Without a solid plan, saving money can be a grind, especially if you have little to spare. There are many weird and wonderful ideas out there as to the best ways to save money, but the truth is that it largely depends upon your personal circumstances and how you spend your money.
We’ve broken down some top tips detailing ways that you can save money that, if actioned weekly, can seriously add up. You will soon know for yourself which ones relate to you and which you can implement with relative ease. You can also use this plan to tally up roughly how much you could look to save by putting these ideas into action.
So, if you want to finally get saving, take some action right now, grab a pen and paper and go through this list, calculating the potential weekly savings as you go.
First, a few savings that can be easily overlooked …
Review all memberships and automatic subscriptions
The era of the smart device has made it all too easy to sign up fast and forget about automatically recurring subscriptions even faster. All of these free trials with the condition of signing up for the ongoing monthly fees thereafter are designed to trap you into paying for things you no longer need. We recommend through your bank statements and online subscriptions and cancel any that you simply don’t need or regularly use – you can always resubscribe if you miss it. Also, consider sharing streaming services like Netflix with family or friends to spread the cost.
Check your insurance rates and phone plans
Sometimes, shopping around and/or reviewing your current plans and enquiring about any new offers can result in significant savings and these companies won’t be forthcoming in letting you know about better or cheaper plans – you need to ask the questions.
Reduce your energy costs
Just making a few seemingly insignificant tweaks to your energy consumption at home can make a sizable difference. Start by taking shorter showers, fixing leaky pipes and installing dimmer switches as well as some LED light bulbs – every little helps.
And now some surprising weekly savings …
Look into coupons and hit the dollar store!
As in visit it, not rob it! Shopping at a discount store for all the basics like toilet paper, toothpaste and cleaning products can really add up to some significant savings, even when sticking to some brand names. Just keep an eye on the expiry dates, but otherwise, it’s a great way to make some savings.
Also, don’t underestimate the power of using coupons! Couponing is the act of sourcing great deals and searching for promo codes online, which can save Americans an average of $30 a week. It may seem like an old fashioned way to go about saving money, but with sites online dedicated to matching you with the coupons you need, it makes sense to take advantage of it. And, like most things, all the little savings might seem inconsequential individually, but can stack up over time.
These days, online couponing sites have such a vast array of potential savings, and it only takes a few seconds to search for coupons that relate to a purchase you are about to make. Easy savings for just a few moments of your time!
Cut down on groceries
It’s amazing how much money we can waste at the grocery store, especially if we make multiple trips in one week. One of the easiest ways to save a few bucks is to pre-plan your meals for the week and even your snacks too, and commit to only doing one weekly shop for everything you need. Also consider making online or delivery orders and leave any kids at home to avoid unnecessary temptations and impulse buys.
It is scary how often the exact same product is half the price of the one next to it simply because its packaging is a bit lack-lustre. Marketing is a powerful tool to get the masses to shell out far more than they need to by getting them to believe the hype over the actual ingredients etc. So, wherever possible, don’t be fooled – check for generic alternatives that can save you lots of money and do just as good a job!
Between grabbing a sandwich here and latte there, eating on the go can really add up. It’s common to feel like what you make for yourself seems like much less of a treat, but even investing in some premium ingredients will probably save you money across the week than always opting for buying food and drink out.
Think twice about public transport
Obviously there are only certain situations where this is relevant, but it has been known for people to rely on public transport when there really isn’t anything stopping them from opting for a walk, jog or cycle instead. Consider if there are any opportunities for you to save on some fares and get fitter in the process.
It’s time to save your saved money
Once you have worked out how much money you could actually be saving each week by implementing these ideas, it’s time to ensure that this saved money actually gets saved. The best way to accomplish this is to create an automatic transfer of the amount into a separate account as soon as you get paid. It’s also handy to make the savings account one that can only be accessed by visiting the bank in person to further deter you from spending it on impulse.
Another popular idea is the 52 week savings challenge. This is a savings plan by which you commit to putting aside cumulative amounts each week for a year, starting with $1. The second week you set aside $2, the third week $3 and so on, until you end the year with an extra $1,378. You can start at whatever figure feels right for you, potentially adding up to greater savings across the year if you start a little higher, but of course, it needs to be sustainable for the duration of the challenge as it climbs!
It can be easy to underestimate just how much you could save by paying attention to details. A couple of dollars here and there isn’t very inspiring, but collectively it can all add up to an amount that really puts you in a better frame of mind all round when it comes to your finances. Take control of what you can and feel empowered as you recognise that every little change can work towards a big shift for the better.