Whether you’re trying to save up money to or are simply tired of living paycheck to paycheck and want to , you might be sorting through your junk trying to find stuff to or scheming up ways you can make a little extra money on the side. While cleaning out your closet and doing odd jobs to bring in extra cash can help you pad your paycheck, it’s not a long-term solution. Saving yourself money to put towards a business or to stop living paycheck to paycheck may require some lifestyle changes.
Lifestyle changes can be extremely difficult, especially once you’re used to and comfortable living a certain way. Having to give up your takeout or washing your car yourself may take some time and personal sacrifice, but in the end, that extra money will be worth it.
Change Your Phone Provider
When I first heard about the provider that I use, I thought that there was no way it could be real. Their prices were incredibly low, but their service was as good as the big-name companies, (since they piggyback off their cell towers). Although my phone bill was relatively low, by switching to them it was cut in half!
While that extra money didn’t amount to hundreds of dollars, it made a difference each month and left me with cash that I could put towards savings, spend on something I’d wanted forever, or use in some other way. A lot of people are stuck on the idea that the brand name affects quality, but I’ve learned that’s not the case. Just by switching phone providers to one with cheaper plans, I kept more money in my wallet without having to compromise on the quality of service.
Reevaluate Your Insurance
Everyone has a love/hate relationship with car insurance. Nobody wants to pay it every month, but if they’re ever in an accident or their car ever needs repairs, (and the insurance company will cover the claim), it’s a relief. The problem is, a lot of companies will charge you high rates and won’t always pay as promised thanks to loopholes they put in their contracts.
I’ve found that the best thing to do is shop around before making a decision. Just like with phone providers, not all big-name insurance companies offer the best deal or service. It might take more time and effort, but finding a company that offers that gives you the coverage you need within your budget will be worth it.
Stop or Cut Back on Eating Out
A friend of mine works in the finance industry and is very financially-minded—he once told me about a couple that he helped create a budget for so that they could work on getting out of debt. When he evaluated their finances, he found that the vast majority of their money was being spent at restaurants and the grocery store and that if they were to cut that back, they would stop ending in the hole every month. They had no idea how much they were spending on food, and when he showed them, they were shocked.
It’s really easy to overspend on food—takeout is so much more convenient than finding something to cook at home, and if you’re not much of a cook, then it’s more delicious too. Something I started doing a few years ago to help me keep my spending under control is creating a menu at the start of each week; then, I go shopping only once. Staying out of the store keeps me from overspending, and then I have food for meals on-hand and can take leftovers for lunch or brown bag it, saving a lot of money.
Cancel Your Subscriptions and Memberships
There are so many things you can subscribe to these days. Between Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify, and others, it’s easy to spend more than you think about subscription services. Then, once you add in memberships like gym memberships, (that you rarely use), and any other monthly expenses, you’ve got a good chunk of change coming straight out of your paycheck.
If you don’t have cable included in the rent or don’t pay for a dish, then you may want to keep one of your movie streaming services, but cutting back your subscriptions and memberships, or canceling them altogether, will save you a lot more money than you might expect. And, even without a gym membership, you can still get a solid workout in at home.
Pay with Cash
It’s an age-old trick, but it works like a charm. Keeping cash in envelopes and paying for everything only with cash is a great way to control your spending and see how much you’re putting towards gas, groceries, and entertainment each month. When you’re able to see your funds depleting, you’ll be more conscientious and purposeful about how you spend your money.
If you can’t pay for most of your expenses with cash, paying with your debit card instead of a credit card will help you keep a better eye on your spending too. If you’re looking to save money and keep your spending under control, it’s a good idea to stop using your credit cards altogether.
What do you think will be your biggest money saver?