The economy is getting better – so we’re told. Unfortunately, many Millennials are not feeling that in their wallets and bank accounts. Others are looking at the plight of their parents, stuck working when they planned to retire by now, and do not want to end up in the same situation. Whether you need to stretch your budget to your next paycheck or are looking to cut costs so that you can build up your retirement savings early, here are 6 tips that will help you save money.
If People Ask What Gift You Want – Gift Cards. How many gifts do you receive from family members throughout the year – most of which you never wear or use? If a friend or family members inquires what you want, ask for gift cards for your favorite restaurants and bars or just opt for no fee gift cards you can use anywhere. Your family will be giving you something you will actually use and you’ll be able to socialize while saving money.
Don’t take it with you – money that is. Once you have the necessities taken care of for the week – groceries, gas in the car, and your parking paid at work, leave your cash and cards at home. If you must, keep a single $20 on you for absolute emergencies. Once you find you don’t need to use it, you can always put it in the bank and not take anything at all during the week. When you go out on the weekend, only take what you want to spend.
Set your allowance for the week. How much can you spend each week and still save money? This is all the money you spend that week for anything not actual bills or groceries (clothes, coffee breaks, lunch, going out with friends).
Set a goal you save up for. Don’t just say “I’m going to save $100 every paycheck.” You’ll look at your savings account after a few months, see the money you have in there, and go “I can buy this now!” Instead, set up a goal for the end of the year. It can be a bulk payment on your student loans, your car, your house, an investment next year, or just your Christmas budget if you’ve managed to not accrue any major debt yet. When you look at that savings account every paycheck, you’re not going to be thinking about money you can spent. You’ll be thinking about the goal you set.
Save receipts and track your spending. This is tough, especially if you’re not one of those who likes to nit-pick everything. This is also the best way for you to see where you are spending money and what you can trim. You will be surprised how many stops off at the coffee shop or bookstore you make every week if you collect the receipts and go over them on the weekend. Separate the wheat from the chafe. Pick out what is necessary and cut the rest.
Also read: Top 10 Habits of Frugal People
Portion control. We think of portion control as a way to keep from gaining weight. It can also keep you from shedding extra pennies. If you are making a pasta dish with ground beef, do you really need a full pound of meat? If you’re taking a page from your mom’s cook-book and making a crock-pot roast to last a couple of days, do you have to use the whole roast? Halving these items will make one package last for two uses. Take a little time out when you get home with the groceries to split the pound of ground beef or the pot roast. Fill in with another vegetable to make up for the missing meat and enjoy something a little healthier as well as cost effective.
Whether you are a Millennial or not, what are the most effective things in your live that help you save money?
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