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Have a hard time saving money each month? Today we share 10 Practical Save Money Tips For People Who Have A Hard Time Saving that may make it easier to save money even if your bank account is currently in the red.
The first thing to understand is that the best way to save money is to pay yourself first automatically whenever possible. This means streamlining your life and cutting out things that you’re not using.
WARNING: This might be hard. If you’re not used to setting aside money right when you get paid, it will take some time and good self-talk to convince yourself to cut back in some areas in order to beef up your savings.
You might be familiar with Dave Ramsey. Baby step #1 according to his class book, Total Money Makeover. Baby step #1 is to immediately save $1,000 for your starter emergency fund. This is where everyone needs to begin.
10 Practical Save Money Tips for People Who Have a Hard Time Saving:
#1 – Open Up a Dedicated Savings Account to Save Money
Open a separate savings account with Capital One or your current financial institution. Set up an automatic transfer or direct deposit of 1% of your earnings each payday. You’ll also want this separate account to stash the money you’re saving as a result of streamlining your life.
Deposit the cost difference (translate: savings) from using these tips into your new account. Cha-Ching! Having your emergency fund account out of sight, out of mind will be helpful if you’re not used to having extra money. This is EMERGENCY money – not money to go to Disneyland, get your nails done, or splurge on a bigger TV.
Emergencies= medical bills, car repairs, home repairs, dental work that can’t be postponed, or other unexpected and unforeseen bills.
#2 – Look Around Your House and Find Things You Can Sell to Save Money
Most of us have a full garage, stuffed closets, and toys just sitting around that our kids no longer play with. You could include your family and round up enough items to hold a garage sale. I prefer to spend my time posting higher-valued items on sites such as eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace. When my son’s baseball fees came due, we sold several large Star Wars Lego sets for over $100 each (with his permission, he has MANY sets).
Do you have a bike rack you don’t use, bikes, scooters, coolers, workout equipment, baby equipment, designer clothes, or furniture in good condition that could be sold? Selling bigger ticket items is an extremely fast way to get to your $1,000 baby step savings account.
#3 – Cut Unnecessary Expenses to Save Money
It is wise financial practice to go through your household expenses at least twice a year and consider alternative services that might be less expensive.
Here are some ideas:
- Cable TV? Consider switching to one or two streaming services
- Energy Bill? If you’re in a deregulated state, you can shop around. If you’re not, go through and do an energy and water audit to see how you can conserve.
- Car and home insurance? Find a broker and have them shop around for the least expensive policy (I just did this and he saved me $200/month)
- Cell phone? Look at T-Mobile or Boost for lower rates than the bigger companies.
- Get the newspaper or magazines you don’t read? Call and cancel them today. Read your news online or ask a friend to save up her magazines for you when she’s done with them.
#4 – Cut Frivolous Expenses to Save Money
Starbucks, subscriptions to product boxes that show up every month, mini-mart stops for sodas, eating out at lunch or dinner daily, and picking up convenience food are all things that you can do without while you’re learning how to save.
“Waste is worse than loss. The time is coming when every person who lays claim to ability will keep the question of waste before him constantly. The scope of thrift is limitless.”Thomas A. Edison
Making small changes will add up to big savings. If you have a lot of extraneous expenses, I recommend you go slow. Month one: cut coffees and snacks purchased out. Month two: cancel one subscription service, and so on.
#5 – Start a Side Hustle to Save Money
Side hustles are a great way to work a few hours extra on evenings or weekends to bring in extra money. Door Dash, Uber Eats, and Instacart are great ways to earn $20-30 per hour (in California).
I’ve also been a pet sitter, babysitter, house sitter, Craigslister, and blogger. This site is full of ideas for how to save money and earn money to achieve your goals.
#6 – Pause Your Gym Membership to Save Money
Notice we didn’t say “cancel your gym membership”. Here’s why. Your health is one of the most important investments you can make. But, to get the benefit of the monthly fees you have to actually use your gym membership. If you haven’t been to the gym in two weeks, we suggest considering other options for staying active and saving money in the process.
First, see if your gym is willing to pause your membership for 30-60 days as opposed to losing you as a member. If they won’t then revise your membership level to the lowest allowed. This shouldn’t be a big deal if you haven’t been in a few weeks, right?
#7 – Say “No” to Save Money
It can be hard, but saying “no” to yourself on occasion, and definitely to your kids, can be a great way to pocket coin and beef up your savings account. Skip the movies and watch something on Netflix; skip eating out and have a backyard BBQ; walk or hike on a trail instead of going sightseeing where you’ll inevitably wander through tempting gift shops.
#8 – Go Through Your Pantry and Bathroom Cabinets to Save Money
While cleaning the bathroom my children use, I noticed the middle drawer wouldn’t close. I pulled it out and realized it was stuffed with about five years worth of free products from the dentist (I have four kids, lol). In the drawer, we had over 20 toothbrushes and 8 packs of floss. I didn’t even count the ortho supplies because there were too many!
Use the KonMari Method in your kitchen pantry, bathroom cabinets, and anywhere you store cleaning supplies, paper goods, and personal products. See what you have available and DON’T BUY more of the items you’re stocked up on.
#9 – Use Cloth Instead of Paper to Save Money
It’s good for the environment as well as your budget: using cloth instead of paper in most scenarios. Cloth napkins are lovely and can be used several times before having to wash them. Cloth tablecloths and placemats (or even plastic placemats you can wipe clean) are awesome. I leave the same napkin (refolded) on the placemat and our kids all keep the same spots at the table. The table stays looking nice plus I don’t run through hoards of paper napkins.
For cleaning, ditch expensive paper towels and do what the pros do: Use cloth. These terry cleaning towels are what my cleaning lady recommended (before I let her go to save money). She advised against microfiber towels because they were inferior to terrycloth.
#10 – Work Overtime or Take Extra Freelance Projects to Save Money
Sites like Fiverr make it easy to list your skills and freelance. Do you know how to use Canva to make social media graphics? List your skills. Can you write short, snappy advertising copy? List your skills. If you’re fast, you can easily pick up quick jobs to bring in extra bank and plump that emergency fund. I promise it will be worth it when you don’t have to charge the next surprise car repair.
My husband is a teacher and “overtime” for him is substituting during his prep period. He aims to do this two to three times a week and at the end of the month, he’s earned an additional $300.
What things can you do to stop the drain and begin to build up your savings account?