That has no failing answer whatsoever. Summarize the last year. Where did the money go? Did you end up biting off more than you could chew when it came to spending your moolah? My father always said to me, "A penny saved is a penny earned! (quoted by Benjamin Franklin)" It took me some laughs and misadventures to get to that point where I could actually nod in agreement without laughing my head off. And oh, how true! Never spend your money before you have it. -Thomas Jefferson
Tips on How to Save Money
- Cooking your own food is one of the best things to do, and what's more is that you can whack up your own favorite recipes and don't have to threaten the waiter to sling back something you ordered and didn't like. Saves time and energy and a whole tantrum, if it comes to that. Take your own lunch to college/workplace. Cook extra so you can store the rest in the freezer for the next day too.
- In the same context, menu planning can go a long way in helping you save money. Once you know what you want to cook, you can fix a shopping budget, save money on sale items, and use shopping coupons. Having a menu planned also helps because it allows you to use leftovers to create meals.
- Another good way to save some bucks is, inviting your friends to your place instead of hanging out with them for parties or night outs.
- Instead of spending on a gym, especially if you aren't sure you'll have time to go to, exercise at home. Invest in a pair of dumbbells or two of different weights. You can always do your cardio workouts by jogging and cycling. Yoga is another option that is great for the body. But get proper guidelines before trying out any new exercises.
- Buy your clothes when there's a sale. It saves you a lot of money. Also, instead of buying only branded clothes, think about how important the brand or logo is. Does it really matter if your T-shirt has a logo of some sporting giant? It really doesn't and opting for generic clothes (equally good as the branded ones) will help you save a lot of money. You could also choose to sew your own clothes, if you have the requisite skills and repair them at times.
- Avoid going to the mall! The way in which things you don't need are displayed for sale in the mall, tempt you to buy those. This in turn makes you shell out a lot of bucks.
- Make sure you don't leave electrical appliances on, when not in use: easy on the wallet and good for the environment.
- If you have a home phone number as well as a cell phone, you can always decide which one needs to go. "Roaming" charges can easily sap you off the green stuff as bills mount up. Skype and Google Talk are great to talk to your friends without spending at all.
- You can also save on magazine subscriptions and newspapers, by resorting to read on the internet. The second option that you can consider is getting the membership of a library for magazines, books and DVDs.
- Instead of going out for movies, you can always download them and watch them right in the comfort of your own place.
- Make a list of what you want to buy before shopping, and stick to it. Leave your credit card behind and carry real money, so you keep track of how much you're actually spending. Eat before you go shopping. That way you'll stick to the list that you have and not buy extra stuff you don't need.
- Don't drink and drive, you'll end up paying miserably high fines.
- If you have extra space where you live, consider renting it out. Or, if you're living in a place where you spend a lot, you can move to a smaller studio apartment which is functional.
- When you go on a vacation, go backpacking and not stay in hotels. That way you also get to experience more of the heart of the place you're visiting. Hotels can be a bit boring, as they're all the same everywhere. You could also choose to vacation to places where you have friends if they do not mind putting you up for a while.
- Don't hurry when you need to buy something. Always compare the prices of things that you need to buy. Also check if there is an alternative to it in the form of a used product, especially if it is something you need for a short-time or something you use once in a while.
- Opt on public transport, walking, or cycling everyday to your workplace/college, or even elsewhere. It will save on parking and fuel. Another way to save on commutation costs is to choose to carpool. Not only is it better for the environment, but also makes it easier on you. If having a vehicle is unavoidable, consider buying used vehicles in a good condition (or you will have to spend even more on maintenance).
- Have a credit card, but avoid using it and keep it only for emergencies. If you forget to pay the credit-card bill, the bank will keep charging you interest and then minting the extra money from you. There are some reward points that you get for using a credit card, which you can use for shopping. So another smart way of using a credit card is, by paying for the credit card in advance and then using it and not using it above what you have paid in advance (as if it is a debit card).
- Plan to save a certain amount of money every month. You'll be surprised how effectively it can add up. Set up a savings account, which is different from your main bank account. This way you will set aside a specific amount every month and you will not be tempted to dip into the money left in your main account. To curb the temptation, avoid carrying around the debit card of the account in which you are saving money. A quote by Warren Buffet goes... Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.
- This one is the most important... learn about all the benefits that the organization which you work for, has for the employees. You can always take help from your employer and this can also save some money for you, especially in case of health emergencies and loans for buying/renting a place and for higher education.
So, these are some of the best ways to save money. I'm sure, if you think about it, you'll come up with plenty more ideas which can be great ways to make it easier on your wallet, without being a cheapskate!