Today it seems that everyone is looking for financial advice to help them save as much money as possible, and rightly so. With the cost of gasoline, food and clothing inching ever higher, saving a few dollars here and there can actually add up to quite a bit at month’s end. If you’re looking for ways to really save as much as humanly possible you’re in luck because we’ve put together a list of 10 of the best frugal finance tips that we know of, just for you. (You know we love you.) Enjoy.
- Wait, see and save. Okay, let’s say that you see something at the store that you really want but it’s out of your budget. Rather than spending money (and getting your instant gratification), why not write down what you are thinking of purchasing or, better yet, take a picture of it with your smart phone and then walk away. If you can do that, and then give yourself a cooling-off period of at least a week, when you go back to what it was that you wanted chances are however that your ‘need’ will have cooled down and you’ll realize that it would’ve been a silly purchase.
- Treat your finances like you treat your social life. Simply put, use whatever calendar alert system that you use for your social life to help run your financial life more smoothly. Use your calendar to note when bills are due, to check your credit report and anything financial that you want to be reminded of. You can leave yourself a note to start putting your taxes together in January as well as any other financial reminders that will help you to keep on top of your finances (hopefully as well as you keep in touch with your friends).
- Don’t like budgets? Use a spending plan. Some people see the word budget and react to it just like they react to the word diet or disease. They cringe. The fact is, a budget is simply another tool that you can use to make sure that your money goes where it should go and not where it shouldn’t. It also, with proper planning, can mean that when you take your next vacation you can pay for it in cash. (Now that’s my kind of spending plan.)
- Do you really need that? One of the best ways to save money on a daily basis is to question every single purchase that you make. Ask yourself this question whenever you’re ready to make a purchase: ”do I really, truly need this?” The point is to differentiate between something that you actually need and something that you simply want. Do you really need new clothes or do you just want them? Do you need the latest cell phone or is the one in your pocket more than adequate? It’s only by questioning the necessity of every purchase you make that you can truly reduce your spending and increase your savings and retirement accounts.
- Direct deposit is good for you. Use direct deposit to fund your IRA or 401(k). The reason that this is so important (and works so well) is that the money is taken out of your hands before you even see it. It’s still yours, of course, but since it goes directly into a savings or retirement plan is much less chance that you’ll spend it frivolously.
- This is an interesting little trick. When you’re in the checkout line at the grocery store, remove at least one item and simply leave it at the store. The reasoning behind this is simple; over 90% of people who go to the grocery store for specific items end up buying more than they set out to purchase. If you put one item back each time you’ll negate some of these extra costs.
- Never say never. Saving money isn’t a one time, one-shot deal it’s a daily process and, in the end, a very big goal. It’s easy to have setbacks, gets frustrated and want to give up but, in the end, giving up is not really the best option. Financial success is something that needs to be planned and organized over your entire lifetime.
- If you don’t like the expense, get into the kitchen. There are many people who overspend on eating out and, if that’s you, one of the best things that you can do for your financial health is to learn how to cook. Cooking your food at home can save you a tremendous amount of money and can be very rewarding as well. Today there’s really no excuse to not learn, especially with the dearth of cooking shows on TV at all hours of the day.
- How much time did that cost me? Most people make a specific amount of money per hour and, even if you’re salaried, you can easily find out what you’re making per hour by doing some simple math. One way to stop yourself from overspending is simply to calculate how many hours of your time it would take to be able to pay for a specific item. For example, if you make $10 an hour and your keen on purchasing a product that costs $100, it’s going to take you 10 hours to pay for that product. If you do this with all purchases over $20 you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to not purchase something.
- Your credit report is important. The big three credit reporting agencies all, by federal law, must give you a copy of your credit report once a year. The reason you definitely need to get these once a year is to check them thoroughly and make sure that they are accurate. Simply put, the information on your credit report will affect your credit score either positively or negatively. Since your credit score is going to be used to calculate interest rates on loans for cars or house, making sure that your credit report is accurate and up-to-date can save you thousands of dollars. In this day and age of identity theft it can also alert you to fraudulent activity.
We hope that these tips have been helpful and that you will be able to use them to save even more money and pad your retirement nest egg. If you have any questions or need any help financially with anything whatsoever. Please let us know. Also, make sure to come back and check our blog regularly for more excellent financial information. See you then.