One dollar here…another one there! In April 2018, viral video of a mother teaching her child financial responsibility went online. Lynn Brooks posted it on Facebook, which included a “work schedule” that included chores and school for her daughter, Londyn. Many people approved of Brooks’ actions, while others chastised her. When do we start learning to save? Saving money is never an easy goal to achieve, especially with limited finances. Some people learn to save after receiving their first pay check when they are 16, while others never learn. Once you earn a pay check, you realize that there are too many bills and too little income to pay them. Despite the odds, saving is possible—you just need to be creative. There are numerous ways to save money, but many people are not aware of them. One method will not help you save thousands of dollars but combining several of them will go a long way toward that goal. Here are some smart and creative ideas to consider when you are trying to save more.
Create a Financial Plan
Saving money is a journey that requires determining an absolute path, complete with plans and objectives. If you save a lot of money but use it unwisely, a plan can help you set priorities by detailing all your expenditures. A proper budget will guide your spending and teach you financial discipline. A smart and creative financial plan helps you to account for your saved money. Keep your guilty pleasures at bay! Review your plan annually and set a goal of increasing the amount that you are saving.
Enhance Negotiation Skills
Get better deals at low prices by bargaining. While not all businesses will allow negotiations, take advantage of those that offer this option. For instance, bargain for lesser charges on bills or subscriptions. Big-ticket items such as cars and houses are always subject to negotiation. You can also inquire about discounts when buying commodities. Some stores even allow price adjustments on commodities. For example, if you purchased an item and one week later it is available on clearance, you can return to the store with your receipt and request a refund for the extra charge you paid.
When you are buying an item, do not settle for the first offer you receive. Do your research and look for other offers. Draw from your network of friends and workmates—they may know where to obtain discounts and which establishments to avoid. Mostly, interact with people you share common interests with and exchange helpful ideas. Numerous websites review products and prices. These reviews are a suitable guide for decision-making. Compare and contrast all your options and choose the best deal. One store may sell the item at a given price, while another is ready to offer you the same item at a lower cost. For instance, an item at Costco may be cheaper than the same item on eBay.
Economies of large scale have always been cost-effective. Buying in bulk instead of buying smaller units of items will help you to save some money. Sellers encourage bulk buying by giving discounts to increase their sales. It is a win-win situation for both buyer and seller. Buyers receive discounted prices while sellers increase their profit margin.
Add an Extra Income
Limited finances can be improved by adding another source of income, which leads to increased savings. Consider expanding your business by adding a profitable unit. Employees could also consider running small businesses or making deals during their free time. The internet has numerous opportunities for earning extra income, even for full-time employees. Most of these jobs have a part-time option for people who are not available full-time.
Share Working Spaces and Services
Are your office premises too big? Look for another business person who would like to share the space. Sharing the premises means you do not have to pay the rent alone. It also includes other services shared in this office. For example, you and the other individual can share the expenses for internet service. Alternatively, look for a business or company willing to sublet office space, which can save money on rent. Another arrangement that some families take part in to save money is sharing Netflix subscriptions.
Capitalize on Annual Payments
Mortgages, auto, education, and life insurances require periodic payments. Ensure that they are in your financial plan. Some people prefer monthly payments, while others pay annually or biannually. Most companies offer discounts to customers who pay annually, another opportunity to save money. Ensure that you save your “found” money.
Carry Packed Food
Preparing your food at home is cheaper and healthier than buying fast food. Choose to carry packed meals from home rather than eating out. The daily savings may not seem substantial, but the accumulated amount is considerable. Home meals are also healthier, and you have a wide variety to choose from. People think preparing meals at home takes time and decide to, but if you organize and plan ahead, you will only need a few minutes to pack something light for lunch.
Most people use too much toothpaste, shampoo, and lotion. Reducing portions by half also means you have reduced their costs by half. For instance, toothpaste that lasted two weeks will now sustain you an entire month. Encourage your family members to serve only as much food as they can finish. The entire family can practice using resources wisely.
Watch Your Credit Card
Many people like using their credit cards because they can track purchases accurately and avoid carrying cash. The downside to using your credit card for purchase is the danger of overspending and increase exposure to fraud, not to mention debt accumulation. You must monitor the way you use your credit card. Ensure that you keep track of your spending according to the financial plan. Watch out for any unusual messages that indicate hacking. Use free credit card monitoring services instead of paying charges for them.
Saving money is an art that requires creativity and seizing every opportunity available. To save a penny, patience and discipline are needed. Follow the 10 tips outlined here as appropriate and develop plan on how to invest it for your future. Lack of financial planning may lead you to use your money unwisely. Avoid deviating from your plan and enjoy the journey. Develop a habit of saving, and you will be amazed by the rewards that follow.