How to save money
One of the things I enjoy doing every so often is doing a little research on the types of phrases and topics people are searching for on the internet. Fortunately, Google provides a really slick tool to do this called Google Trends. I’m sure it will come as no surprise to most of you, but one of the hot topics over the past few months is saving money.
As the recession begins to put he squeeze on most everyone, American’s are looking for ways to tighten their financial belts, reduce spending, and begin to fill up previously almost empty (or non existent) savings accounts. America is experiencing a major shift from spending to saving. People are searching for ways to stretch each and every dollar earned along with saving as much as they can to prepare for potential job losses as a result of corporate America’s similar shift to reduced spending.
How to save money?
Are you wondering how to save money? Money saving tips and ideas are almost endless, but there are a few common and highly effective ways to save:
Budget and track your expenses
The single most effective technique you can utilize to save money is to live on a budget. Budgeting provides a way of tracking and controlling your expenses. A budget provides you with the ability to know exactly where your cash is going each and every month. Once you know where your money is going and how it’s being spent, you can then begin to change your spending habits and begin allocating more money to saving.
Make savings automatic
Far too many people make one primary savings mistake: they don’t pay themselves first. They best way to pay yourself first is to automate your savings. With today’s online banking features, this is so incredible easy to do nobody has an excuse to not do it. Simply log in to your savings bank of choice (I use ING Direct) and set-up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account.
How frequently you do this is really up to you, but personally I prefer to do it weekly. Weekly transfers are smaller and less noticeable. For example, let’s say I decide to save $100.00 per month. For some, that might seem like a large amount, but broken down weekly, it’s only $25 a week.
If you don’t have your savings automatic, stop reading right now, head over to your bank’s online banking site and set-up an automatic transfer right now. I promise, you’ll thank me later.
Another great option for saving money is to “frugal up”. This involves looking for creative ways to trim your expenses. Just a few suggestions include:
- Repairing your own car
- Taking frugal vacations and utilizing free national park resources
- Buy generic medications
- Doing your own home repairs
- Cut back on your grocery spending
- Look for ways to utilize items in other ways, such as coffee filters and dryer sheets.
One way to significantly reduce your expenses and provide more money for saving is to downsize. Have a gas guzzling SUV or maybe a high mortgage payment? Consider moving to a smaller more fuel efficient car or much smaller home.
Both automobiles and homes can be found for rock bottom prices right now making now the perfect time to downsize. Of course the only problem is that you may have trouble selling your current home if you have one.
Take a hard look at both the car your drive and the home you live in. Do you really need something that large? Could you live on less? Not only would your payment reduce, so would your associated expenses.
What suggestions and/or ideas do you have for saving money? What tips can you share with those looking for how to save money? Add a comment!
Photo by: Jake Wasdin