One of the things you want to be able to do in life is to save money. It might be in your top three of financial moves you want to make. The problem is that a lot of times, debt gets in the way of this goal. Once you start looking at all the payments you have to make, you start to feel down because you do not know where you will get the money to save.
Lack of financial knowledge is another culprit which prevents people from saving money. According to an article released by Fortune, about two-thirds of Americans cannot even pass a basic financial literacy test. It would be very difficult to get a handle on your finances when you do not even understand basic financial terms and concepts.
There are also people who believe that it is impossible to save money when they have a small income. It is hard to try and set aside an amount to save when you earn only enough. However, there are ways to save some money even with a small income. One is to lower down some of your expenses to get you some extra funds.
Once you do that, you will find out that there are certain areas of your finances that you can look at to help you save some money at the end of the month. Here are some of them you can use to get started with your savings goal.
Take out food
It might not seem much but the money you put down on buying take out food can total to a staggering amount when you put them all together. In fact, NY Post shares that Americans spend a whopping $70,000 on average in their lifetime on delivery and takeout. This is a big amount of money and could have been used somewhere else.
That being said, this is one area where you can definitely save money and improve your finances. So how do you bring this number down when it means you have to either lessen or totally give up food takeout and delivery? This would mean you need to start preparing and cooking your own meals for the whole family.
If you do not know how to cook, you would be happy to know that it is a skill that can be learned in a pretty short time. You do not need to have skills equivalent to that of a chef. You just need to make sure that you can cook healthy meals for you and your family. This is something you can do because you yourself get to choose the ingredients that go into each meal. You can even save money when buying in bulk at the grocery. Choose the ingredients that you will be using all throughout the week and buy a lot of them to save some money.
One of the biggest resolutions people have at the start of the year is to live a healthier life. This means eating healthy and taking up an exercise routine. This is where a gym membership comes in as a potential area of your finances to save money. The reason for this is that not a lot of people are able to maximize their gym membership.
Just to put that spending in context, Fox News shares that Americans are spending $155 per month on average for gym memberships as well as trainers, workout gear, meal plans, and supplements. There is nothing wrong with spending on your health. In fact, this is one of the best investments you can ever make in your life.
However, if you do not make the most of your gym membership and let it go to waste, you are better off with other forms of exercises. There are less expensive alternatives and even free exercise options to choose from. For one, you can just lace up your running shoes and start running in your neighborhood. This would not cost you anything other than the fact that you might have to buy shoes if you do not have one. However, it still comes out less expensive than paying for a gym membership and you do not get to use it.
Cable cutting has been making traction over the past few years as a great way to save money. This comes from the argument of not being able to maximize your cable subscription. Add the fact that there are a number of streaming options to choose from which will allow you to watch the movies that you want when you want it.
The main reason why a lot of consumers are ditching the cable and signing up with streaming services is that they get the freedom that they want to choose their shows. Original content is also a big draw for people who are choosing streaming services over cable subscription. The price point is also a little less expensive though streaming is slowly inching up its prices.
You just need to be on the lookout for the streaming service that would have most of what you want to watch. It is rare that one service would have everything you need so you need to look closely at their content. You might end up paying more compared to a cable subscription if you sign up to two or three services.
Recurring paid applications
To save money, you need to take a close hard look at your budget particularly your expenses. Scroll through every item in that list one by one. Pay close attention to those recurring payments you have in your budget. Are you paying for a music streaming service? You might not have noticed it but you are already subscribed to two services.
Do you still have your favorite magazine subscription? Switch to online reading because not only are they less expensive, you also get to bring with you the digital copies of your magazine rather than leaving them at home. Look for recurring expenses which you can do away with so you lower down your expenses.
Focus on strengthening your emergency fund
It might not seem like something which can help you directly save money but your emergency fund can help you in a number of ways. The basic function of your emergency fund is to get you through unexpected situations which can impact your finances. This can be anything from a broken light bulb at home to losing your job
If your reserve funds can cover for your immediate expenses during emergency situations, you do not have to borrow money elsewhere. Chances are you are in a hurry to get the money making you more susceptible to high-interest loans. If you have an emergency fund, you get to save the money you would otherwise have to pay to that lender.
Trying to save money may not be as easy as it seems but there are areas in your finances which can help you achieve that goal. You just need to make sure that you get to identify the areas you can make changes to in order to save some extra funds every month. You also need to be consistent with the changes you make to see real change.