There are very few things in life that cause us more stress than money, or, more specifically, lack of it. There’s nothing fun about living paycheck to paycheck, constantly worrying that something is going to happen and wreak havoc on your finances, but this is the way so many of us are living. If you are one of these people, then it’s vital that you take control and do what you can to save some money here and there. Let’s face it: The road to financial stability isn’t going to be an easy one, but I guarantee that it won’t be as difficult as you think. Here are some ideas to help you out.
- Split Your Money With Envelopes
If you want to start saving money, then a budget is essential, but, unfortunately, it can be pretty difficult to stick to a budget when all of your money is together in one bank account. Because of this, you may want to consider splitting your money into categories, like “rent” and “groceries”, and physically place this money into separate envelopes. This will help you to avoid overspending, as you can obviously see what you’re spending your money on.
- Reconsider How You Shower
While showers are more cost-effective than your average bath, most people could still do with making them a little bit cheaper. Thankfully, there are a couple of ways that you can do this. The first is turning down the heat a few degrees, or, if you can stand it, take cold showers every now and then, to reduce the amount of energy you use. Alternatively, you could take shorter showers, and make sure you spend your time in there cleaning, instead of singing.
- Turn Down The Heat
If you start to feel cold at home, your first instinct is usually to turn up the heat, but this is very rarely necessary. Instead, put on a jumper, grab a blanket, or make yourself a hot drink, and see if this helps to warm you up. The more energy you use, the more you have to pay for, so it makes sense to try to get warm without it first. Turning your thermostat down just a few degrees can save you a lot of money over the course of a year.
- Reduce Your Phantom Power Use
Phantom power may sound like an evil comic book villain, but it’s actually the arch-nemesis of savings. You probably know by now that standby mode is a big no-no if you want to use less energy, but what you might not know is that devices continue to use power even when they’re turned off. To stop this, it’s important that you unplug all of your electronics when you’re not using them. This includes anything from your chargers and printers to your toasters and kettles.
- Host Regular Potluck Meals
At a potluck dinner, each attendee brings a dish they’ve cooked themselves, for everyone else to eat. This means that the more people you invite, the more food there will be to share. This is a great way to spend time with friends and family, but it will also save you time cooking the food, and, of course, lots of money on ingredients and energy. All you need to do is delegate dishes to all of your guests.
- Kick Your Expensive Habits
Smoking, drinking, and gambling may seem like a good idea at the time, but they’re bad for your physical health, mental well-being, and are extremely expensive habits. This makes them the perfect candidate for the chop when it comes to cutting down on non-essentials. Unfortunately, quitting won’t be easy, so you may want to seek some professional help, but when you do manage to kick the habit, it will all feel worth it.
- Consider Applying For A Loan
If you’ve got a few debts that you need to pay off, such as personal loans and credit cards, then you should think about doing so with another loan. As long as you apply through a company with affordable repayments, like Buddy Loans, then your overall interest should be much lower than how much you would have had to pay for all of the separate debts. This means that, if you do it right, you could save yourself a fair bit of money.
- Cancel Your Cable Subscription
These days, cable television is rarely necessary. After all, there are so many streaming services out there, many of which tend to be cheaper than your average cable package. Many of these also don’t have ads, like regular television does, which means that you’ll be less likely to buy an expensive vacuum cleaner or slow-cooker on a whim, as you won’t have been told five times over that it will make your life a whole lot easier.
- Share Your Streaming Services
Streaming services, like Netflix and Hulu, generally cost a whole lot less than cable TV, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make them cheaper if you can. You can easily split the monthly cost with a friend or family member, and allow them to use your account too. In fact, you can do the same thing with any number of subscriptions, including magazine subscriptions, meal subscriptions, and even monthly clothing boxes (as long as you’re the same size, of course).
- Apply For A Library Card
A library card is a must for any avid reader. Sure, you may enjoy owning books, but they use up a lot of space and can get pretty expensive. This is why borrowing makes so much more sense. You should also remember that the library also grants you access to hundreds of films, newspapers and magazines, as well as computers, so you can go there to work, rather than use up energy at home.
- Tidy Up Your Closet
Do you ever take a look at your closet and think “wow, I literally have nothing to wear”? If your answer is yes, then don’t worry, because it happens to all of us. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re right. If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned out your closet, then give it a go, and get organising. Chances are you’ll find at least a few clothing items you completely forgot you owned. You can also use this opportunity to sell the ones you don’t want.
- Dry Your Clothes Outside
Now that the weather’s starting to warm up, there’s absolutely no excuse for using your tumble dryer. Sure, it may dry your clothes a little bit faster, but it uses so much electricity, and this is something you may not be able to afford. The direct application of heat can also damage your clothes, so they don’t last as long, and you need to buy new ones to replace them. Because of this, it makes much more sense to hang your clothes on a line and let them dry outside.
- Delete Your Payment Details
If you’ve got any accounts to online stores, then you’ve probably got your payment details saved on them for convenience, but, if you want to save your money, then now is the time to delete these details. Of course, this will make checking out a little bit longer, but this gives you the time to really consider whether or not you want or need what you’re buying. This saves you from buying anything impulsively and then having to stress about returning it later on.
- Buy Essentials In Bulk
If there is anything that you use on a regular basis, like toilet paper, washing up soap, or deodorant, then you should see if you can find anywhere to buy these items in bulk. More often than not, this will save you money on the unit price. Just make sure that you’re buying something you genuinely need and will use, or you’re really just spending money for the sake of it, which is the exact opposite of what you should be doing.
- Actively Search For Good Deals
There are few feelings greater in this world than how you feel when you discover a great bargain. However, if you want to save some real money, then you can’t just wait for these deals to come to you; You need to go and look for them. This means looking online at coupon websites, comparing your shopping on price comparison sites, and hunting for great coupons in magazines and newspapers. You should also sign up for reward cards to stores you often visit.
Saving money is rarely an easy task, but it’s one that you can’t afford to give up on. Living paycheck to paycheck, without any sort of emergency savings, is dangerous, as something could go wrong at any time, leaving you short for the rest of the month. That being said, cutting costs here and there also doesn’t have to be as difficult as most people think it will be. Hopefully, with the ideas mentioned above, you’ll find this task a little easier to handle.