Saving money is one of the hardest things to do in an economy where most people have incurred some sort of debt. Whether it be student loans, medical bills, legal bills, or your simply living in a pay check to pay check situation. As much as I believe money cannot bring happiness, it sure does make you feel better when you have it. I sincerely believe that one small part of living a stress free life is getting on top of your finances. A study by economist Angus Denton and Pscychologist Daniel Kahneman actually suggest that money does indeed make you happy up to about $75,000/yr (Luscombe, Time.com, 2010). I decided to do some research on this subject because it is an issue plauging so many people. I’ve gathered 5 of the most useful money saving/ getting out of debt tips that I could find. Take a look at the list below and see if you could apply some of them.
1. Pay debt off in order of the interest rate:
When you feel like you’ve dug yourself into a hole financially the best thing to do is to start paying things off. Make a list of what you owe, make calls and get information on the interest rates if you don’t already know or if you forgot. Then make a priority list and tackle the most important bills first.
2. Keep track of spending manually:
Growing up my older brother was always way better at saving money than me (yes, I had to have the candy). He would actually write down everything he spent on a little note pad that he’d carry around. This is a great idea if your trying to save money because sometimes with pending transactions and just not really thinking about it, you’ll end up spending more of your money than you thought. For me writing down how much I spend and on what makes me evaluate what I spent my money on as well as helping me keep track. If pen and paper isn’t your thing use the notes application on your phone.
3. Put back a few dollars even if it hurts:
I know, it’s hard. Especially when you feel like you don’t have much money to save in the first place. It can be done though! Even putting back $2 is a start. I like to save my change. Over time it really does add up! There have been times when I’ve cashed in my change and there was over $100 and it didn’t take that much time to save it up.
There are also plenty of money saving chanlleges like the dime challenge, the $5 challenge and lots of other fun ways to save money. When you get a second look some up and try it. I’m going try the 52 week challenge. I’ll be getting back to you about what exactly that is and how it’s going for me so keep reading. But, on to number 4!
4. Don’t eat out/ skip going out:
I skipped going out with my friends for a few weeks and I had a lot more extra money left over. Going out is expensive over time especially if you drink. Tipsy you is never good with money and a few shots for yourself could easily turn into buying a round for the whole bar. So if your trying to save skip going out and do lowkey activities for a while. Eating at home is also a good idea. $20 on food you cook at home goes a lot longer than going out and spending $15-$20 on one meal. Cooking food that you can eat for multiple days and simply the act of cooking at home can save you so much money. Plus, as you’ve probably read in my previous post ‘Lazy Girls Guide To Staying Fit’ cooking your own meals is also a great way to stay in shape.
5. Cut expenses:
Do you absolutely need those shoes? Do you really need the best cable package there is to offer? Is the expensive brand really better than the generic? Do you really need those bundles girl? There are so many areas where you can cut your expenses. Do your nails at home for a few months, or try cutting some of your guilty pleasures out and you can save so much. There are so many things you feel like you need but you actually don’t. So, while your saving try to go without the things you don’t really need.
These are some of the tips I found to be really useful. Getting a second job or creating a second income is always a great idea also. I know that every situation is different but these are really good basics to start with. I hope that some of these tips will help. As I think of or hear about more tips I’ll be sure to share. As always, please, please feel free to share some of your tips in my comments! Thank you for reading!