If you have a lower income, it can seem difficult to put aside money. However, by reducing certain expenses and changing your purchasing habits, you can save money over time.
Cook at home
Eating out can cost you a decent amount of money. As such, cooking more meals at home is a simple way to save. According to Miriam Caldwell, a writer for The Balance, going from eating out every single day to eating at home can save you over $40 to $50 per week.
To maximize your savings, Liz Frazier, a contributor to Forbes Media, recommends having a plan for your meals each week. If you know exactly what you need to purchase before going into a grocery store, you can avoid making impulse purchases and can find coupons ahead of time.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying streaming services or cable television. However, if you find that you are not taking advantage of a service enough and are not getting your money’s worth, NerdWallet recommends canceling that subscription.
In fact, reducing your spending on unnecessary subscriptions, gym memberships and other forms of entertainment can lower your monthly expenses. Caldwell suggests shaving off $5 to $10 in every category you can and then adding that money to your savings.
Pay in cash
It can be difficult to grasp just how much you’re spending when you’re paying with a credit card or debit card. That’s why Caldwell says you should pay in cash whenever possible. In addition, giving yourself a specific amount of cash to spend for the week can help prevent you from overspending. At the end of each day, NerdWallet advises putting whatever spare change you have into a piggy bank or savings account, not a checking account.
Pay off your debt
If you have unpaid credit card debt, Caldwell recommends paying it off as soon as you can. Credit card debt can have interest rates that cost you a lot of money every month, so paying it off can be a huge relief. Once you pay off the debt, try to always pay off your credit card moving forward. If you can’t afford to pay off each credit card, Frazier says to pay off your credit cards with the highest interest rates.
Cut down on your energy usage
According to NerdWallet, making changes to your energy usage can lower your electric bill by up to $550 annually. To conserve energy, Kelsey Sheehy, a writer for NerdWallet, proposes that you change your thermostat when you’re out of the house. Your home usually doesn’t need as much air conditioning or heat when no one is inside.
Ensuring that windows and doors are sealed and not letting the outside air inside can also prevent you from paying an unnecessarily high electric bill. Adding dimmer switches to rooms is another useful way to save money, according to Sheehy.
With diligence and time, it’s possible for you to save money by following these tips. For advice geared specifically towards you, speak with a financial advisor.