One of the goals you might have for the year is to find a way to save money and help you plan for your future better. When you get the chance to save some money, you get to plan for your needs better. For one, you increase the chances of being able to meet your financial obligations. Having extra funds at the end of the month can mean you have more than enough to cover your payments. If you get to save extra funds from your finances, it will help you plan better for your future. Here are a few of these skills worth looking into.
Learn how to budget to save money
It might seem like a surprise but not a lot of people know how to budget their money. This is crucial because this skill can actually pave the way for you to set aside money to save. It all starts with putting a budget together. The simplest approach is to jot down all your income on one column and all your expenses on the other.
The idea is to make sure that you have more than enough to meet all your financial obligations and set aside extra funds to save every month. Your budget is the primary tool that tells you if you need to lower down expenses, increase your income or even both. It gives you an overview of your money allocation so you can appropriate your funds accordingly.
The other part of this equation is actually following the budget. You can have a simple budget or a comprehensive one but at the end of the day, you need to follow it. That budget will not serve its purpose if it is just left on your desk while you go out and do the grocery. You need to constantly check it and follow it. This is the way to make your budget work.
Learn how to cook
One of the skills that will help you save money is learning how to cook food for the family. It might surprise you to know that you can spend almost $70,000 in a lifetime just for takeout. Learning how to cook will also require you learn other skills. For one, you need to develop the skill of buying in bulk the ingredients you need. This can already help you save some money at the grocery.
One other skill you can learn when cooking food is batch cooking. This is where you find recipes you can either cook or prepare for the whole week. This way, you will either reheat or cook faster when you get home from the office. It takes away the guessing game and it will also give you the chance to prepare the food faster.
One other thing this gives you is total control over what your family eats. You get to choose the ingredients you put in the food. You can also grow some of them with a garden at home. There are a number of ways to grow them even with a vertical garden when you do not have a lot of extra space at home.
Riding a bike
Another skill you can learn which can help you save money is riding a bike. It might not seem much but you might be surprised by the amount you spend on transportation. USA Today shares that on an average every year, people spend over $9,000 in transportation alone. This not only includes the cost of vehicles but gasoline, maintenance, and even public transportation expenses.
Imagine if you can learn to ride a bike and be able to ride it 50% of the time to and from work. You get to save a lot of money from that one decision alone. As an added bonus, you get the chance to enjoy the sights you would normally ignore in your commute. You might even get to meet new friends along the way.
When you decide to bike to work, you are also getting some form of exercise for your body. This is a great bonus for you because the healthier you are, the more you get to save money. You just have to figure out how you can change your shirt once you get to work because you do not want to smell while in the office.
Running or other physical activity
As mentioned earlier, it is important to get some form of exercise so apart from getting it as an added bonus while saving with transportation cost, why not do it on purpose? Look for a new activity that will get you moving. There is a lot to choose from when you want to get into a healthier lifestyle and it basically depends on your budget.
If you have some funds, you can choose to enroll in a gym membership but you need to take advantage of it. There are also classes you can take or simply invite your friends to make it a little more fun and exciting. You can look at your local park and see if there are free classes you can take every morning or on weekends.
You can also simply take up running and use the park or road near your house. All you need is a decent running shoe and you are set. Being healthy can help you save money in a number of ways. For one, you can lessen the chances for over the counter medicine because of a healthier body. You can also lower the chances of seeing a doctor and paying for consultation.
Honing your hobby
You might not realize it but your hobbies can actually help you not only save money but make money as well. If you love fixing things around the house, you can save from repairs. You do not always have to call the handyman whenever something is broken. You can simply do the repairs yourself and save the money.
It is also possible that your neighbors call on you when they need something repaired. That is extra money you can bring into your budget. It can also be something you can look into as a source of income in retirement. The important thing is that it should be something you love to do. If you are forced into it, you can quickly lose interest in it and you would have to start all over again.
Learn how to bargain
Another useful skill you can learn this year to help you save money is to learn how to bargain. You might not be doing it because you feel it will just take up a lot of time. It is also possible that you might be a little ashamed to ask for one. That is why you just agree with whatever your lenders tell you when it comes to financial products especially your payments.
Time even shares an article where they point out that almost 80% of people who asked their lenders to lower their APR were successful. Of course, you need to make a case for your request to be approved but this all starts with the willingness to ask. You need to have the courage to ask especially your lenders for things you want. The least that can happen is they decline your request. If they will tell you the reason why you were not approved, you can work on improving that so you get approved the next time around.
There are a number of useful skill you can develop which will ultimately give you a better chance to save money for future needs.