Painless Ways to Save Money Without Sacrificing Your Lifestyle
Making a budget and cutting costs doesn’t have to be a painful endeavor. Whether you need to pay off debt or you are trying to reach your savings goals, you can reduce your expenses without giving up all the things that you enjoy—and you can even earn cash back on some of your purchases. Let’s take a look at some simple ways to save money.
Whether you are shopping for groceries or buying Christmas gifts, you can find plenty of ways to save on your purchases. Sign up for rewards programs at your favorite retailers, and also search on the internet for discount codes and other promotions before buying anything online. You will find that some stores even give cash back on certain items; look here to learn more about this offer.
When using a credit card, make sure you can pay off the balance when you receive the bill – before interest starts accumulating. If you can’t, it’s best to rethink your purchases. Also, look for credit cards that reward you with points, miles, or cash back.
Set up a carpool
If you want to save money on gas, start carpooling. Team up with a few coworkers and take turns driving to the office, or talk to other parents about carpooling to get your kids to school, sports practice, and other events. Cutting down on driving can allow you to save gas money, wear and tear on your car, and some stress.
Make your own coffee
It might seem like it’s only a few dollars when you find yourself stopping at Starbucks every day for your favorite latte. But over the year, you are really spending too much money on something you could easily make at home for pennies on the dollar. Don’t worry – you can still top it off with syrups and whipped cream in your own kitchen.
Take a staycation
More than 40% of Americans don’t use all their available vacation time. However, you don’t need to forgo your vacation altogether just because you are trying to save a few bucks. Rather than paying for expensive flights or road tripping across the country, you can take an affordable (and fun) staycation in your hometown or relatively close by. A staycation will allow you to escape from the daily grind, explore new places near your home, and get rejuvenated again.
Make a budget
Track all your expenditures to evaluate where you might be overspending and can easily cut back. You can use a paper ledger, a spreadsheet, or a budget software like Mint or YNAB. If you don’t use something regularly, such as a cable TV package or gym membership, then cancel it. Netflix or another streaming service might be all you need, and you can always work out at home. Make a budget and stick to it. Chime recommends spending 50% of your net pay on needs, 30% on wants, and the final 20% on savings or paying off debt. If you have accumulated a considerable amount of debt, you’ll want to up that percentage while reducing your wants.
If you aren’t getting rewards from your credit cards, then use cash for everything. By giving yourself an allowance each month, you’ll be less likely to overspend. Because once your cash is gone, it’s gone, and you shouldn’t spend any more money for the rest of the month unless it’s an emergency.
Cutting back your spending doesn’t mean you have to cut back on your fun. With smart shopping, careful budgeting, and a little flexibility, you can still do everything you enjoy and start to save some money, too. You’ll find that life overall becomes less stressful, more relaxing, and more fun when you have extra money in the bank – and you don’t have to sacrifice your lifestyle to make that a reality.
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