentioned, but that’s not the case.
You use electricity when your AC is fighting to cool your house thanks to this thing called the sun.
If your home is hot outside, it’s safe to say that your AC is going to fight to cool your house.
And if your AC is in the sun’s view, you can bet that it’s working harder there too.
These are just a few examples, but there are many other remarkable ways to go green that will save you even more money.
Work on solving these simple problems, and you will see save hundreds of dollars every single month.
5. Understand Fuel
Gas is beyond expensive, and it doesn’t take some professional to tell you that.
Their prices go up and down but never changes the fact that you are spending a lot of your income on fuel alone.
The biggest problem with this is the fact that not many people pay attention to what happens after you fill your tank up.
You see, guys, gas is like money.
The more of it you have, the more of it you use.
Now the even bigger problem is that we fail to understand the process.
All we know is it makes you broke and always think that your gas tank has a hole.
What you need to do is understand how everything works.
First, you need to see just how much of your paycheck is going to the gas that takes you to work.
Sometimes people are working to pay for their gas, and it’s not even funny.
Things like carpooling, buying a money-saving car, or (the one that you might not be so fond of) taking public transportation, come into the picture.
Every city has a transportation system of some sort, and a lot of people utilize it.
Consider it, but don’t knock it until you see how much money you can save.
The next thing you need to do is see where you’re going and start asking yourself some questions.
Do you need to go there?
Could that onion have waited?
What is a better way to get to places?
Simple questions like that can have a significant impact on saving you money, so definitely examine that.
6. Lower Your Cellphone Bill
Get the latest iPhone for free if you stay with us for at least two years.
It’s the best way to get a free smartphone, but the best way to have you paying lots of money for a cellphone contract.
Getting a new smartphone is always fun, but most will never see that their cellphone contracts make up a lot of where your money is going.
Things are changing, and no one cares about the kind of phone you carry.
Get that free phone, but try to keep it in excellent condition so it can last.
Once your contract expires, downgrade to a lower plan and save lots of money there.
$30 plans are out there these days, and even they include unlimited calls and texts.
Yeah, data might not be that much, but wifi is everywhere.
Forget about upgrading to the latest smartphone and save thousands of dollars on your cellphone bill by downgrading.
You’re not going to be “in,” but you’ll be fine.
Take a look around you, and you’ll see how many cracked screens and older versions of phones that others have.
They, too, are in the same struggle.
7. Change Your Coffee Routine
As an office employee, grabbing a cup of coffee before you head into work is normal.
Kind of, but with the advertising of Starbucks all over social media from its patrons, you can’t help but follow suit.
It doesn’t always have to be that way, especially if you are looking for ways to save money.
As a blogger, I frequent many coffee shops that serve as my #officeoftheday, and of course, I pay for my coffee.
As a dad, though, I feel that some of my wants are useless.
And that includes coffee and beer.
Not to say, I stop going to coffee shops, but I figured out a way to deal with my coffee fix at home.
Rather than spending $6 + every single day on coffee, I decided to get some coffee packs.
These little packs cost me $.25 for one, and boy does it taste great.
Now to save, even more, I got a tub of ready-to-go coffee that only needs some hot water.
For your office people, here’s what you need to do.
You need to grab one of those coffee cups they sell at Starbucks and bring that to work instead.
Over just a single month, you will save at least $100.
My better half has one, and she walks around with that thing like it’s cool.
It saves us a lot of money.
8. Gift Better
Getting others a gift is a great thing to do.
The problem with people like myself is that we set the standard too high.
Trying to show off to others, we get gifts that are beyond expensive.
Or, we give that $100 bill thinking we are rich.
Don’t do that.
And if you already do, think about this post the next time you are shopping for that next gift.
You don’t even need to give them anything.
I know it sounds like you are going to feel bad, but it feels good.
It’s a sigh of relief to your mental state, and it’s a huge relief to your already empty wallet.
Get out of the mundane world we live in and visit these people that require gifts instead.
I’m sure they’ll appreciate your actual body being there rather than some gift that will make them happy for a little while.
Gifts are not bad, but just be smarter when you do decide to get them.
9. Use Extra Money Wisely
I don’t care what kind of bonus it is that you get, you need to not think about what you’re going to buy next.
The first thing you need to do is let it sit in your bank account so you can enjoy it before you go throwing it away.
That new weed whacker or hair straightener is not needed.
Tax returns and work bonuses are sweet, but you need to know how to deal with them.
Extra money like that is a quick fix for one’s financial problems.
That’s because they take it and spend it on a want.
You can do that, or you can be smarter than most.
Let the fund be there for those days that you find yourself stressing because you are waiting on payday.
If you can do something as simple as not spending extra cash, you can set yourself up for more extended periods of happiness, rather than that one month of temporary enjoyment.
10. Get the App For That
There are many savings apps out there that are barely used by those that need it.
For some, it can seem unsafe, but they have done a pretty good job with security.
What most don’t understand is that these apps can do more than just save you money.
They can help you make it.
There’s nothing better to complement saving money than adding a couple of extra dollars.
There are many saving apps out there, but you do not need every single one of them.
The top 3 savings apps will work just fine.
I personally like Acorns.
My income and savings continue to grow, and I don’t even log in to the app, but maybe once a month.
Just download, signup, and let it do the work.
Then there’s Trim, which is not necessarily an app but rather an artificial intelligence software.
They will negotiate with your credit card company to help lower your interest rate.
They will also contact your cable provider and knock off $50 from your monthly bill as soon as today.
These apps aren’t a joke, and I think just the savings on cable rocks.
Download Trim for free and see what it can do for you.
11. Trim Your Debt
Since we’re on debt, let’s get to a more severe part of the debt elimination process.
Credit cards, loans, and crazy interest rates.
Trim can’t do much in this department, so you will have to work on this yourself.
Debt is a severe wallet killer that can be hard to control.
The problem here is that things get out of control before you even realize it.
Just like when you get approved for a car, you need to say no to credit cards.
Even if they tell you that you qualify, it does not mean to say yes.
Ignore those credit card offers in the mail, and please do not try to take on any more loans.
What you want to do is try to trim the fat.
If you already have a mortgage, that’s all you need.
Look at the number of credit cards you have and see how you can get a better interest rate.
Try to get some payments chopped down and keep them to a manageable debt.
Cut back on using credit cards and focus on trying to get them lower.
The Simple Dollar has some great tips on trimming debt, so give that a read if you want to learn more on this topic alone.
Other Subtle Ways to Save Money
Act like you’re broke.
This method should be on this list, but I just added it as a bonus.
Remember how it feels to be broke but somehow managed to stay alive?
That’s because you don’t need to buy half the junk you buy.
Just because you have money does not mean you need to go out there and find a way to give it away.
Lastly, you need to be a lot more fricken, Frugal.
Making Sense of Cents has an excellent post on doing it, and I couldn’t agree more.
What you need to know about frugality is it’s not something you’re just born with, but rather something you learn.
It requires you to learn and understand it.
It involves going further into detail about being cheap and realistic.
Besides that, these are the absolute best ways to save money, whether you are wealthy or not.
It will put more of it back in your pocket, and life will be 10x easier.
Just try it.
Conclusion – Control Your Finances
Before you can make money, you need to know how to manage it.
The same thing goes with saving.
Now, if you can understand where you’re throwing a lot of it away, you can save thousands of dollars every year.
If you aren’t willing to learn, you will do the opposite.
There’s only so much that advice can do, as the results will only come if you allow it to.
Now the last thing I want to share with you today is this.
Retail therapy is stupid.
It is nothing but a way for businesses to get you to spend more of the money you barely have.
So unless you are cool with doing that, stop thinking that you need to shop because someone told you that you needed retail therapy.
I hope you can learn a thing for two and maybe even learn some better ways to save money in the process.
If you do happen to learn or know, we would love to hear about it.
Saving money is an evolving thing, so I’m sure you have learned a thing or two over the years.