We’re almost near Christmas season which you may see in two different perspectives: lots of holiday shopping and money down the drain! How much have you saved so far to get ready for this coming season of giving?
Spending money is as easy as whipping out your credit card and out in the counter swipe after swipe, or taking out your wallet for your impulsive buys. Saving money, on the other hand, is as difficult as earning it.
Quit spending your money on unnecessary stuff and start saving as early as now (or late as it seems) to prepare your wallet and bank for the Christmas season. Here are easy-peasy ways you can save a chunk of cash each month:
Minimise spending. The key to saving more and spending is less is to give every single penny a job—a purpose. You wouldn’t want to shell out a dollar for something unnecessary, do you? Always know where your money is going and where it should go. No, you don’t need to buy a new iPhone every time a new one comes out. Give every dollar a job.
Cut on your utilities and other bills. Short answer—conserve. Long answer—chances are, your monthly utilities and bills such as your rent, electricity, water, phone and internet bill, cable, and the likes, are what eats up the majority of your income. Do you really need a postpaid plan or is it more convenient and affordable if you’d opt for prepaid? Are you sure adding and paying for another network cable will be worth it given that you only watch TV for what, 3 hours tops? Think about these things and cut down on some as much as you can.
Take advantage of sales, discounts and coupons. Sales, discounts and coupons will help you stretch your budget and cut you some slack. Learn the basics of couponing and save up on groceries and other products and services. Always aim for the better deal.
Use your credit card rewards. This is another advantage you shouldn’t miss out on. Check if you’ve accumulated enough points or rewards on one of your cards. Never miss out on opportunities such as this no matter how small it helps you.
Brown bag your lunch. It sucks that there are no healthy, cheap food stores or chains close to your office so you’re stuck with fast food which is unhealthy if you indulge on it daily—and it eats up a lot of your budget. Just imagine how much of your money goes to food. The solution? Prepare your own healthy lunch and snacks, plus save up a chunk of your money!
Make your coffee at home. Add up the cost of your spontaneous runs to Starbucks for a cup of Macchiato each morning on your way to the office. Do realize how much it puts a dent on your wallet! Instead of buying a cup of coffee, prepare one at home, put it in a thermos and bring it to work. Or, you may want to finally make use of your coffee maker at work. Imagine how much you can save by just cutting back on your daily Starbucks fix!
Always keep and make a list. Lists make life easier and more organised. How many times have you run to the grocery just to buy some milk but end up grabbing along some junk foods and the likes on check out? If you’re guilty of this, you should keep a running list for everything.
Go easy on shopping. Ignore all the red alerts and sale posters as you walk by the malls. Actually, stay away from the malls! Stop buying unnecessary stuff and feeding your luxury, buy only the things you need when you need it. As mentioned previously, make a list and stick to that whenever you’re out shopping and if possible, leave your credit card at home to avoid going overboard.
Cancel your gym membership. And all your other subscriptions if you no longer use and pay attention to them—it doesn’t make sense to pay for them if you it no longer has purpose for you! If you’re the type who only goes to the gym twice a week or even rarely for that matter, you don’t need to sign up for a membership. You can also opt for running or working out at home. No only will you sweat out the stress but also save your wallet from any damage.
Track your spending. And finally, the most important thing you should do monthly to increase your savings and go slow on spending—track your spending, savings, budget and progress. Getting a good view of how much goes out and in and where it goes will help you control your spending habits and improve your savings.
What other strategies that helps you save up a lot each month? Share it with us!
About Chie Suarez
Chie Suarez has spent time figuring out ways on saving money and stepping away from her go-to retail stores. She then became a writer for Speedy Money which offers hassle-free loans services.