Ok sis, now anybody that knows me knows that I am all about saving my coins. Now I know that we are all about getting the bag but can you maintain your bag?! Here are few saving tips that I personally use to help me save some coins in the long run.
Tip #1: Do an expense report on yourself
Go to your banking institution and ask for a report for the last 3 months. You can also do this through your banking app as well I believe. Doing this helps you to understand what you need to improve on in your expenses. For example, if you notice that you spend more money on food (because food is life), you may want to try cooking some of your favorites from home. You will be surprised at how much money you will save just from making small changes.
Tip #2: Leave the debit card at home and use your credit card
I know, I know! This tip may sound ridiculous to some but it has actually worked in my favor. When using a credit card, I am more conscious of my spending when its not coming directly out of my account. Use a credit card that allows your to gain reward points, but preferably cash rewards. Not only are you spending less because you know you will have to pay this back but also you can use the cash rewards to help pay the balance from the card. *SIDE NOTE* please research a card that offers a low interest rate and also gives you the most cash rewards from spending.* Some cards even offer $1 or more for every $5-$10 you spend. That can add up quickly in your favor. For example, I use my card for my grocery and gas expenses. Then pay it back before the statement date. Now, some people may not agree with this but I always leave a small balance on the card for after the statement date because it helps to improve my credit score but thats a conversation for a different day.
Second option: Just pay with cash. You will be more likely to spend less because you are on an automatic budget.
Tip #3: Automatic transfers to your savings/high yield savings accounts
Every time you get paid, pay yourself. Start a challenge with yourself whether it is a $1 a week or $50 a week. You will be surprised how much you will save after pushing money into your savings automatically. I always say, "I never spend or miss money I can't see." You are more likely to spend more if you think you have more free money. You see the mind tricks I just did there?!!! Also, you can check to see if your bank offers a high yield saving accounts. What is a high yield savings account you say? A high yield savings account interest rate pays up to 25 times the national average of a typical savings account. Just make sure you look into what the deposit requirements are, if there is a minimum balance requirement, or if there are any fees. Bottomline: do your research.
Tip #4: Budget and plan
Treat your finances almost like a business. Make sure that you can account for every dollar coming in and going out. Any plans need to be budgeted so there are no surprises. For example: if I am going on vacation. I need to calculate how much the travel and stay expenses will cost and how much play money I am willing to spend. This is a good way to start putting money away for this occasion and not disrupting the household finances as a whole. This budgeting goes for anything you want to do; not just vacations or big ticket purchases. You can even plan As the saying goes, "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail."
Tip #5: Always round up
Again, budgeting is key with any money you plan to spend. When paying bills I always round up to the nearest dollar. When I am doing the books for my household, I will take the mortgage, the electric bill, the water bill, etc and round each bill individually to the nearest dollar. Add them all together and you will have a set amount to set to the side. Then after paying your bills, you will have change left over and that left over change, just throw it in the savings.
Tip #6: Debt repayment using the Snowball Method
Obviously, the ultimate flex in saving money is paying off some of that debt. The easiest way to eliminate debt in my opinion is using the Snowball Method. What is the "snowball method' you ask?! Well, its basically paying off your debt from the smallest to the largest amount. Getting rid of small amounts of debt have a huge impact and that will free up your money so you can work down the big debt. Soon you'll be debt free. Just make sure you review your credit reports on which debts are not too old. Some debt will fall off after 7 years but credit is another conversation for another day.
I hope this was helpful in your quest to save money. If you have any tips you think would be helpful, leave a comment below. Hey we can help each other keep our bag. Be on the look out for a part 2 in the future. Maybe you will see some of your tips on the next one.