By Allen Brown
It doesn’t matter if it’s 1921, or 2021, everyone’s always trying to save money. The point of making your salary and having a good job is so that one day, all your hard work will be worth it, and you can finally retire in peace. This is the goal of many, and it starts one day at a time working towards being more frugal and intelligent with your money.
Saving money isn’t hard, but people like to complain and say it is. While expenses can climb, inflation strips the dollar value, and other factors may contribute to you not saving enough, you’re likely also not putting in enough effort. Here are 7 ways to truly do a good job of saving money this year.
1. Use Coupons When Shopping
Buying things full price is sometimes not preferable. In the bluntest way possible, you should be doing all you can to not look like a schmuck who pays full retail for something, even if it’s only a $3 carton of milk at the grocery store. How can you do this? Start using coupons. The folks from Alrigh.com believed that online couponing is a thing that has grown in popularity lately, but physical couponing is still common too. It’s always good finding ways to cut a little bit off the total price.
2. Wait for Sales
Another good thing to avoid paying full retail for stuff is to look for sales. Being patient usually pays off when considering making a purchase, so if you really want that dress, you’ll probably get it for 30, 40, maybe even 50% if you just wait. You don’t want buyer’s remorse when you could have just sat on your wallet for a bit to take advantage of the sale price.
3. Freeze Your Credit Card
Credit card debt is very real for most Americans. So much so that people end up taking their entire lives to pay it off. It’s easy enough to tell you not to use your credit card, but credit debt can be crippling when you rely on it to make purchases. The solution? Freeze the card. Not by canceling it, but literally putting it in water and freezing it in your freezer. It’ll make you question if it’s really worth the purchase when you’re waiting for it to thaw.
4. Cancel Unused Subscriptions
Your name is likely on tens of subscriptions already, but how many of them you actually use could be a good question that you don’t even know. Go check your credit or bank statement to see what you’re paying monthly for and cut off that subscription. If you actually used it, you wouldn’t be looking up what it is, so it’s safe to say it can probably go by the wayside.
5. Invest a Percentage of Your Monthly Income
Savings are good, yes, but as mentioned, inflation is robbing you of your purchasing power. There’s not much you can do to stop inflation, but you can start turning savings into investments. Putting your money into shares, mutual funds, ETFs, or a high-interest retirement plan will allow you to compound the money you put in, which effectively makes it work for you at making money. Putting your money in your savings will sit there, depreciating instead, so it’s your choice.
6. Buy Cheaper Alternatives
Throw away the notions of looking frugal or cheap and stop caring about what others think. Whether it’s only shopping when sales are on or buying cheaper alternatives, you can start pinching pennies by not engaging in mindless consumerism just to look the part. The people who spend an entire paycheck on frivolous purchases shouldn’t judge when they’re the ones throwing away hard-earned money, so you get the last laugh.
You may think that there are situations in which it’s impossible to save funds, such as weddings or engagements, for instance. However, there is a way. If you have gold jewelry you’re willing to part with, top jewelry dealers will do their best to give you the best price possible. If you’re in Arizona at the time, count yourself lucky since you can check out Scottsdale’s top paying jewelry buyer that will not only give you a bang for your buck but also showcase their impressive engagement rings and wedding bands you can then invest in.
7. Do More Things at Home
And finally, you want to stick to home more. This is an easy one considering most of us will be at home for the foreseeable future, but try to cook more homemade meals instead of ordering out. It’s also a good idea to get into hobbies that help build skills and take up your time productively like gardening, learning an instrument, learning carpentry, instead of ones that cost money.
You don’t need to be a hedge fund manager to be smarter with your money. Learning to save, invest, and make smarter spending decisions is going to help you become a much more capable person with your finances, the one that your kids or your future self will gladly thank.