It seems like money is tight for everyone these days. Paying your bills is tough enough, but how in the world can you save money as well? You know it is important, but it can seem impossible. So, if you’ve been wondering how can I fit saving money into my budget, these tips will show you the way.
How Can I Fit Saving Money into My Budget
When you’re just starting out, don’t jump into the deep end of the pool. Instead, make small changes that will add up over time.
In the end, you’ll find it easier to stick to your savings plans and you’ll end up with more money in the bank.
Celebrate the small wins along the way.
With that in mind, consider starting your savings journey with one or more of these tips.
1. Stop eating out so much.
It can be hard when you’re hungry, but if you plan ahead and eat at home, you can save the money for something else later on.
This has always been one of my downfalls. I hate to cook and eating out is an enjoyable activity.
I had to cut back here to save money.
And, as much as I don’t like it, I do cook a lot more at home.
Even if you can keep eating out to once or twice a week (including work lunches) you will start to see a way to save some money.
This also includes ordering delivery.
2. Look at your cell phone bill and see which services you aren’t using.
You can probably cancel them and save yourself quite a bit of money.
This is also a good time to make sure you are getting the best cell phone plan for your needs.
Check how much data you actually use.
Don’t pay for more than you truly need.
3. Think about getting a roommate.
A roommate can save you a lot of money on your rent and utilities.
If you don’t like the idea of living with someone else see if your landlord will cut you a break on rent if you agree to take care of maintenance issues on the property.
Some landlords will do this to keep a good tenant, so don’t be afraid to negotiate with yours.
This doesn’t have to be forever.
Just until you get back on your feet financially or have a decent amount of money in your savings account, then you can go back to living alone, if that is what works best for you personally.
I actually managed the very small apartment house I lived in for a short period of time.
Yes, it was kind of a pain, but I got my rent cut in half which was quite helpful.
4. Get rid of your gym membership.
You can still work out with DVDs and free weights from a sporting goods store.
Or, find a group of friends who want to walk or jog together.
You will get to socialize, and you won’t have to pay for membership anymore.
You can even make it social by bringing along some drinks to share while you are walking.
5. Sell some stuff that isn’t being used anymore.
It might be stuff you don’t use cluttering up your house that is just taking up space, or it could be clothing or collectibles that you never use anymore but can’t get rid of for some reason.
Whatever you own that you haven’t used in the last six months to a year, go ahead and sell it.
Then you can put that lump sum into your savings account.
6. Pay yourself first by saving first and then spending money.
Many people spend money first and then try to save what is left over.
You should consider flipping this.
Decide ahead of time how much you want to save each month and do so as soon as you get paid.
Then you can figure out how to pay your bills and how much money you have left for extras after you have paid yourself first.
It will force you to cut out unnecessary spending.
7. Cancel subscriptions to magazines and newspapers you don’t read anymore.
You can always go online and read the articles for free.
Just get the headlines by checking out the article summaries by a news aggregator like Yahoo! News or Google News.
You can get all the news and information you want for free online, so there is no need to pay for it.
8. Find other ways to stay entertained.
Instead of spending money on movies and concerts, or using entertainment as a way to escape depression or boredom find other ways to stay entertained.
You can make your own fun at home with some relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, or reading.
This is also a good way to spend time with friends who have similar interests without spending extra money on entertainment.
9. The same goes for spending money on hobbies that aren’t your favorite anymore.
If you love gardening, go ahead and continue to spend as much time as you want in the garden.
But if you’re not enjoying knitting or stamp collecting anymore, cut those out of your life.
Spend your time and your money where it matters most to you.
10. Consider getting rid of cable TV.
Streaming TV shows and movies and even sporting events are the way to go nowadays.
It is cheaper and you can pick and choose what you want to watch.
That means you don’t have to pay for shows you don’t care about.
11. Change the way you think about saving money.
If you see saving as a chore, it will be harder to do.
But if you can look at it as something that is going to help your future, then it will help you get into the habit of saving.
Too many people think saving money and living on a budget is a drag, but it doesn’t have to be.
Change your perspective on saving money and it will change your life.
12. Stay in Shape
Take care of yourself and stay in shape and healthy so that you have less time off from work and don’t have medical bills dragging down your budget.
Being healthy means you don’t miss workdays, and it means you spend less time at the doctor’s.
Both will help your financial situation.
13. Concentrate on paying off your debt.
Once you pay off your debt, you will only have to worry about saving money and not about how much interest or how many payments you have to make every month for your debts.
When your debt is paid off, you can throw all that money that you use for payments into an emergency fund and investments.
14. Walk instead of driving.
Running errands can easily be done by foot if you live in a town where it is safe to do so.
Or you could ride the bus to work if you live near your office.
This will help reduce gas costs, parking fees, and maintenance on your vehicle.
For example, I live about 4 blocks from the post office, so when I go I always walk.
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15. Use a budgeting app.
Apps like Mint are great tools to help you see where your money is going, and they can also alert you when you’re over budget.
16. Get a part-time job if you can.
Getting a second job or a side gig is a great way to increase your income so you can save more money and save it faster.
17. Consider changing jobs.
If you are underpaid you might want to consider finding a new job.
Working for a company that doesn’t value your skills and talents is very demotivating, and it won’t help you to save money either.
I know finding a new job is difficult, but the best time to look is when you are already employed, so look around and see what is out there for you.
18. Move to a more affordable place to live.
Whether that’s somewhere closer to work or even just somewhere with cheaper rent.
This will reduce your transportation costs and also lower your living expenses because you won’t be wasting money on things like rent for unnecessary space or utilities just because you have the extra room.
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To Sum it All Up:
There are many ways to fit saving into your budget. These 18 should get you started and then you can take it from there. Start with something easy like eating out less and then move up to the larger items, and before you know it, your savings account will be quite healthy.