Many of us are looking for ways to save a little more money. The money saved can be used to invest and build wealth, or to pay down debt, or to just do something fun. No matter how small the individual savings are, the cumulative effect of saving can be huge. A few dollars here, and a few dollars there can really add up over time, especially if you can take that money and invest it or use it to pay off debt faster.
You probably already know a few good ways to save money and I've covered quite a few right here on this site. Figuring out how to save money monthly and annually is one of the best ways to make the most of your paycheque, and put your feet on the pat to financial freedom.
How to Save Money Each Month
You might be surprised at how much money you can save each month just by looking at your regular spending. The reality is that most of us waste 10% to 15% of our income each month. From impulse purchases to the careless way that you use electricity, there is a good chance that you've got waste in your budget that you can recover and put to good use.
Start by looking to reduce your utility bills and other recurring monthly bills. Think about your energy use and your water use to figure out ways to save money on your electricity bill, gas bill and water bill. Two other services that have many opportunities to cut back include the cable bill and cell phone bill. Reducing these five bills could easily save you over $100 a month, or more than $1,000 in a year. That’s not too shabby at all.
With your bills whipped into shape, lets look at how to save money each month by reducing some other expenses. Consider your spending on regular items that are part of your every day living. Think of ways that you can save money on groceries or save money on gas. Also, think about which subscriptions you can cancel, as well as other frivolous spending that might not be necessary. These monthly costs might be slowly draining away your wealth.
Finally, look at some of your bigger monthly expenses. Saving money each month isn't just about penny pinching. You can save money each month by refinancing your home so that you have a lower mortgage payment. It’s also possible to save by shopping around for better insurance rates. Whether it’s auto insurance or home insurance, you can save big each year by getting the best premium. These larger savings can benefit you for years to come.
How to Spend Less Each Year
Don't forget that there are a number of expenses that come around each year. Holidays and seasonal milestones are regular, and they can set you back if you aren't careful. There are many ways to save money on annual expenses. You might look to save money on a birthday party or save money on back to school shopping. One of the best ways to do this is to consider seasonal sales. You can save a great deal if you pay attention to sale cycles and buy when items are a good deal. You can also save by planning ahead. If you see a great gift on sale, buy it, and then use it as a gift later in the year.
Other seasonal costs, such as gardening expenses, can also be planned for. You can also take steps to reduce your heating bill during the winter and your cooling bill during the summer. From the extracurricular activities your kids participate in to the anniversary weekend you spend with your significant other, pay attention to the expenses that you know are coming up. Save up for them ahead of time, making sure there is room in your budget.
Don't forget about gifts and entertaining for holidays. While these expenses aren't usually “needs,” they do add a little bit more to your social life, and to the year in general. However, you still want to make sure that you save money on Christmas shopping and also save money on Valentine’s Day. Holidays should be about spending time with family and friends, not about going into debt! Look for sales, and employ other methods of saving money. You can also plan ahead for these events, and avoid financial difficulties.
How to Save While Travelling
Getting away for some time off isn’t always cheap, but many of us need the break. With a little planning, though, you can save money on vacations and even get a few ideas to save money on car rentals. Don’t forget to look ahead for discounts on hotel rates and airfares. There are many travel sites that can help you bundle your savings, and even get the best deals depending on what time you book your travel. Sites like Groupon and Living Social can also help you find great deals that you can use when you travel.
Don’t forget to consider cooking your own meals with food you bring along in a cooler (or buy from the local grocery, rather than eating at a restaurant).
Look for Discount Codes When You can
Look for discount codes whenever you can. Before you buy something, search for a promo code. It's possible to find online discount codes for almost any store. You can save between 5% and 50%, depending on the code you find, and whether or purchase is eligible. There are also sites that make it easy for you to print out coupons, and apps that allow you to store coupons on your phone.
It's even possible to get discounts when you check in at certain places using your phone. These geographically based savings can boost your efforts even more. It only takes a few seconds to look for a discount code or coupon, and when you make it a habit, the savings can really add up.
I’m always looking for more ways to save money, do you any other money saving tips?