We are excited to feature a sponsored post about saving money.
Saving money can be a pain, but the outcome is well worth the effort. However, you don’t have to be an expert financial planner to slash your expenses and balance your budget. All you need to do is figure out where your money is going every month and find ways to cut back and make the most of your spending.
Look at your credit card statements from the past few months. Categorize and tally up reoccurring expenses such as groceries, dining, transportation, utilities, and student loans. Though some expenses such as rent payments and service fees aren’t easily negotiable, there’s plenty of wiggle room in your budget to move money around. Look at these five areas of your personal finances and consider the savings tips for each.
Analyze your typical shopping cart. Do you shop sales, use coupons, and opt for generic brands? Though food is sacred and you certainly don’t want to skimp on your health, there are plenty of ways to save money without compromising nutritional quality. Consider substituting off-brand items when the ingredients and nutrition labels are the same. Cut coupons and take advantage of seasonal deals whenever you can.
Of course, you should live life to the fullest and share experiences with your family. However, there are ways to fulfill your entertainment needs without spending foolishly. Consider matinee movies over full-priced seats, visiting
s and exhibits on free days, and taking advantage of two-for-one deals or group discounts. Instead of going out to lunch, pack a picnic and take the family to a local park. Go on hikes and find free outdoor activities to keep you busy, even in the colder months.
Do you have subscriptions to magazines, newspapers, on-demand movies, monthly clothing services, and personal care products? Think about everything you subscribe to and whether you can substitute them with as-needed purchasing. Also, consider using online services, especially for periodicals, entertainment, and books.
4. Health Insurance
Though your employer usually determines your health insurance policy, it doesn’t hurt to call your local insurance agent to make sure you’re getting the best plan for the cost. Evaluate your copays, deductible, and coverage. If your employer offers a flexible spending account, use it. Such accounts automatically deduct a set amount from your paycheck before taxes, and you can use the funds for copays and other expenses that your insurance policy doesn’t cover.
Debts usually have fixed payments, but you might be able to consolidate, refinance, or negotiate terms. Calculate the total amount you owe on all accounts and how much interest you pay monthly. Research ways to decrease your total interest payments, pay off debts faster, or increase your payoff date depending on your current financial status and long-term goals.
Ready to Save?
Once you figure out how to split pennies on your regular expenses, you then need to act and make it happen. Set short- and long-term goals with a firm monthly budget. Continue to track your expenses and evaluate ways to cut back and move money around. Don’t be afraid to modify your plan as time goes on, but stay true to your goals and work on balancing your current and future needs.