Learning how to live frugally is all about learning how to eliminate waste from your life and make the most of what you have. It is partly about getting out of your comfort zone and pushing yourself to get more out of life, to utilize all your resources better and more efficiently. Like any good thing, it doesn’t come easy. You might find the process challenging, slow or frustrating at times. Just remember what you wanted to achieve when you started and try to have a positive attitude. You are already improving yourself every step of the way and that is what counts.
So let us get started with the specifics of how to live frugally. Food, housing, and clothing are the primary expenses of most households and therefore they are the centre of most ‘how to save money’ tips.
Living a Frugal Lifestyle
There is a good reason for this. These expenses collectively account for a large chunk of our budgets, and at the same time, they are easier to influence than some other expenses like insurance, health and similar. Food in particular is one area where it is relatively easy to introduce changes and save a considerable amount of money. The best way how to start saving money with food is to absolutely eliminate any and all waste of the food you buy. In addition, you can adopt certain habits to help you save even more, such as buying in bulk, buying online, buying certain cheap and healthy ingredients, doing a grocery price comparison to save money on groceries, growing some of your food and picking some of your food for free. That’s how to live cheap and still be able to create a healthy grocery shopping list! If you put all of these strategies at work at the same time, then you could easily lower your food expenses by half and still enjoy healthy ingredients and diverse meals.
Regarding housing and housing expenses, there is no easy way how to start saving money. If you need to considerably lower you expenses, then changing your housing situation can definitely do the trick. However, it is not as easy as good planning or doing more of your shopping online, as in the case of food and clothing. No, lowering your housing expenses significantly can only be done in one of two ways (both of which are relatively inconvenient): either you get a roommate or you move to a cheaper place. It’s a good idea to look into both possibilities and see which one suits you more financially.
In order to have a proper budget, one must initiate a saving plan into their lives. To utilize one of these saving plans correctly, it is crucial to find the right one to suit your needs. There are multiple sources of these saving plans and our goal today is to bring them all together. We’ll go over what to look for in a plan, the sources of a plan, and how to properly use one. Let’s begin.
What to Look For In a Savings Plan
To start exploring what we should look for in a plan, it would be wise to first go over the definition of a “savings plan”. A savings plan is an investment where a person will contribute a certain amount of money on a reoccurring basis to reach a financial goal. This can be done on either a long term or a short term basis; it’s really up to the individual. Usually, in order to open such a plan, it would have to be done with a set amount of money which could be as little as $100.00 depending upon where you find your investment.
There are two major things that you should be looking for. Is the plan flexible and is it simple? Flexibility and simplicity are the two main factors that differentiate between a bad plan and a fantastic one. If the plan is flexible, it will be easy to add your own categories and goals to it. A plan is simple if it can be understood with just a basic rundown of it.
Where to Find a Savings Plan
You can find a savings plan just about anywhere online, all you have to do is one simple search. You can even find a plan right here at BudgetHub. If you explore the site a bit or use the search functionality, you will most definitely come across many articles discussing how to budget your finances. No matter where you ind your plan, make sure that suits your needs and stick with it! You’ll be thanking yourself years down the line that you decided to use a proper savings plan.
A Savings Plan can help you prepare for retirement!
There are several types of plans. There are 52 week plans, which is personally our favorite. Using a simple calculator or formula, you can make a 52 week savings plan online with only a few clicks of your mouse and a few ticks of the keyboard. There are also thrifty ones. If you like being thrifty, there are plenty on the internet for you to utilize. Heck! There are even savings plans for children. Basically, no matter what you are looking for in your plan, you will most likely discover it.
HOW TO USE A SAVINGS PLAN
Now this is where it gets tricky. Just kidding! There is nothing tricky about it if you found a one that was simple to use. Usually a plan comes along with a full set of instructions. Read through these to learn how to use one. The worst mistake that you can make is not using the plan for its intended purpose and messing up all your finances. Just like you should use the correct tool for the job, you should always use the right savings plan for the money. Speaking of money: you’ll be saving tons of it!
So in conclusion, you should be looking for a savings plan that is simple and flexible. It should be easy to use and easy to change up. You can find good solutions right here or by simply using Google (or your favorite search engine). Using a plan is also very easy, just follow the instructions. It’s as easy as pie, as easy as baking a cake and you’ll end up saving cash by doing it.
We will start with the basics of how to live on a budget and it will mostly focus on frugal living in the USA and UK, with tips, tricks and strategies on how to start saving money. However, almost all of the strategies discussed here can be applied in other countries similar to the USA and UK as well. This article will cover the topics of budgeting, savings on food and housing, traveling on a tight budget, and some other tricks for happy frugal living.
When it comes to personal finances, learning how to start saving money is the most impactful thing you can do to change them in the short term. Our finances depend on three major categories – income, savings, and expenses. A monthly budget calculator is a free online tool you can use to track the change in each of these categories over time; hopefully the money management tools that we share will make a difference in your bottom line. Out of these three, savings get accumulated over time and if you don’t already have any, in the short term there is not much you can do about it. Income is a category that you can’t change in the short term either; you can change in the long term, and perhaps even in the medium term, if you look into ways to make some extra money on the side. Still, even finding temporary work is not easy. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that so many people are realizing the need to learn how to start saving money. The monthly budget calculator can really help you to plan future changes in these categories easily and for free, especially when it comes to expenses and savings.
For instance, when your partner is out grocery shopping and he sees a brand he likes is on offer, but the supermarket’s own brand is much cheaper and that’s what you’ve both agreed to buy. He is more more likely to make the right choice because it contributes towards your saving goal of having enough money in the bank to send the kids to college or to pay for much needed car repairs.
It is up to you how often you budget for. Most people tend to stick with monthly budgets, since they get paid monthly. However, it makes sense to change this to weekly or bi-weekly if that’s how you get paid so you know where every penny is ending up.
Finally, if you haven’t already sit down with your spouse (and if necessary your children) and thrashed out a budget that includes everything from groceries to fuel and energy to snacks. Have a figure sorted out for each expense by the end of discussions with a very small amount budgeted in for wiggle room.
Collate them all together and there you have it, a budget that will help you save money on a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or annual basis. The key to success is sticking to it, no matter what, and that takes discipline that not everybody has.
Cutting down on expenses is the quickest way to change the state of your finances and also introduce a positive change in your life. You will find morehelpful information right here.
Managing a household is no easy task. Parents have to manage chores, raise the kids, keep things running and make sure to do it efficiently and cost-effectively. Budgeting tools can be really useful in helping parents manage household income and expenses better and easier. A family budget template is a simple but very effective tool to help parents do just that. There is a variety of templates available today – some come free of charge and some for a small fee. There are Excel spreadsheet versions, Google Docs versions, printable ones, online ones as well as computer and mobile applications. Furthermore, there are different types according to user preferences, primarily family budget planners and personal budget planners. Thus, a family budget template will be easy to find, but there are some things to keep in mind when you are choosing the right one. This article will help you distinguish exactly what you need from the wide variety of choice available on the Internet right now.
Setting Up a Family Budget Template
When it comes to budgeting, the more specific the budget is, the better the results will be. All of the family income should be assigned a purpose in the budget, be it to cover some expense, to be saved, or to be invested. In addition, if the expense categories are broken down in detail, you will have a better chance to spend money exactly as desired – based on plans rather than impulses. With a more detailed budget, you also have a better overview of exactly which type of expenses were bigger or smaller than the budgeted amounts. Thus, when you are looking for the perfect family budget template, make sure that it includes all the expense categories that are relevant to you in greater detail. For example, taking care of small children, teenagers or elderly family members all have their specific type of expenses that will reoccur on a regular basis. You have a much better chance of allocating money well and sticking to the budget if the family budget template has big family expenses like child care broken down into more detail.
The next thing to consider when looking for budgeting templates is the period of time the template is intended for. Weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly budget templates are all available, and it is up to you to decide which type of budget suits your needs best. You don’t have to choose only one – since they are very different, yearly budgets can be used in combination with weekly or monthly ones. Monthly budgets are most commonly used, probably because the budgeting doesn’t need to be done too often – only once a month – and many expenses like bills, rent and mortgage come on a monthly basis. On the other hand, weekly budgets can be very useful for special occasions, such as when you are traveling or doing something out of your regular routine. Yearly budget templates pay special attention to income and expenses that occur once a year, such as taxes, tax returns, insurance, and similar. You can use the information from the yearly budget and incorporate the costs and income in your monthly budgets as well. Thus, there are several types of a family budget template that can be used for different purposes.
The main reason why it is so important to choose the right family budget template is that budgeting can be quite challenging in the beginning. Many people find it frustrating to find out that it is not easy to anticipate the correct amount for all kinds of expenses. However, if the budget is tailored to your needs and provides sufficient detail, it will be easier to anticipate expenses. On the other hand, you don’t want to spend too much time customizing the family budget template, thus you need to start with one that includes most of the things you spend on and one you could fill in relatively easily. Filling in the budget template can be quite time-consuming at first, but that is the necessary cost of better spending and saving habits. If it was easy enough to do in our heads, there wouldn’t be a need for it in the first place! As it is, it is not easy to do these approximations in our heads – with everything else going on in our lives, it is be easy to lose focus. So why take on all that mental stress of planning and then retrieving information, when a computer could easily do it for you? Try to keep in mind that there is a learning curve when it comes to budgeting – within a few months you will probably feel like an expert compared to your friends who have never used such tools. When they see how much you have benefited from using a family budget, they will be begging for your advice and your family budget template!
There you are, sitting in the drive thru at Starbucks. You already placed your order and they are making your venti caramel Frappuccino. You start searching through your wallet, gathering as many coins as possible. Unfortunately, you are a dollar and three cents short. It strikes you! You don’t have enough cash to pay for your delicious drink. That venti caramel Frappuccino… In guilt, you pull out your credit card and pay for the drink with plastic. You just added more debt into your life. All this stress could have been avoided by using cash. Specifically, all of this could’ve been avoided by implementing a cash envelope system.
Implementing a Cash Envelope System
Set the budget.
So you’ve decided that it’s time to have a money system in place. With a budget that is properly adjusted, you’re months will seem so much easier. Your days will seem much less stressful. You know how much money you have and there is no way to spend more than necessary.
Incomes vary from person-to-person. It is up to you to figure out an amount that you are comfortable spending each month. This amount will then be divided into multiple categories.
Pick the cash categories.
It’s important to budget correctly for categories such as groceries.
The different cash categories are arguably the most important part of the cash envelope system. The categories are the framework of the system. To pick your categories, sit down with a pen and paper and record a list of all the expenses you have throughout the month. Start thinking! When I was first creating my system, my categories were as follows:
Groceries (mmm food)
In the same way that income varies, the categories will be different depending on who you are and what you do. Do you really like Starbucks? You can create a separate envelope dedicated to that.
Keep in mind that mortgage payments, rent, or just about anything that you’re only going to be paying once do not need to have envelopes.
The envelopes themselves are also super important. You’ll want one envelope for each category that you come up with. I’ve seen many people create their own envelopes out of office paper. Of course, you can just go online and buy the cash envelopes.
You’ll be stuck with these envelopes for a long time. You want them pretty, you want them perfect. Most of all, you want them to be functional. With making your own envelope, you are able to make it just the way you want it to be.
You can even do things like placing an index card on the front of the envelope and record all the transactions in and out of the envelope. At the beginning of the month you might put in $300, so you can record that as a transaction going in. As you spend, you record the money leaving the envelope. This way, you don’t need to constantly count how much money you have left!
Spend and adjust.
Your first month with your awesome envelopes will not be perfect. I know that mine wasn’t and nor were the experiences I’ve heard from family and friends. It takes time to get used to having limits. I highly recommend that you keep a notebook by your envelopes. You can use this as a personal journal; record the flaws and the positives of the system. What do you like most about it? What would you change?
If you felt that a certain envelope needed a bit of extra money, you should write that down. At the start of the next month, you can easily change around the cash that each envelope gets.
It is super important to enjoy your money. If a particular category feels like too much of a restriction, nothing is stopping from changing just how big that restriction is.
As the months pass, you will gradually adjust certain aspects of the system, making it your very own. One system might not work for another person, so having an individualize envelope system is crucial to making it work for you.
Benefits of Using Cash Envelopes
Spend Less Money
This is probably one of the major benefits of the cash envelope system. It is simply impossible to go over budget and it controls your mindless spending. With the system you are able to truly understand how much money you have. You realize how much money that you waste.
You don’t have to spend all the money in your envelope. In fact, you really shouldn’t. At the end of the month, you can take the remaining cash and put it into savings, investments, or grow your emergency fund.
Simplest Budgeting System
The reason why the whole cash envelope thing is so popular is because of its simplicity. Anyone can understand the basic principles of the system. There are no advanced spreadsheets; your budget will not be adjusting throughout the month.
What you have is a handful of envelopes. It’s a very tactile concept. You spend an hour setting up your wallets, and it’s good for the rest of the month. It’s all about setting and forgetting.
Impossible to Go Over Budget
As I said previously, it is impossible to go over budget. Everyone will have different meanings of “going over budget”, but for me I am able to stick to how much I put into the wallet. Of course, it is very possible to add some more cash ‘magically’ to your wallet, but cheating is no fun. You are only cheating yourself.
Controls your Mindless Spending
When you look at your money inside the wallet, you realize that you do not have as much as you originally thought. Having a credit card in your hand and having a $20 bill in your hand comes with two entirely different mentalities. With the credit card you are just spending an invisible number, with cash you can see and you actually physically spend the money.
Envelope Budgeting in Conclusion
It’s a great idea and you will not regret doing it. If you follow advice given by Budget Pronto and others around the web, you should have a fairly solid system set up in a few days.
Critically think! Some things may work for you and not work for others. Create something that you enjoy, as life is meant to be enjoyed and loving.
Go ahead, start your cash envelope system. What’s holding you back?
Food represents a big fraction of most households’ monthly budgets. When people suddenly find themselves in financial difficulties, the food budget is the first to decrease because they immediately eliminate eating out expenses and start preparing all their meals at home. This, of course, results in considerable savings. But, when you need to start a really frugal living, there is much more you can do to save on food expenses.
Save Money By Smart Grocery Shopping
Saving money on groceries can be a great way to lower your expenses and allocate the money to a better use while at the same time paying more attention to what you eat. So, here are the best tips for saving money on groceries to get you started with a frugal food budget.
First of all, you have think about what combination of ingredients will allow you to have healthy, varied meals on a budget. The best advice here is to choose a few cheap staple foods for most of your satiation and chose a few splurges to add variety, flavor, and nutrition to your menu. Great staple foods are pastas, rice, quinoa, and legumes like beans and lentils, because they are pretty cheap, easy to store and cook, they are filling and they can often be found on discounts. Whenever your budget permits and you come across a great deal on one of these items you should definitely stock up on it. That way you will definitely be saving money on groceries over time. It’s worth noting that most of these foods are really healthy too, especially the quinoa and legumes.
Now let’s focus on the “splurges” and how you can incorporate them in your menus while still saving money on groceries. When it comes to food, herbs, organic vegetables and fruits, good quality meat, and seafood are all considered to be splurges when you look at price to quantity ratios. However, many argue they are well worth the price because of the flavors and health benefits they provide. Herbs like parsley, basil, thyme, mint, chives, oregano and others are a great addition to many meals – for example, a teaspoon of basil can really elevate any plate of pasta. And they have powerful health benefits too. But also they can be really expensive if you buy them from the supermarket.
When it comes to herbs, and even certain fruits and vegetables, the most cost-efficient thing you could do is to grow them yourself. Growing your own herbs, cherry tomatoes, onions, beans and other fruits and vegetables is very cost-efficient because the seeds, containers, and compost all together cost just a few dollars per type of plant. It doesn’t take up a lot of space at all to have a few windowsill containers for herbs and a few larger ones for fruits and vegetables of your choice. A lot of people, both living in houses with backyards and in apartment buildings with no balconies, have already realized the benefits from growing these plants and they are sharing their experience and advice online, so it wouldn’t be hard to learn what you need to know about gardening. And there is no better way to be saving money on groceries than to grow your own organic herbs, fruits, and vegetables.
If you do not have the room to grow your own vegetables and herbs, a good way to get them at a good price would be to find a local farmer’s market or a few local farmers who will let you pick what you need, at a better price than what you would find at the grocery store. Many farmers already have small stands set up directly on their farms for produce that they have picked already and there is also a good chance that they have more than produce available to be purchased.
Regarding fruits and vegetables, a great way to save money on these ingredients is to buy frozen ones. Frozen peas, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach and vegetable mixes are very easy to prepare and incorporate into most meals. They will add much-needed variety to a plain pot of rice, quinoa, or pasta. And, even though they are not fresh, they still contain a lot of their nutrients. Similarly, canned fish of any kind can be really healthy and nutritious, like canned tuna in water. Frozen vegetables are much cheaper than fresh ones, and canned fish is long-lasting and easy to store so, it is possible (and worth it) to stock up when it’s greatly discounted. Thus, if you really want to be saving money or groceries, you should substitute meat with discounted canned fish and most fresh vegetables and fruits with frozen ones – but you can still use your favorite fresh vegetables and herbs for a really low cost if you grow them in your own garden.
One way my family saves money on groceries is to have lots of freezer space for storage. I have a small chest freezer and two smaller refridgerator/freezer combos. I have lots of fresh veggies and fruits stored in there, meat of all kinds, fish, poultry and quick things for when we are busy and need to save time on cooking. You can buy large amounts of anything that is on sale, put it into useable quantities and freeze it for later. One example is hamburger meat of any kind. I buy the giant packages when it is on sale, take it home and make as many smaller packages as I can for freezing. I typically use it to make Bolognese Sauce and know that I use about 300 grams at a time. Other people might get the same package and make as many meat patties as they can, figure out how many they would need to feed their families on any given night and separate by the number of patties and put them in the freezer.
Fresh meats and produce are not the only thing I freeze to save time and money. As I stated earlier that I use hamburger to make Bolognese Sauce, I make enough sauce for three to four meals. That goes for normal sauce without meat as well which I would use for Lasagna. If I make a batch of Lasagna Sauce, I will make a double batch and freeze whatever I don’t use making the Lasagna. Also, many people set one day aside just to cook things that, they can take with them to work and put it in the freezer. They might spend an entire day cooking large quantities of different foods just for this purpose.
Two examples of something we like to do in this area are mini-burritos and cassaroles. Both of these things are great as time saving meals or snacks later. You can also do this with Quiches, Muffins, Cakes, Waffles, Pancakes…pretty much everything you can think of can be pre-made and frozen in small batches. Not only does it save you lots of time thoughout your week or month, but it also gives you the chance to have a larger variety of foods throughout a week. Any time you cook and have left-overs, put them in the freezer if, you will not be taking them for lunch the next day. I hope this article has given you enough ideas to get you started saving money on groceries!
Over the past decades, we have all witnessed a shift slowly gaining momentum in the Western world, where people increasingly have the need or the wish to significantly change their spending habits. Among those people are students who want to minimize their debt, parents who are struggling with unemployment or cut backs, and others who just want to get out of the consumerist race and rethink their spending. If you find yourself in one of those groups, or in a similar situation, then this article is just for you because it will focus on cutting down your food budget with better planning and teach you how to compare grocery prices.
Food is one of the most important categories when it comes to a household’s monthly expenses. It isn’t necessarily that the food item is the largest one in the budget, that is probably rent/mortgage, but food expenditure is actually one of the easiest things to reduce without giving up a lot i.e. it is a relatively painless budget cut. This is because a lot of households waste a lot of the food the buy and by eliminating this waste they can save up to one quarter or more of their regular food expenses. For example, one survey showed that households waste over 7 million tons of food a year. Per household, this is the equivalent of $175.00 worth of food a month! With the average household spending about $200.00 a week on food, this already constitutes a 25% decrease in food expenses per month, even before taking in consideration the benefits from comparing grocery prices when shopping.
Analyze All Grocery Stores When Price Shopping
Some people think that doing an extensive grocery price comparison is not worth the effort. Who would even go that far to do their shopping? Well, a lot of people would actually find the time well worth it, especially those who are working with a limited food budget. There are two main reasons why. First of all, once the initial analysis is done, the inconvenience of shopping in different or far-off stores can be significantly reduced by proper planning. In other words, it’s not like you are going to be visiting many of the stores each week – rather, you will probably end up visiting the far-off stores once to twice a month at the most. Good planning ahead will help you make sure that your visits coincide with the deals you’re after and you will be able to maximize the usefulness of each trip.
The initial analysis of various grocery stores will show you where the ingredients you use the most are the cheapest and also each store’s notable deals on certain items. Depending on where you live, you might have to do this analysis by yourself or you could use a grocery price comparison website or app. If you have to do it by yourself, then it helps to know that most big supermarkets have their online websites where they regularly post all the discount deals and you can often subscribe to a newsletter too, so it is easy enough to stay updated on those. Smaller local stores probably won’t have a website, but these are still worth including in your grocery price comparison because they often have (cheap) products which are not offered at other supermarkets. In my area there are several local shops, each dedicated to very specific items such as meats and cheeses, breads and pastries and one that sells pasta by the gram. The meat shop has the very best prociutto and the price is better than what I can find at any meat counter in any other store but, it is also something that has to be used very quickly or it will go bad. The breads and I can buy daily in the morning when it is still hot and it is priced by weight which keeps the cost down. The bread also has to be eaten right away as there are no additives to keep the bread fresh for a long time like in most supermarket breads. Any bread that is left over can be dried and grated into tiny pieces to either use as a breading agent for fried foods or can be mixed into meatloaf, meatballs, stuffed peppers, bread pudding or however else you can think to use it. This makes buying fresh bread an extremely budget friendly shopping idea as well as a frugal alternative to buying in a big store.
These products can add much needed variety to your meals on a budget, while still keeping costs low. Once you’ve done the grocery price comparison, it helps to make a general plan of where and when you get most of your staple foods like rice, beans, meat, and vegetables, and then make annotations for certain cheap buys that add variety or nutrition to your menu.
The second reason why grocery price comparison is worth doing is, of course, the considerable savings! Many supermarkets regularly offer all kinds of budget friendly shopping on foods at 35% or 50% off. It is absolutely possible to purchase over 90% of the food you eat on a discount. It might not give you a lot of freedom to have a different menu every day, but there are certainly a lot of different things you can do. The Internet is a great place to get some inspiration and connect with people who are or were living on a similar food budget as you are. Always do your research, know what stores are worth a visit comparing grocery prices for your budget friendly shopping trips. Keep in mind local shops for frugal alternatives on fresh items where the quality is, more often than not, better.
Nowadays, with our fast-paced way of living, most people buy their food, cleaning supplies and toiletries at supermarkets. This makes sense since supermarkets are easily accessible, convenient, and often they offer a lot of great deals. However, it is also worth noting that supermarkets are also highly sophisticated marketing environments, designed in a way that encourages spending. Thus, if you are starting a frugal lifestyle, you need to be careful while shopping at the supermarket. The trick is to take advantage of the convenience, variety and great deals offered by supermarkets, without falling prey to frivolous spending pressures. There are several steps you can take to maximize your savings and convenience: plan ahead, compare supermarkets prices, and use up your coupons.
The first two steps, plan ahead and compare supermarket prices, are complementary. Planning your food consumption ahead is beneficial for two main reasons – it prevents you from overstocking on perishables and wasting food and it allows you to analyze which supermarket offers the ingredients you will need at the best price-to-quality ratio. Both of these will have an immense effect on your food and toiletries expenditure. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American family of four wastes $2,275 worth of food per year! This is a completely unnecessary expense that can absolutely be avoided with a bit of care and planning ahead. If you need even more motivation, then think of the total monetary costs of handling this waste and the environmental damage that is caused by it!
Planning your food consumption ahead is also a great way to control what you buy and eat. For example, if you do your shopping while you are hungry and with no specific shopping list, then you are much more likely to make impulsive buys or resort to unhealthy shacks, frozen pizzas and other fast food. Whichever way you look at it, there are plenty of reasons why you should take the time and pay more attention to your supermarket spending. It begins with planning ahead, and once that is done the next step is to compare supermarket prices.
Why should you compare supermarket prices?
Nowadays, it is very easy to do so online, from the convenience of your home. Online tools allow you to enter all the items you will be putting in your shopping basket this week and then they give you a fairly accurate approximation of how much that basket would cost at various supermarkets. These tools even allow you to do your shopping online, thus saving you time as well, but if you aren’t comfortable buying food online then you don’t have to use that feature. Since this is such a convenient way to consistently save some money on food, toiletries and cleaning products, you should definitely take the time to look at the different prices at various supermarkets.
If you are living a frugal lifestyle, it is important to not only compare supermarket prices across different supermarkets but also across brand categories. Most supermarkets offer great variety in terms of branding for a lot of products. Usually, you will find premium, branded, own brand and value versions of a lot of consumer products. There is always a significant difference in price among the different versions, but not necessarily so in terms of quality.
While the branded products will probably be the same in all of the bigger supermarkets, the own brand and value versions are probably going to be different. For the biggest savings, it is really worth taking the time to sample the cheaper versions of the products you use often from various supermarkets. Especially in the case of snacks, sweets, pastas, toiletries and cleaning agents you should be able to find cheaper alternatives that are just as good as the branded ones. Nowadays, there are even online communities which rate the qualities of cheaper own brand versions against the branded version, so you can benefit from the analysis without testing all the different versions yourself.
Lastly, using coupons for your supermarket purchases can also help you lower your expenditure on food. There are many websites which provide printable and online coupons for all kinds of products, but mostly for supermarket purchases. You can also look in local newspapers and the Sunday paper, which comes with three different coupon inserts on a regular basis. You can plan your food spending ahead and then try to find coupons for the ingredients you need at the supermarkets available to you, or you can first research what kind of coupons are available for the next week and plan your meals around that, whichever way is more convenient for you. And very soon you will realize that when you plan ahead, compare supermarket prices and use coupons, you will be more mindful of supermarket spending and you will enjoy considerable savings week after week.
When going grocery shopping, it is easy to become overwhelmed by all the different products on display as well as the variety within each product category. This is not by accident. Supermarkets are intense and highly proficient marketing environments whose objective it is to encourage you to spend more. Everything from how and where the products are laid out, to the sounds, smells and lighting, is used in a way that makes customers want to stay longer, walk the aisles slower, and ultimately spend more. Does this mean you should stop shopping there if you want to save money on groceries? Absolutely not – there are several reasons why you should still shop at big supermarkets if you are on a tight budget. They offer customers convenience (which is time-saving), discounts and bargains, and variability which allows consumers access to all kinds of ingredients at various prices.
However, there are several things you can do to ensure that you are not tricked into spending more than you need to – plan your purchases and shop from a shopping list, compare grocery prices, do some or all of your food purchases online and look at trade down product alternatives. Put all these strategies to work and you will not only avoid the frivolous spending temptations set up by supermarkets, but also you will find yourself spending much less on your groceries.
THE BEST WAY TO COMPARE PRICES FOR GROCERIES WHEN SHOPPING
Many people think that when it comes to saving money on groceries, the most important thing is to compare grocery prices between supermarkets. This is only partially true. If you always compare grocery prices when you are doing your shopping, you will definitely save some money. However, if you want to minimize food expenditure, it is not enough just to ensure that you are buying groceries from the supermarket where they are the cheapest. You also need to ensure that you are buying only food that you will actually eat and that you are taking all alternatives into consideration when it comes to the grocery price comparison.
Buying only the food that you will actually eat sounds like common sense, but there is a good reason why this point is emphasized. A lot of people, whether they are aware of it or not, actually buy a lot more food than they eat, resulting in a lot of waste of food and money. In fact, the average American family of four spends more than $2000 a year on food they end up throwing away! So if you want to save money, start planning your meals a week in advance. Since you’ll know what you need before you go shopping, you can compare grocery prices at home using online tools that show you how much your basket will cost at several major supermarkets. Then, do your weekly shopping all at once and only buy things that are on the shopping list, which is based on your preplanned weekly menu.
This way you will not only stop wasting food and money, but also you will be less susceptible to the supermarkets’ main marketing strategies. The aim of most of their strategies is to prolong your visit to the supermarket – the longer you’re there, the more you will spend. Making impulsive purchases is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can take you away from your goal – whether that is to save money, have a healthier diet, both, or something else. Buying impulsively also implies that you didn’t have the chance for grocery price comparison beforehand, thus it is probably reducing the possible savings. A shopping list shows exactly what you need to buy and if you are determined to stick to it then there is no chance you will be tempted into buying something that isn’t really essential or good value.
Lastly, you should try buying (some or all) your groceries online. Even online websites can be customized to entice you to spend more, but the risk is greatly diminished if you already have your shopping list. In fact, online websites which allow you to compare grocery prices and buy groceries online also offer trade down product alternatives that can save you money. The idea is to trade down a brand level and save some money in the process. So, if you were about to buy name brand dish washing liquid, the trade down alternative is to buy dish washing liquid from the supermarket’s own brand. A lot of the time, there is not such a significant difference between product alternatives when you go from brand to own brand and even to value alternatives, especially when it comes to snacks, grains, toiletries, and cleaning products, so it’s worth trying a cheaper alternatives and putting all the savings to better use. Of course, you can use this strategy along with all the rest even if you are not shopping online!
Whether you want to start living more frugally, pay off debt or save up for a high-ticket item, living on a budget is a great way to achieve your financial goals. Food is one of those expenses that we have on a regular basis, and yet we don’t really think about how much it’s costing us. If you’re trying to cut down on food spending and save some money, then you should probably substitute eating out and fast food with home-cooked, low-cost meals. Doing your grocery shopping on a budget is the best way to lower your expenses even further, so here are some tips and tricks that will help you keep to the budget and make the most of it.
If you’re looking at your expenditure on food and disliking the fact that food expenditure takes up a lot of your monthly budget then imposing a strict restriction on your food expenses can make you more efficient and save you some cash. If you set a predetermined amount to be spent on food each month then you will have a bigger incentive to buy affordable ingredients as well as to make sure that no purchase is made in vain. Both of these activities in combination can lower your food expenditure by one quarter or more. Thus, doing your grocery shopping on a budget can be a great way to save some money.
Being Creative Shopping for Groceries on a Budget
At the same time, grocery shopping on a frugal living budget will require you to be creative and resourceful if you want to enjoy great taste and food quality at a lower price. Doing the grocery shopping on a budget doesn’t automatically imply that you can only afford to buy cheap ingredients. If your budget is big enough, then of course you can afford more expensive ingredients as well. However, if you want to minimize your expenses on food, the best way is to use a lot of staple ingredients which are low-cost and store well, and then elevate the taste with herbs, frozen vegetables and fruits and more expensive ingredients when they happen to be discounted. Great staple foods include rice, quinoa, legumes, pasta and potatoes as well as frozen and canned fish. This ingredient list is very versatile and allows you to create all kinds of different meals which are tasty, nutritious and inexpensive.
The best way to make sure you don’t overspend while you’re doing the grocery shopping on a budget is to shop from a shopping list. The act of already having selected what you really need to buy before you get to the supermarket is going to prevent you from making impulsive purchases and buying food that you won’t eat. You must keep in mind that supermarkets are marketing environments that want to get you to spend as much as possible. Everything from how the products are laid out to the sounds and smells in the supermarket is made to encourage spending by the consumers. The best way to resist the subtle temptations is to stick to your list.
Here’s another tip – when you’re grocery shopping on a budget, one of the easiest ways to get more bang for your buck is to make use of grocery price comparison tools. These tools allow you to enter all the items you need in a virtual shopping basket and then they give you an approximation of how much that basket of goods will cost at various large supermarkets. Not only that, but many tools also show you cheaper alternatives to the products you’ve selected. Even if you’re not willing to downgrade a brand level, these tools can help you buy the exact products you need from the supermarket where the price is lowest.
Lastly, shopping for fresh ingredients when they are in season is an affordable way to enjoy variety while grocery shopping on a budget. If you buy fruits and vegetables that are out of season then you are also paying a premium that covers the extra shipping costs as well as the convenience of eating food that is out of season. Conversely, fruits and vegetables that are in season sell at a discounted price compared to other fresh produce which allows you to make a variety of low cost meals. This makes them a great addition to a well-balanced, frugal living, low-cost menu.
When it comes to saving money, there are hundreds of little saving money tips out there that show you how to do small changes in your everyday life and save a bit of cash. This article takes a different approach. It will mostly focus on save money tips with a large payoff – tips that have a very large impact on your finances. Thus, it is also natural that implementing these tips won’t happen overnight. Rather, it will take planning and time to put them into action, but once you do it, it will be worth it.
Common Sense Saving Money Tips
One of the most effective saving money tips is to rethink your living space. This is economically beneficial both in the short term and in the long term. Rethinking your living space is about looking into how much space you really need. A lot of people own and/or rent a lot of space which isn’t actually essential, and as we all know space is certainly not a cheap commodity.
Rethinking your living space begins with one step – getting rid of all your clutter (this is one of the best saving money tips in its own right). It means going through everything you own and deciding what to keep, what to donate, and what to sell. You should keep in storage only seasonal clothes and a few other items. If you need a storage unit or a whole room to keep all your extra things, then you are keeping too much. Just from selling some of your things you will get some extra money in your pocket and you could put the earnings into an emergency fund or a savings account. Also, this tip goes both ways – when you need something, always try to look for used first. Without any preconceptions or assumptions, just ask around, ask friends and family and check online. Even with that little effort, you might find exactly what you need for a steeply discounted price.
The second step in rethinking your space is to assess whether it makes sense to move into a smaller house or apartment. If you are facing serious financial difficulties, then the answer will probably be yes. But, even if you are not and you are just implementing these saving money tips to save for retirement or investments, you should still take this question into serious consideration. Moving into a smaller place can save you serious money and it’s worth considering what you could do with the savings. Also, while you are calculating the benefits vs. the costs, also look into renting and owning as housing alternatives. A lot of people think that owning your house/apartment is an investment and clearly the way to go, but that is just a preconception. Whether it is true or not depends on the circumstances i.e. the mortgage rate, insurance cost, rent, etc. of the specific places you are considering.
The second set of saving money tips has to with transportation. A car costs a lot to obtain and to maintain. On top of that, it costs a lot to store – you need a garage and you probably have to pay for parking most places you go. But is it really necessary? With carpooling, public transportation and bicycles, you have three great alternatives to using a car on a daily basis. Public transportation can be a great way to save money, especially if you obtain seasonal or yearly passes which come at a significant discount. Using a bicycle to get around is a great way to be environmentally-friendly, keeps you active, and it’s basically for free.
You don’t have to pick one of these alternatives – you can find a combination that suits your lifestyle. For example, you could carpool to and from work, use the bicycle for traveling in your leisure time, and use public transportation occasionally as the need arises. Selling your car and making a switch to these transportation alternatives probably won’t be easy at first, but the savings really are considerable. Thus, if you have committed to a frugal lifestyle and taking saving money tips seriously, then you should at least read up on each of these transportation alternatives for the area where you live and see what people have to say about feasibility, practicality and cost-efficiency.
It may be surprising to you but many people do not know how to start saving money. Saving money is simple, but people do not know where to start. This guide is for those who are already saving money with other strategies laid out on this site. Now the question is: how do I save more money?
Saving More Money will Save You In The Long Term!
There are thousands of ways to save more money and in this article we will be illustrating just a few of those ways. If you wish to, you can research even further into other methods. In order to save more cash, all you have to do is spend less… in theory. However, that theory isn’t always that simple. You will need to make sacrifices to reach your goals, but in the end, you’ll be grateful that you made those sacrifices. It’s so much better to have money than not.
You Should Focus on the future
There are many things to look ahead towards in life. A major thing that we see is people wanting to be debt free. This is a huge thing to look forward to in the future. Save more money to make your future more enjoyable. If you only live once, make this life the best that you can.
If you plan on having children, it is super important to budget your money now and have stable finances before introducing a new member into your family. Being financially free and having a new child in your family can be one of the most rewarding things ever.
Retirement is something you should be saving money for as long as you have money. Set aside a certain percentage of your income every paycheck is recommended. If you follow a proper budget planning worksheet this should be simple. Look more into saving money for retirement; you’ll be thanking us later.
Keep your eye on your goal
Before you set out on saving money, you must identify a goal. What is it that you’re trying to achieve? Without a goal it’ll feel like you’re going through all this effort for nothing. Spend a few minutes and make a list of goals. You can even add onto this list of goals later.
If you need some ideas for goals that may be in your life, think about how you want your life to be. Do you want to be adventurous? Maybe it is time to start saving up for a vacation of your dreams. Do you want to be financially free? How about you start saving money to achieve more. These are just some ideas, there are infinite other reasons to save some dough. You could start a business, buy your kids a present, or even fill your bathtub up with quarters.
So with a goal set, saving money should feel more like a game rather than a task that lags on and on. It should be enjoyable to log your money every day and put aside percentages of your income. Make this into a game! Every time you save money, you’re reaching a new high score. Plus at the end you’re granted with a reward for beating the objective, the goal.
People with credit cards and other plastic spending devices are most likely to spend more money. They are more likely to make impulse purchases because credit cards feel like pretend money. You’re just swiping your card rather than handing over cash.
To save more money, you must force yourself to feel the pain of spending dollar bills rather than 1’s and 0’s. In addition to being able to associate your money to dollar bills, it is also easier to budget your money using a cash envelop system. You should really head over and check it out if you want to be able to save more money.
Saving money is not just about frugal living, as many are tempted to think. It’s about being smart, too. After all, it makes no sense to torture yourself with restraints just for the sake of having some more money in the future. It is also about having the discernment to make the right choices.
We have some save money tips for you and we promise that, if you apply these, you won’t be suffering. On the contrary, you could start living a better, perhaps healthier life, with a new and more satisfying outlook. Here’s what you should be doing to save money with as little trouble as possible.
Take a few minutes to go online and look for the better offer, regardless of what you’re planning to buy. Shop around for a better TV cable, phone and broadband bundle deal, for home and car insurance, for your favorite brand of cosmetic products or home repair contractor. There is significant competition in all fields and you are sure to find companies or stores with better prices than others. If recurring expenses are concerned, you will then come back to the cheaper vendor.
Have fun at home
Are you a fan of movies? Instead of going to the cinema every weekend, better gather a few friends and watch a movie at home. Inspire everyone to bring something to eat or drink. It will be cheaper than a trip to the city cinema. Do you and your close ones like to have a meal at a restaurant every now and then? Replace it with a home cooked meal, it’s fun and bonding.
Understand what you do out of pride
Many expenses are out of pride or simply demonstrative. They’re like saying, “I can afford this, I am high on the social ladder!” In truth this is usually only a sign of conceit. You don’t need a piece of clothing with e certain label on it if you can find cheaper alternatives of the same quality. You don’t need to impress anyone by buying yourself three expensive cocktails whenever you go to the pub. These are all useless things we employ to create the illusion of status.
Replace the car with a bike
Whether you are used to driving or taxing a taxi, consider replacing this with bike rides. It will help you save a lot (and also tone up your muscles) during the warm months.
Going ‘green’ does not only mean caring about the environment. It is healthy for yourself, as well as economical. There are so many ways to accomplish this: limit the electricity and fuel consumption, use less paper, wrap, foil etc., less detergent, make your own soap, cream, lotion, hair oil, tinctures and so on. It’s more convenient to buy the things you need from the store, but it’s much cheaper (and rewarding, too) to look for nature’s alternative.
Cater to your real needs – Start a journal
We spend too much on what we perceive as a need, but in fact it is only a caprice. Make a journal with all your expenses, day by day. After a few weeks, ponder over each item on the list. Did you really need it or was it the impulse of a moment? Was it truly for yourself or to impress someone? Did you buy something just because everyone had it? Make it a point to avoid buying such items or services in future. Journals like these will help you realize how much money you’re giving away for things you don’t really need.
Research cheap meal recipes
It’s amazing how much money can go on food that goes into various recipes, such as an expensive sauce, oils, side dishes etc. If you research cheap meal recipes though, you discover endless ways to prepare delicious meals with fewer and cheaper ingredients: pasta, casseroles, rice dishes etc. You can enjoy nourishing and tasty meals for a lot less.
Learn to say no
It’s great to have friends who take you to different places, but sometimes their budget may not match yours. They could be taking you to expensive venues and make you order some of the more sophisticated items on the menu. You spend the money either out of shame or because you just happen to go with the flow. Next time a friend wants you to join them in an expensive location, you can politely refuse or suggest a different place. It’s in your power to control these things. Your expenses don’t have to match the ones of your rich friends or relatives.
You don’t have to limit the fun you have or make a radical change of lifestyle. These tips should empower you and inspire you to see more choices out there. There are great, cheaper alternatives to almost anything you are used to.
Few things in the world are as frustrating and draining as trying to save money when you’re already on a tight budget. The following will help you go through this with ease, giving you a better understanding of smart expenses and healthy habits that lead to savings and teach you how to save more money.
Tips on Saving More Money in Your Daily Life
Use a Budget Spreadsheet
This is something that anyone should do, from the poorest people to the billionaires. In fact, the rich and successful ones always do this. Choose one of the templates available online for free, made to use in Excel or another similar program. Use these to plan your monthly budget and keep track of all your expenses. It will make you aware of aspects you normally ignore or simply miss. This can be the tool to save your finances.
Who do you go shopping with?
Forget about snacks in the city. Ever realized how much others make you spend? If you take your children with you when shopping, they may beg for sweets or anything nice they see. Are you able to say no every time? Also, when friends join you, no matter how pleasant their company is, you could end up spending way too much money. They get hungry or thirsty so you have to join them at the bistro or coffee shop. They purchase an expensive brand and you feel compelled to do the same. Stop this. Go shopping alone and you will spend your money with discernment, only on the things you truly need.
You can eat well at home or bring a snack with you – a chocolate, cereal bar or anything suitable you find at the supermarket, where the price tags are also more manageable. If you rely on the supply of certain venues, on snacks from coffee shops and other such location in your way, you will be paying much more for the same treat. It may not feel like it’s too much, but if it’s almost a habit or occurs several times per week then it’s adding up.
Shop around for new service bundles
You may be pleased with the current broadband or phone service, but the market is so competitive that companies always issue new and better prices bundles. You may find a suitable package if you shop around. You can get all the services you need from the same company and pay a lot less than with separate ones.
Insurance policies you can live without
Some of us are getting too many insurances. Keep your life anxiety in check and insure only what is truly at risk, like your house and vehicle. Many of the policies advertized nowadays are simply speculating people’s fears or convince them using false statistics and scary news. You may not need a home warranty, a pet insurance or even a travel insurance.
Handle the bills better
It’s hard to pay on time when you hardly have the money, but do your best to honor those bills by the deadline. If you don’t, they will incur additional costs and that is something to avoid. Also, your credit score will suffer. Paying those extra fees will only get you into more debt eventually. It could be several hundreds extra per year.
Get a cheaper cell phone plan
How many of those minutes do you actually use to make phone calls? Are 2000 minutes in the same network truly necessary? Are you really using up all those international text messages? Perhaps you could use a cheaper plan with fewer minutes in it. Also, you may not need a high data allowance if you encounter WiFi hotspots frequently.
Avoid those costly software licenses
Unless you are required to use only specific programs, you can replace pretty much any of those with a free alternative. For example, have the OpenOffice suite instead of Microsoft’s entire Office package. It is all legal and clean and you don’t have to spend anything on it.
The 24-hour rule
Did you spot an item that’s a bit expensive but you totally feel like buying it? Wait for 24 hours – at least! It could easily be an impulse purchase, which can be very damaging to your budget and take away from your goal of how to save more money.
Also, it may prove to be a lot less satisfying than you expected. Wait for a day or two to see how you feel about it. It’s also smart to do some research and read reviews or have another look at the product. This technique has saved countless people from wasting money on things that only caught their eye for a brief moment.
Being on a small budget doesn’t have to intimidate you. As long as you can pull yourself out of the consumerist trends, all your expenses make sense and you stop wasting money. In most situations, there is something you can do better. Hopefully, this guide has shed some light on certain matters and given you some ideas on how to save more money.
There are a lot of reasons why conserving energy is a good idea. Firstly, a lot of our electricity comes from non-renewable resources. Thus, the less energy we consume, the less we will disrupt the environment we’re all a part of. Secondly, the less energy we consume, the less we have to rely and be dependent on external parties as energy providers. Thirdly, conserving energy makes sense financially. Being more efficient with energy usage doesn’t take up a lot of effort, but it can save you a lot of money. Thus, if you can avoid spending a lot on utility bills, then why shouldn’t you? Here are some doable, effective ways to save energy in your home.
One of the easy ways to save energy is to switch from using electricity from the grid to generating and using electricity from solar power. This strategy implies an upfront investment for a solar power system, but the investment can be recovered several times over the life of the system. Not only that, but the combination of a solar power system and the right conditions can make you completely self-sufficient energy-wise. This has the equivalent financial and environmental effect of diminishing the demand for grid energy by the consumption of an entire household over several decades. Talk about reducing your carbon footprint!
However, a large investment isn’t always necessary to cut down on energy consumption. Many of the best ways to save energy are easy to do and cost little to nothing. Some of them have to with how and when you use the appliances you already have. For example, one cost-free way to save energy is to switch off and unplug all electronic devices in your home while they are not being used, excluding the refrigerator and the oven. Thus, when you are working at your desk, ideally you should have only the desk light on (as opposed to using multiple wall lights), have your kitchen appliances like electric kettle and toaster unplugged and have your entertainment-related devices switched off and unplugged. Also, you should use LED bulbs, which are very energy-efficient and affordable, for all your lighting fixtures.
SAVING ENERGY SAVES MONEY
In addition, if your aim isn’t just to save energy but also to save on energy bills, you should try to use high-energy-consuming appliances during off-peak hours, when the cost of electricity is lower than the regular rate. This primarily includes the water heater, washing machine and dishwasher. Regarding the dishwasher, you should disable the dish drying function on the dishwasher cycle – it costs a lot of energy to dry the dishes artificially albeit quickly, when they could air dry on their own just as well. Same goes for the laundry – a dryer isn’t really necessary when a foldable drying rack does the same thing practically for free (and it won’t shrink any of your clothes either).
Other low-cost, easy ways to save energy have to with small adjustments and replacements around the house. One such adjustment is to properly seal all windows, doors and other air leaks. This can be easily achieved with some caulk – and a tube will cost you only a couple of dollars. This adjustment is really worth making because it will make it easier and cheaper to maintain the desired temperature in your home and thus it will save you a lot of money over time. Speaking of temperature, getting a programmable thermostat is one of the best ways to save energy used for heating or cooling your house. Especially if you live in colder climates, a programmable thermostat can ensure that you don’t waste energy warming up your house during the whole day but you still have it warm for you when you come home from work.
Try them and you’ll see – all these ways to save energy are really easy to do and the savings do add up. The best way to see how much you’re saving is to compare the utilities bill after you have implemented these for a month with the utilities bill for the same month last year. Since the seasonal conditions and patterns are mostly the same, this should give you a realistic assessment of how much all of these ways to save energy are reducing your energy consumption.
Nowadays, most people are already aware that they should be careful with energy consumption – both because it constitutes a significant expense on a regular basis and because it has quite a large effect on the environment. Some people simply don’t know how to save money on electricity easily or think that it will take commitment to get real results. Many think that when it comes to lowering the electricity bills, the methods require a substantial investment up front. This implies that the savings won’t start to accumulate until the investment is recovered. This can be troublesome for a lot of households that can’t afford to invest right now – what they really need are ways to save electricity quickly and cheaply. If you find yourself in this group or if you just want to lower your energy consumption in any way possible then try these suggestions on how to save money on electricity with some simple, low-cost adjustments to your home and lifestyle. It can be done easily and cheaply, but it does require determination and commitment.
Firstly, here is how to save money on electricity used by lighting fixtures. Using LED bulbs for your lighting fixtures and using the lights only when you need them are two ways to reduce your energy consumption that cost you practically nothing! LED bulbs are the most energy efficient bulbs you could use and they don’t have any potentially harmful components like the CFL (compact fluorescent lights) bulbs, which contain mercury. Switching off all the lights when you exit a room is a must. Furthermore, you should light just enough fixtures to provide the necessary lighting. For example, if you are reading at the desk, it’s much more efficient
to have only the desk lamp on than all the wall lights (which are usually controlled by a single switch) or an overhead one. Even if the effect of these actions doesn’t seem significant at first, the savings do add up, and if you don’t have to spend that money on electricity, then why should you?
Various Ways To Saving Money on Your Electric Bill
It’s not just your lights you should switch off when you’re not using them, but most other electricity-consuming devices as well. The TV, PC, device chargers and adapters, loudspeakers, electric kettle, toaster and basically everything else except for the fridge, oven and heating devices should be switched off and unplugged from the socket when they are not used. This strategy won’t cost you a dime and doesn’t take much effort either, while the combined effect can be significant. If you want to make things even easier, use a power strip with a switch to power devices you usually use at the same time (such as devices on your desk). Then you can “unplug” all of them at once.
Here is how to save money on electricity while doing household chores. First of all, most electricity companies have off-peak hours when the rates are much lower, so one of the most effective ways how to save money on electricity is to use the washing machine and the dishwasher during those hours. This strategy also doesn’t cost a dime, but you may have to adjust your schedule to make sure things get done at the right time.
When you’re cooking, always make sure that the diameter of the pan is the same size or larger than the diameter of the hot plate. If you use a lid, you can save up 2/3 of the energy needed to maintain a certain temperature in the pot. Smaller pressure cookers that match the size of your hotplates are the way to go for maximum energy-efficiency.
Regarding laundry and dishes, the best way how to save money on electricity cheaply and easily is to let the clothes and dishes dry on their own. If you have a balcony, you can easily set up a laundry line. If you don’t have one, then you can use a foldable drying rack, which is very cheap compared to the money you spend on powering the dryer for just a few loads of laundry. Hanging a load of laundry takes only about 10 minutes!
As for the dishes, you probably haven’t thought about the fact that the dishwasher spends a lot of energy in order to dry them. Why is that necessary, when they can simply air dry without causing you any inconvenience? Thus, disable the dish drying function in the dishwasher cycle and just let them dry naturally.
Lastly, if you really want to lower your electricity bills then make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed. A tube of caulk costs only a few dollars, and it will save you much more on heating/cooling, especially if you live in a climate that requires it a lot of the year. How to save money on electricity when temperatures get really high? Make sure you ventilate the house in the morning and at night, when the air is cooler. During the day, close the windows and pull down the blinds, especially while you are not at home. And when it gets really cold? Then you should make sure you aren’t overheating the house unnecessarily – like leaving the heating on when you’re out or having the indoor temperature higher than needed. In other words, first put on a sweater and socks, and then turn up the heating if you’re still feeling cold. And that’s how to save money on electricity easily and cheaply!
Saving money is not easy. In theory, it might sound easy, but in practice, it is not so easy to do. When it comes to personal finances, everyone should learn the basic strategies of saving and spending money – tracking your expenses, making a budget, etc. However, this article is not intended to discuss strategies, rather it is intended to provide you with a lot of simple tips on saving money you could start using from tomorrow. So, here are some practical and easy ‘how to save money’ tips, and even though these won’t teach you everything you need to know about personal finances, it’s enough to know that the savings do add up!
When it comes to food, there a lot of effective ‘how to save money’ tips. Always shop around for the best price for things like canned foods, legumes and all kinds of pasta. And try to incorporate these ingredients in your diet as much as you can (if you really need some cash as soon as possible) because they really are cheap to begin with. These products can be stored for a fairly long time, so it is worth stocking up when you find a great deal. Also, they are relatively easy to transport, so make sure that in your price comparison you also include online food retailers. Buying some or all of your food online can really help you save a lot of money over time.
Some Universal Money Saving Tips
In addition, you should think about preparing your beverages and your lunch for work at home. This is one of the best ‘how to save money’ tips because it will allow you to instantly save money and you also control what goes into your everyday meals. If you’re not sure what to make for lunch, don’t let that deter you. There are plenty of great recipe ideas online and you will probably find a lot of them you like.
Regarding housing, a major expense in any budget, there are no easy ‘how to save money’ tips, but here are a few that are worth the effort. First of all, make sure you are not paying for space you don’t need. If you own your house or apartment, and you feel like it is a bit too big for you, then really look into finding a suitable roommate. This will provide you with significant savings that you could put to more productive uses! If you rent your living space, then make sure that you are either living close to your workplaces or getting a great bang for your buck. And if you are renting any storage facilities, as many people do nowadays, then ask yourself if that is really necessary. Make a decision to sell all of the things you don’t really use from your house and your storage place, so that you don’t need to use a storage facility at all anymore. This will give you an instant cash boost and lasting savings from not paying for a storage unit.
Here are the three best ‘how to save money’ tips regarding transportation. Firstly, keep your engine tuned, your tires to their proper pressure, and avoid fast start-ups and stops. All of this will save you hundreds of dollars in gas and maintenance costs over a year. Secondly, make sure to shop around for gas and use the lowest-octane gas recommended by the manufacturer – this will also save you a lot of money over time. Lastly, substitute all cab rides with public transit, which can be up to $5-$10 cheaper per trip.
Finally, here are some general ‘how to save money’ tips. Practice preventive dental care (only toothpaste and floss required) in order to preserve your dental health and avoid altogether more expensive procedures like fillings, dental crowns, root canals, etc. Secondly, when you’re about to make an unusual purchase (so not food, rent, or gas), always ask yourself how many hours it will take on your salary to earn as much again. This will really put into perspective whether that new smartphone or pair of heels is really worth it. Finally, check if the company where you work has any partnerships with companies to provide discounts for its employees, and then take advantage of such discounts.
The last couple of ‘how to save money’ tips are about saving itself. Set yourself short-term saving goals for each week and make sure you stick to them. If you put away just $10 a week, by the end of the year you will have a decent emergency fund. If that sounds like too much to you, then at least collect all your change and over time that should give you equal savings. Don’t touch that emergency fund unless you really find yourself in an emergent situation or using it would prevent you from going into (further) debt.
One of the best ways to boost your savings or quickly pay off a significant amount of debt is to adopt, permanently or temporarily, a frugal lifestyle. A frugal lifestyle entails eliminating waste from your life, increasing efficiency, and finding better ways to do everyday things. A lot of the aspects of living frugal can often seem weird or too difficult to do, simply because people have become accustomed to relying on external parties for all sorts of goods and services. But the more you commit to a frugal lifestyle, the bigger the benefits will be. If you are willing to learn how to do things in a new, more efficient way, you will be able to whip your finances into better shape in no time. This article will focus in particular on frugal living and household expenses, such as food and home cleaning. Here are some strategies to get you started. Frugal Living Tips and Tricks
Food takes up a lot of most households’ budgets. If you factor in the cost of all the food you buy and make at home, of the food and drinks you have at your workplace, of your morning coffee, brunch, dining out, and going out for drinks, it all adds up to quite a sum. Thus, food expenditure is definitely one of those things that you can be really frugal with, if you only take the time. If you are really serious about frugal living, then the first thing you should do is to minimize eating out from convenience and eat out only for special occasions or when the food/drinks offered are unique and cannot be prepared at home.
Eating out for the sake of convenience is when you buy your morning coffee on your way to work instead of preparing one from home, or when you have lunch from the restaurant near your office instead of bringing something homemade. Such expenses really do pile on quickly, since they are pretty much happening on a daily basis. Eating out in such cases is against the tenets of frugal living because it entails lack of preparation and loss in efficiency. Calculate right now how much it would cost to make a great cup of coffee at home and compare that to how much you’re paying for it outside. Even if the difference is only in cents/pennies, and probably it’s more than that, it becomes significant enough over time. So find an acceptable way to bring food and beverages from home and stick with it. After all, how hard can it be to find a decent inexpensive food container and a nice-looking water bottle that can easily be filled with anything?
Now turn your focus to eating in – what kind of ingredients you use and where and how you obtain them. Incorporating canned foods, frozen vegetables, and pastas and grains is a great way to keep food expenses low. One of the previously mentioned ‘too hard to do’ aspects of frugal living is to grow your own food! Now, this is something most people would instantly reject as too difficult or not worth it, but they’d be wrong on both counts. Starting a home garden is really easy nowadays with so many instructional videos and articles available online. You can do it indoors and outdoors, wherever you can spare some space. And the savings can be quite significant since you can easily grow small plants and kinds of herbs. Fresh, organic vegetables and most types of herbs are usually quite expensive in terms of price vs. satiation and quantity. But, this aspect of frugal living will enrich you in more ways than one – it will also allow you to have variety in your meals for a low cost, you will benefit from the therapeutic effect of gardening, and you feel proud to be a little more self-sufficient.
The last couple of frugal living tips are regarding the topic of household cleaning. When it comes to keeping your home clean on a budget, you can save a lot on cleaning agents for the laundry and for general cleaning purposes. A great way to save a ton of money on household cleaning is to start making your own laundry detergent. Yes, that’s a thing. It’s incredibly easy and cheap to make at home. You could save about 25 cents per wash so the more people are in your household, the more this is worth doing. When it comes to cleaning in general, it’s even easier. All you need to clean your counters, your stove, your shower, floors and even toilet, is a simple mix of vinegar and water. This mix is a real all-purpose cleaner, which is gentle enough to use on almost all surfaces, excluding textiles. Once you see how much you are saving by just using these two strategies, you will wonder why you didn’t start your frugal living earlier!
The vast field of personal finances entails everything from income, expenses, and savings to taxes, loans, mortgages, investments, and retirement funds. With this in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that many people are finding it hard to manage their finances well and make the most of what they have without hiring professionals to do it for them. However, over the past few years, the management of personal finances has gotten a lot of attention, with the effects of a global recession emphasizing the need to make every dollar count. This led to the development of money management tools that are online and that are largely free for consumers to use. Because this is a new field, a lot of people aren’t aware yet of just how useful these tools can be. So here is a short introduction of the three types of money management tools you can use for free, and why you should consider using them.
The first step in managing your finances better is to get an idea of your current financial state. FlexScore is a financial tool take became available recently and it is a great place to start your money management journey. This tool can help you establish your starting point by giving you a score based on how well you are managing your finances right now. It takes about 20 minutes to enter your information and find out how well you’re doing. One of the reasons why this tool is so successful and well-rated by financial experts is that getting more points really means that you have made impactful changes in how you manage your personal finances that led to tangible results. Hence, this tool is also great to use in parallel with other money management tools – as you progress in learning about your finances, you can check in with FlexScore and see how much effect your new strategies are having.
Using a Budget Calculator as a Tool To Manage Money
When it comes to money management tools, a monthly budget calculator is by far the most powerful. This tool is widely available on the web in many different forms, so that everyone can find a budget calculator that really fits their needs. In general, every monthly budget calculator will have three main categories – income, expenses, and savings, which are then broken down into subcategories. Typically, the expenses category has the most subcategories to make it easy to cover all expenses and quickly fill in the blanks.
One of the reasons why monthly budget calculators are such a powerful tool is that they force you to think about investments, savings, an emergency fund and your retirement fund. These are issues that most people think about in vague terms and rarely take the time to really do something about them. When you make a monthly budget, this is much more likely to change. In addition, some budget calculators, such as BudgetSimple, do more than allow you to plan your spending, income, and savings – they offer practical suggestions on what you can do to save money.
The third type of money management tools you should know about are online investment tools. Some of these tools are free of charge, but most charge a monthly subscription rate if you want to unlock all of their features. For example, Future Advisor is a tool which helps you incorporate low-cost index funds and commission-free ETFs in your portfolio. You can get an asset allocation analysis and their investment picks for free, but if you want them to actually execute the trades for you and automatically rebalance your investments from time to time then you’ll need to get a subscription. Some other similar tools are Betterment, Wealthfront and Quovo.
All of these can help you make better investments – especially investments for retirement.
In order to get a proper handle on your personal finances it is essential to use a monthly budget calculator which allows you to decide in advance how you want to spend your money. The other money management tools can help you address not just the basics of personal finances, but all the important factors. Commit to using these money management tools on a regular basis and you will see quantifiable improvements in the state of your personal finances.