It doesn’t matter where you are in life, you should be thinking about the future. Both your future and the future of the people that you love. Even if you feel like your financial decisions haven’t been the greatest, it isn’t too late to turn it around.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Even small steps, in the right direction, can change your financial future.” quote=”Even small steps, in the right direction, can change your financial future.” theme=”style3″]
It can, however, be overwhelming.
Where do you start?
What will make the most significant impact?
What difference will a dollar make?
You can employ one, or all of the following suggestions into your life.
Saving only works if you do what works with your lifestyle.
Apparently, we all have at least $4,000 worth of things in our house that we don’t use. It might sound a little bit far fetched, but think about all of the things you’re surrounded by that you just don’t use. Plenty of us buy a significant amount of kitchen appliances that we use once and never use again. Start walking around and making a note of things you haven’t used in a while – then pop them on some selling sites.
eBay is a great way to sell, as is Facebook Market and Craigslist. Be sure to check out the fees involved with eBay, sometimes you can get a bit of a surprise. Maybe try a flea market, antique shop or have a yard sale. You can even repaint some old furniture and call it shabby chic increasing its value substantially.
No Buy Months
A current way people are learning to love what they have, and not contribute to either the fast fashion industry or be hyper consumers is implementing no-buy months. Aside from food, the idea is if it breaks you fix it if you can sew it up then do so and if you find you aren’t using or wearing it – sell it.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”You can challenge yourself to weeks, months or even a year of not buying a certain thing.” quote=”You can challenge yourself to weeks, months or even a year of not buying a certain thing.” theme=”style3″]
If you happen to have birthday gifts to buy, you can make something. Yes, sometimes the thought behind homemade gifts is nicer than the reality. But, something that has been carefully made, with care and attention is often lovelier than another store-bought item.
Delay 2 weeks or 30 days
We are so quick to make impulse purchases, with same day or next day delivery, that sometimes there is no space to think. If you see something you want, and it’s not limited edition, or live show tickets etc. Most of the time, if you give yourself time to think about something, you won’t really want it as much as you thought you did.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Anything that isn’t a planned purchase should go on a waiting list.” quote=”Anything that isn’t a planned purchase should go on a waiting list.” theme=”style3″]
Cashback, Points, and Other Incentives
Whenever you do make online purchases, make sure you are signed up to a cashback website. There are also cashback credit and debit cards. Paypal provides cashback on purchases with their debit cards. There are also sites that provide loyalty points that you can use to lower your price or purchase items for free. Don’t forget Rakuten which gives you cash back for your online purchases.
Many credit cards offer points or airline miles. Shop around and find the one that is right for you and what you need. Don’t apply for a credit card just for the perks they may not be as good as they seem. Make sure you check the interest rate and charges too. Make sure when you use your points, you use them in a way that gets you the most rewards.
Don’t forget other ways to save using store apps to utilize coupons, discounts, and follow sales. If you’re looking to save on groceries check out the Kroger shopping app or if you are looking to save on home repairs look for Lowe’s coupon. Almost every store has an app nowadays and there are many places online to find discounts and coupons for anything you may need. You really don’t have to pay full price anymore.
Every Sunday (or whatever day works) sit down and write a list of the meals that you will make the following week. This will help you cut down on your food waste, thereby cutting down on the money you spend and subsequently waste.
Check Out Investments and Auto-Saving
There are so many ways that you can save money without any effort at all. You can use automated savings like Plum and Cleo to work out what you can afford to put away, but analyzing what you spend and the money you have going out of your account in the coming days.
For investments, you are looking a little bit longer term really, but it’s not all stocks and bonds. You can invest in your own pension, or smaller amounts in places like Seedr. Check out a free guide about self-directed IRA for more information to get great advice and information on an IRA.
Turn it Off
Leaving your lights on around the house, or your computer on standby – you are merely wasting cash. You might even like to find some entertainment in your book collection, or get a new hobby like painting or cross stitch – and switch off the TV. The lower your electric bill is, the better. Search the internet for ways to save money on your electricity and other utilities. You can also go off-grid and use solar.
Yes, sometimes after a long day at work you don’t want to cook. So you order a take out. But that takes out might costs about 25% of your weekly shop. Just for one meal. If you know you have a busy day, then it might be time to break out the slow cooker and spend some time looking for recipes (and then use them in your meal planning). Meal planning will help you save a great deal of money and time to buy planning easy meals on the nights you are busy. No more last-minute drive-thru fast food when you have a plan.
When it comes to saving money, even skimming the cents or pence off a rounded number and putting it aside will make a difference. If you like a challenge you might want to check out the penny for each day of the year jar – it might be around $650 at the end of the year.
For those of you who get paid biweekly
here’s a great savings plan from Saving Our Money .