Saving isn’t always easy, and can sometimes feel like a necessary evil, but in order to secure your financial future, establishing healthy habits for saving is imperative. It’s never too late to start saving for your future, even if you start small. Set goals for your financial future, and then work towards those goals. If you don’t even know where to start, we’ve compiled a few saving strategies that, we think, will be a great place for you to start.
Think Before you Buy
The first tip is to think before you buy. When you are considering making a purchase, ask yourself if you really need it or if it is just a want. If you are completely honest with yourself, you will save money. Buying a cute new outfit may bring you joy, but it is not a need and will cut into your hard-earned money.
Only Buy the Essentials
Next pay for only the essentials, like gas or bus fare, and skip buying expensive coffee or candy bars. Making coffee at home or at the office is cheaper than going to a Starbucks. The least expensive coffee at Starbucks costs $2 for 16 ounces. If you move away from just plain coffee, prices are normally $4 and higher. If you normally buy Starbucks every day, it will not take long for a coffee maker to pay for itself and the savings will begin to pile up.
Additionally, budget your nights out. Going to dinner and a movie is always fun, but can quickly start to cut into your bank account. You do not have to cut these nights out completely, but maybe eat dinner at home prior to the movie. Another option is to invite friends over for a cookout and have everyone bring their favorite dish! There are ways to have an enjoyable night without spending a lot of money.
Save in the Kitchen
Don’t waste money by throwing away good food when there are ways to make them last longer. Produce is always tricky because it tends to go bad before you have a chance to eat it all. One way to make it last longer is to wait to rinse it off until you are going to use it. When it comes to meat, try cutting back just a little, use half the amount of meat called for in a recipe or try using turkey in place of beef (it is usually cheaper). Baked potatoes are a great side dish for your meal because they are filling and inexpensive.
If the item you want to buy doesn’t quite fit your budget, think about similar but less expensive alternatives. There are typically store-brand alternatives to just about everything you buy, from shampoo to cereal. A lot of times, stores will offer their products buy-one-get-one-free to entice you away from the name-brand products. This is where some major savings can be had! While not everything has a substitute, there are quite a few alternatives out there, so next time you go shopping, don’t just reach for the name-brand item.
Don’t Give Up
Saving money is hard work and even the most budget-oriented people splurge from time to time. Don’t let that deter or discourage you. Your budget will change as you go through life, but it’s important to remember to always carve out some of your income for savings.
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