Simple Strategies for Saving Money

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No matter what your current financial situation looks like, there are some simple saving strategies that can help anyone get closer to where they want to be. At first, the task of saving a large chunk of money can seem daunting, but it is doable if you break it down into small steps and milestones. Saving is an important skill to learn; you never know when life will throw some unsuspected curve balls your way and it’s best to have a cushion and be prepared. Even if hard times don’t have a hefty bill attached, having money saved up is a smart way to plan for your future — purchasing a home is a valuable investment for families and retirement is another milestone to consider during financial planning.

Before you get too overwhelmed thinking about possible financial dilemmas, purchasing a home, and planning for retirement, take a step back and focus on the small stuff. Saving a few extra dollars here and there is a good place to start. There are a lot of simple changes that people can make to their lifestyles that will result in a bigger savings account.

We’ve all heard it before, and perhaps that’s because it’s true: cutting out expensive coffee drinks can lead to surprising savings in just one month. Studies have shown that the average American spends about $15 on coffee per week. If that cost was cut from your monthly expenses, you would save a quick $60. Over the course of a year, you would save $720. Track your spending for a few weeks and decide which thoughtless transactions and spending habits can be reduced.

Start selling things that you no longer need or use. Clutter tends to add up quickly, and oftentimes these items that we once invested money into become useless items around our house. Selling on Craigslist is simple and you never even have to leave your home. There are other apps like Close 5 and Offer Up that make it incredibly easy to resell the stuff you have accumulated over time. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as they say.

People also tend to get carried away spending big money on nightlife and meals at restaurants. Instead of spending your hard earned cash on dining out, invite friends over for a meal cooked at home. If everyone invited contributes a dish, this method is much cheaper and the food stretches out longer. You’re also creating an atmosphere of community and friendship inside your own home, which is always a plus.

Getting out from under credit card debt is also a big way to start saving. If you have the credit established and you are currently paying high interest on your cards, try applying for a balance transfer promotion. After the balances are paid, the money that you once put towards payments can all be put into savings since it has already been factored into your monthly budget. Once you pay off your debt, remember to practice self control and only use the credit in emergencies.

Try these methods out for a month and see how much you can save. Keep the habits up for a whole year and you will be sitting on a nice chunk of change. Whenever the struggle against debt feels like it’s too much, keep your chin up and remember that there are a lot of people out there fighting the same fight.

Lauren lives in OB with her French bulldog, Elvis Presley. She loves laughter and the great outdoors. You can contact her at [email protected].

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