Are you serious about saving money? Read this!

 Nia J'erice
  Mar 13, 2018

It is important for people to be smart with their money and budget wisely to ensure financial stability for the future. While some people find it hard to save money, especially if they are living from paycheck to paycheck, there are ways to make cutbacks, begin budgeting, and ultimately save money so that it is there when you need it in the future. While it will take time and effort, you can start getting smart with your money right away.

Do the Math and Set a Budget

The first way to start saving and being smart with your money is to know exactly how much you earn in a month. Once you have your income accounted for, you have to do the math. You need to figure how much you spend each month on fixed expenses like rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, and groceries. After you deduct these expenses, along with the expenses for basic necessities, you will know how much you have leftover. Instead of using that money for extravagant shopping trips to the mall, pedicures, or other non-necessary items, you can begin saving it and secure your finances for the future.

Cut Coupons and Save on Groceries

Why are you spending full price for groceries when there are so many different coupons available for all sorts of products? Start cutting coupons and use them each time you do your grocery shopping. You can find coupons in the weekly specials, newspapers, and online. There are sites that are devoted to providing you with all your coupon wants and needs. If you use coupons and the store savings card each time you go shopping, you can save hundreds of pounds a month, which then leads to more money that you can save and set aside.

Cut Corners Everywhere

Start cutting corners and live a bit more frugally. It will help you out in the long run. So how exactly do you do this? Well, you can start by avoiding ordering out or going out for fast food. Instead, you can prepare your meals at home with the groceries you have bought from the store. You can start creating your own laundry detergent and dish soap using household products that you have. These are simple ways to start living a bit more frugally and saving in the long run.

Set Up a Savings Account

Always have a savings account opened up in your name. The account will allow you to have a safe place to store all of your extra money. Some savings accounts even grow interest on a monthly or yearly basis, so you are basically earning even more money by having your money put into this type of account. You can contact independent financial advisor for advice on different strategies that will also help you with the process of saving money. Things likes bonds and CDs are also great ways to invest a bit of money.

You can be smart with your money but it does take determination. There may be certain moments where you slip up or spend a little extra on something that is not a necessity but regardless, as long as you think wisely, set a budget, use coupons, and work on saving some of your money for your account and bonds, you are being smart with your money and building financial security for your future. Simply keep that in mind and it will be much easier.

Make some money from your clutter

Here are two easy ways to make money from your clutter!

1) Have a garage sale

When choosing a date, it may be useful to host the sale on a Saturday or Sunday so that neighbors and passers-by can drop by spontaneously. To attract an even bigger crowd, advertise and publicize! You’ll have to do some planning, but putting up fliers around the neighborhood, as well as some Facebook or Craigslist posts will draw locals.

At the sale, don’t forget to make sure your goods are organized into categories or sections—a big pile of stuff can be overwhelming, but some quick organization will immediately make your garage sale more attractive to a passerby. It’s all cash in hand, so be prepared for haggling!

Remember that garage sales can be stressful and require a lot of effort, organization, and planning. Worst of all, if you’re unlucky and it rains, you probably won’t sell very much. But move beyond the block and there are plenty of opportunities to make sure your stuff gets sold. Despite the amount of work that may go into the planning, making money from a garage or yard sale is one of the easiest ways to come up with extra cash in a short amount of time!

2) Sell it online

In this digital age, an increasing amount of people do their shopping—and selling—online. But the digital market has moved beyond ebay. There are now hundreds of websites that you can sell unwated possessions on. All with people wanting to buy! A quick search of the item you are wanting to sell should bring up a host of sites to sell your unwanted stuff.

If you have more expensive items, like an old MacBook, selling it online is one way to guarantee getting a better price for it. You can compare offers and prices on various websites to make sure you get the best one.

As for the rest of the garage, don’t forget the car itself. In 2012, used cars sold for 11.5% less than new cars. Not to mention if you hold onto your car for forty-five years, it counts as an antique. A 1978 Chevrolet Corvette, for example, can sell for as much as $27,000. Not bad for a car bought for approximately $400.

Learn to Spend Less

As a busy parent with limited funds, you know that making the most of every dollar is important to all the people you love. Stay away from online loans, store cards and anything designed to take money from you. Think economise rather than monetise! With a little creativity, there are lots of simple and effective ways to spend less and save money.

DIY

Don’t be afraid to do it yourself. With information so easily available online, you can learn to fix most things yourself. You can even do some renovation projects on your own with the help of the step-by-step instructions you can find on websites. In order to spend less, you have to get creative: think about the products you use and discard every day… egg cartons, yarn, scrap fabric and wood. These items can help you spend less on your project shopping list!

Consider getting a more reliable car

The investment you make in a dependable, affordable vehicle will yield big returns simply because you won’t lose time in your busy life or hard-earned dollars continuing to pay for repairs on your current clunker. If your credit score is low, sometimes a a buy here pay here lot is your best option for financing. Many of the cars available offer warranties, pre-purchase inspections and even hassle-free return policies. And paying off your loan on-time can even improve your credit score, so you can spend less, saving you money down the road.

Go Generic

Another long-term money-saving strategy is to buy the generic version of toilet paper, condiments, house paint, vitamins and supplements, electronics and mattresses. Shop the weekly Ads – there are many options if you’re looking to spend less, from coupons to one-day-deals, and more. Another way our family saves BIG is to spend less by making bulk purchases. The warehouse stores (Sam’s Club, Costco) have some great deals if you can pay for larger quantities all at once.

Energy Efficiency

Want simple ways to save energy? When using your oven, turn it off a few minutes early. The heat will continue to cook your food for several minutes without the continued power use. A warm dryer uses less energy. It’s more efficient to wash and dry loads back-to-back so your dryer doesn’t completely cool down when it needs to heat up for the next load. Closing off an unused room in your home can actually cost you more in comfort and energy savings. It’s best to keep air vents and doors open so that air can circulate freely and properly. By raising your thermostat, you can spend less and save up to 10 percent of your cooling costs for each degree above 78.

Entertain for Less

Inexpensive ideas for entertainment include visiting landmarks in your city as if you’re a tourist; playing at a park; “nesting” in your home or yard with fun activities like planting an herb garden or making sock puppets with your kids; and volunteering (with your kids, if possible) at local soup kitchens or food pantries. Stay-cations are a great way to spend less while having fun with your friends and family!

The Art of the Deal

Know the art of negotiation. Many sellers on Craigslist, for example, price an item 15 to 20 percent higher than they are willing to accept. Make your first offer on a used item 20 percent less than the asking price. That way, there’s room to negotiate and you still probably won’t end up paying the asking price. Negotiating is definitely a great way to spend less on the items you need – and it doesn’t hurt to ask the buyer if they will accept less. Remember: all they can do is say no!

Are you serious about saving money? Read this!

Nia J'erice

Nia is a full-time contributor for various financial websites, she loves finding ingenuous hacks for consumers to save money and cash in what can feel like a conveyor belt of consumerism. Her passion is saving over spending and believes all of us can be insurmountably happier if we simply cut-back our spending and stopped worrying so much about money.

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