How would your life change if you saved more money this year than ever before? How would it feel if you could finally save money without struggling? If you’re not currently able to save any money, these eight tips will help you make some major changes and save more money this year.
Have you ever heard the phrase “knowledge is power”? Have you ever really thought about what that means?
Knowledge isn’t necessarily power. Instead, the application of knowledge is power. You may have even heard all of these money-saving tips before, but have you taken the time to actually apply them?
Simply having knowledge of the tips isn’t actually giving you the power. Putting that knowledge into action? Now, that’s powerful.
8 Tips To Save More Money This Year
These simple, actionable money-saving tips will help you transform your finances (and bank accounts) this year and put you back in control of all things financial.
1. Cut Your Expenses
You’ve heard this before, but are you really doing it? Have you sat down and written out every expense you incur on a monthly basis, quarterly, or yearly basis?
Take a sheet of paper and write down every expense. If you can’t think of them, grab bank and credit card statements and a few highlighters or colored pens.
Write everything out so you have a good visual in front of you, then ruthlessly cut your costs.
Are you really using your gym membership? What if you decided to work out at home instead and save that $50/month? Be honest with yourself.
Sure, you cut cable, great job. But do you really need to pay for five streaming services, or would one or two be adequate?
2. Automate Your Savings
Paying yourself first is one of the very best ways to ensure you are saving consistently. You have to make sure you are paying yourself every single month because if you are not, the money will almost always disappear.
Setting up automatic savings either through your employer or online with your bank account. You can dictate either a percentage or a specific dollar amount to transfer directly to your savings account every time you are paid or on any schedule you desire.
The real benefit of automation is that it takes the thinking out of the equation.
Given the opportunity, we often make the wrong decision regarding whether we should put our extra money into savings or buy a new couch.
Don’t even give yourself the option to make the wrong decision. Make the decision every time, ahead of time, so all of the guesswork is off your plate, and you don’t even have to think about it.
Just check your savings account each month and watch your money grow!
The best thing about automating is that if you are hesitant to save or think you don’t have the money to do so, you can start out small.
Begin by saving just $25/month automatically, and I can almost guarantee you that in a few months, you won’t even miss that money because when you automate your savings, you don’t even see the money in the first place.
Later, when you’re feeling more comfortable, you can gradually increase your savings over time, allowing you to save more money this year and every year.
3. Try a Savings Challenge
Doing some type of money savings challenge either by yourself or with another family member or even in competition with some friends makes saving money much easier.
For many savings challenges, you may only save a small amount at a time but remember those small actions compounded over time can have a big impact on your finances.
Another way to make saving more enjoyable is to use a digital savings jar. Yep, it’s technically a toy bank for kids, but I’ve found it goes a long way for keeping us adults motivated too.
Every time you drop your spare change into your bank, it will show you on the digital display how much money you have in your bank.
It may not make you a millionaire, but it will encourage you to save.
4. Increase Your Income
When you’re increasing your income, the main thing you need to remember is to avoid lifestyle creep. What often happens is when people start making more money, they also start spending more money and therefore increase their expenses simultaneously.
This essentially makes the higher earnings a wash. The idea is to create margin in your budget, a larger gap between your income and your expenses.
If you want to have extra money to save, pick up some overtime at work, look through your home and collect old or unused items to sell, or find a hobby or skill you can monetize.
5. Switch to a Cash System
This could be either the cash envelope system or another variation. Perhaps you’d prefer to use only your debit card for all purchases or maybe even a hybrid system.
The object here is to force you to have a visceral reaction when spending with cash versus paying with a credit card. When you physically have to take money out of your wallet and give it to a cashier, it affects you more than swiping a piece of plastic.
Using a cash system will help you become more intentional about the money you’re spending.
6. Live on a Budget
The premise here is that learning to live on a budget and track your spending ensures you are paying attention to your finances.
It keeps you in control of your money instead of the other way around.
You must be mindful of what is coming in and what is going out of your bank account each day. This is going to make it feel as though you have more money than before, almost like you got a raise.
If you struggle with creating or sticking to a budget, try taking my free 5-day Begin to Budget mini-course, which will teach you step-by-step how to create a monthly budget that will work for you.
7. Open a High-Yield Savings Account
You will earn so much more money in interest with a high-yield savings account than you will with a normal savings account.
The great thing about a high-yield savings account is that your money will grow substantially quicker than it will in your regular, local bank plus, it creates a slight barrier to accessing your money since it usually takes about 3-5 days to transfer out of the account.
If you’re parking your money somewhere and planning to leave it to sit, you may as well earn as much interest as possible.
When looking for a high-yield savings account, look for a no-fee account, so you’re not losing precious interest to wasteful fees each month.
8. Get Out of Debt
When you are in debt, your money is not your own. The money you’re paying on your debt payments month after month is money you could be saving – and earning interest on.
If you are not currently on a debt-free journey or haven’t given much thought to paying off your debt and becoming debt-free, take the time to sit down and look at all your debt, add up all your payments and balances and get a solid picture of how much money you’re throwing away towards debt each and every month.
Then take a few minutes to dream.
- What would your finances look like if you didn’t have any of those debt payments every single month?
- How would it feel if, instead, you could save that same money every single month?
- How would that impact your life and your finances?
Make this the year you start working to eliminate all of your debt, organize your finances, and save more money than ever before.
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Kristin Stones is the owner of Cents + Purpose, an online community dedicated to sharing practical personal finance content. Her mission is to equip women with the necessary tools and knowledge to take back control of their money and live a more purposeful life. She creates actionable content to help her audience achieve financial wellness using her simple approach to managing money - all learned through her personal experience of paying off almost $55,000 of debt in under two years.