There are a million things to think about before you are deployed, and one of the most pressing is money. The...
Saving money is top priority for many individuals. If you’re struggling to reach your financial goals, there are several money-saving strategies that can help you increase your savings accounts, pay down debt, and balance your budget—all without having a negative impact on your lifestyle. Try some of these 33 strategies to experience all the benefits of savings on your budget.
Food and Drink
- Meal plan – Planning your meals in advance will help you cut down on unnecessary spending and food waste.
- Make meals ahead of time – Prep lunch, add some snacks, and even get dinners ready to throw in the oven.
- Don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu when you eat out. Take the time to look at prices ahead of time.
- Take a cooking class or check out a YouTube video to learn how to prepare your favorite restaurant food at home.
- Take your lunch to school or work every day. Make eating out a special treat, rather than an everyday occurrence.
- Invest in a deep freezer so that you can stock up on food when it’s on sale. Learn what can be frozen and what won’t last long enough for you to use it (hint: cheese is one great item to freeze in bulk!).
- Check out thrift shops, especially for kids’ clothes. They often outgrow them long before they’re worn out.
- Know when to shop – Back-to-school season, with its tax free weekends and sales in many states, is a great time to stock up.
- Buy quality clothing, rather than going straight for the cheap option. It often lasts much longer.
- Check out discount stores for clothing, especially in off seasons. They often get even name brands to sell at a steeper discount when they go off-season.
- Create a capsule wardrobe, which is a small collection of essential clothing items that never go out of style.
- Know how to use coupons the right way. This includes avoiding purchases you wouldn’t have made without the coupon.
- Learn to stop impulse buys. Wait at least two days to go back and make any purchase. If you don’t remember it, you didn’t really want it.
- Make a list whenever you go shopping, whether you’re back-to-school shopping with the kids or picking up groceries.
- Try shopping with cash – Many people find that this helps them spend less, since they can’t spend more than they have with them.
- Don’t store credit card numbers on online stores, that way you’ll have to think longer about purchases before you make them.
- Buy a programmable thermostat. You can save a large percentage on your heating and cooling bills with this simple measure.
- Learn how to identify vampire energy drains and remove as many of them as possible from your home.
- Take care of regular home maintenance on both appliances and your home itself.
- Become a repairman. Check out YouTube or take classes to learn how to fix appliances yourself to help avoid repair bills.
- Use your library instead of buying books.
- Wait for books to come out in paperback.
- Subscribe to streaming services instead of opting for expensive cable.
- Check your local movie theater to see what deals they offer. You can catch new releases on a certain low-traffic day of the week for a lower price.
- Avoid eating at the movies, with their overpriced concessions. Eat at home before the movie instead.
- Examine local free activities: parks, low-priced museums, and other attractions.
- Check the value of season passes to your favorite kids’ activities. This includes museums, zoos and aquariums, and more.
- Create a budget. This simple tip can help you save a fortune.
- Have a savings plan and big-picture financial goals. Knowing what you’re after will make it easier to reach those critical goals.
- Track where you’re spending your money. Take a look at your bank account at the end of the month and see where every dollar has gone.
- Write a budget you can stick to. If it has no room for fun, you’ll be more likely to cheat.
- Check your credit report annually. It’s worth a look to know where you stand!
- Evaluate your budget every six months to make sure that it’s working for you and helping you meet your financial goals. As your goals change, your budget may need to shift to match it.
There are many small ways that you can save money and over time, those savings can really add up! By implementing these tips, you’ll quickly discover that you’re in a better position to pay down debt, save up for the big things you really want in life, or to accomplish other key financial goals.