Saving Money From Home
Life is very expensive. Between bills, education and the occasional accident can all have a massive negative impact on your savings. But no matter what life has in store for you there are ways to prepare. Knowing how to save money is vital to ensuring that you have the funds to survive the worst situations. Here at How to Make Money From Home will outline several tips that you can use and hopefully after reading through these tips you too will know how to save money.
1. Write a list before going shopping and do not deviate from that list
Discipline is important for saving money. Indulging yourself with unneeded treats like fizzy drinks and biscuits are a great way to rack up extra costs at the checkout. Sticking rigidly to your shopping list will be initially quite hard the benefits will be obvious after the first week or so. Impulse buys can ruin your budget plans so sticking to the lists you write is one of the most important things to do.
2. Avoid eating out or ordering food
Restaurant and take away food can be very expensive especially if you do it on a regular occasion. Learning to make your own food can not only reduce this cost but also be incredibly rewarding. Greengrocers and farmers markets are great places to go for price-efficient ingredients. Making your own food can also provide a number of health benefits.
3. Avoid expensive habits like smoking and drinking
With governments taxes, cigarettes have become incredibly expensive over the years. The cheapest method to quit is cold turkey but most people don’t have that much willpower, nicotine patches or electronic cigarettes are not terribly pricey and the savings that come from ending your smoking habit will be worth it. Alcohol is also an incredibly expensive habit. Cutting down your daily and weekly intakes slowly over a long period can let you ease yourself off alcohol or just lower your intake.
4. Sell things that you don’t use anymore
It’s easy to hoard things, gifts that you never found a use for, impulse buys that you never really wanted but thought you did, old devices that you upgraded a while ago and many more will naturally accumulate as you go through life. Rather than simply holding on to things that you aren’t even using you can make a little extra cash by selling them on. You could either sell them to a business like cash converters, trade them in for a discount when you purchase a replacement or hold a garage sale for all your old stuff. You’d be surprised what items other people are interested in.
5. Get a smart meter to track your electricity and gas usage.
Being able to keep track of how your electricity and gas are being used and exactly how much influence you have over your bills will make you feel like you have more control and lead to immediate savings. If you contact your energy provider, they should send someone round to install the smart meter for you.
6. Avoid using credit cards.
Not seeing the money physically in front of you makes it much easier to spend. Remember, impulse purchases are the enemy and they must be stopped. Keeping your credit cards somewhere secure and out of sight makes it a harder impulse buy. It’ll make you truly consider if what you have your eyes on is worth it if you have to go through a hassle to get your credit card out and it’ll help you stay disciplined.
7. Compare different banking accounts to see which one is best for you
It’s easy to become a creature of habit and stick with the familiar, but if you’re not willing to look for cheaper deals you’re just going to miss out on them, nothing ventured nothing gained. Switching your bank account can be effective if one bank provides much better deals then your current setup. There are a lot of great saving accounts offered by banks, just normally they aren’t very well known. Often times banks offer incentives for creating an account with them or switching to them. After these initial benefits conclude it may no longer be worth sticking with them, switching may be better in the long term.
8. Set a budget for your weekly spending.
This step requires a lot of discipline but can be achieved through slow and careful adjustment of goals. This will require a deep understanding of all your necessary expenses and income, this budget will have to account for everything including bills, food, travel costs, and even entertainment. This can be especially hard when budgeting for multiple people. As long as you are able to successfully stick to this budget your savings will reap huge benefits and you will be able to treat yourself properly knowing that you earned it. The hardest part is right at the very beginning but the longer you successfully stick to it the easier it will be.
9. Buy used items over brand new ones if possible.
This is a very simple and effective way of saving money. Buying clothes from charity shops, cars from second-hand dealers, second-hand video games for entertainment, most hardware can be bought second hand. While the condition can vary you will generally still get a valuable product that’s just as practical as a newer version. This method is also slightly limited in that you can’t buy consumable goods like food second hand.
10. Cancel unused services and memberships.
Forgetting about any services with periodic fees attached to them can spell disaster for your efforts to save, things like Amazon Prime, gym memberships and the like can be easily forgotten about and damage your efforts to save. There is no sense in spending money on something that you aren’t using. If you feel like you still want something to help you exercise you can save money by switching from a gym membership to a fitness app on your mobile.
11. Dial back your holidays.
Holidays can be a nice way to relax and wind down, however, they can also take quite a large toll on your savings. Life can be very stressful, and breaks are often necessary so I’m not suggesting skipping your holidays, all you need to do is lower the scale of your holidays so that they aren’t so expensive. Instead of going abroad for 2 weeks you could stay in your country and visit local historical sites or travel to a big city for a few days. This can be harder when your holiday is for multiple people, in this case, speak to your partner and try to come to a compromise.
12. Stop wasting food.
This is something everyone is guilty of doing so you shouldn’t feel too bad for this one. Still, making the most out of all of your food can go a long way. Simply eating your leftovers instead of throwing them away is a good habit to develop as you will not need to buy as much food if you use leftovers for some of your meals. Learning ways to reuse leftovers and turn them into new meals can make them more appealing, you could check out your local library for any cookery books to help you with this.
13. Wait 30 days before big purchases.
This is intended to stamp out impulse purchases. Whilst requiring a lot of discipline and willpower it is incredibly effective if done properly. The purpose of this exercise is self-reflection, if you wait a long period of time before making a major purchase, it gives you plenty of time to think it over and consider if you really do need it. If you decide during the wait that you don’t really need it or if the buzz goes away, then end up saving yourself a pretty penny. If the situation doesn’t change after 30 days, then you can comfortably make the purchase knowing that you are making the right decision.
14. Try fixing your own items.
While the modern standard is to simply throw away and replace what is damaged this is actually extremely wasteful and people should be less eager to replace and more eager to repair. Invest in a sewing machine to patch up torn clothes, learn some DIY to avoid having to hire a professional. Not only will you save money, but you’ll learn useful life skills as well. There are a myriad of written and video tutorials online that you can consult if you are unsure about anything.
15. Utilise public transport or purchase a bicycle.
Cars are expensive, this is just a fact of life. MOTs, tax, fuel, washing it, the maintenance of a car ensures it stays costly long after you’ve bought it. There are many alternative forms of transport and finding out which is right for will depend on your unique circumstances. Walking and cycling are by far the healthiest alternatives as they will offer considerable exercise over a long period of time. Cycling will require a large initial investment due to the much smaller maintenance cost it will save a significant amount of money on petrol alone. If this is not suitable for you (for example if you travel long distances to get to work) then simply taking the train or bus works as well, make sure that you get a term ticket if you plan on travelling this way several times a week.
16. Buy in bulk.
This may initially seem counterproductive, how would buying more items lead to saving? Upon further inspection, this is not as paradoxical as it seems. Many places like Costco allow for deals if you buy your items in bulk, businesses buy their supplies on bulk at discounts and there’s no reason why you can’t take advantage of the same trick. You could also consider investing in a deep freezer in order to open more of these bulk opportunities to you.
17. Utilise your local library.
You would be surprised what you can find at your local library. Utilise the various books they have available as well as their computers in order to do any internet activities. You can do research for free, find clubs and other community activities to take part in. You can also rent DVDs and CDs for free from some libraries in order to save costs on entertainment. All these services and resources are free for you to use to make sure you are using everything available to you.
18. Try suggesting cheaper options for meeting up with your friends.
It’s easy to splash the cash when cutting loose with your friends. This can of course negatively affect your savings if done too frequently or too extravagantly. Discuss your situation with your friends and they will be understanding, plan out cheaper meetups, maybe instead of a pub crawl you could simply stay home and watch a movie or two. If you explain your situation to your friends they’ll be understanding.
19. Adjust your television plan.
There is an insane number of television channels available nowadays, every type of entertainment is widely available. However, the vast majority of these channels never get used, it is important to recognise what you don’t use in order to save. Talk with your television supplier to changes your packages, if you use a package for only one channel it probably isn’t worth what it’s contributing to your bill. Some companies may be willing to negotiate a better deal with you, but if yours isn’t you may want to consider switching to a different supplier for a more reasonable plan.
20. Turn off your electrical devices when they aren’t being used.
Wasting energy is an innocuous yet efficient way to waste money. Energy bills can be pricey but with careful consideration, you do have some control over how much you’ll be charged at the end of the month. Simply turning off your electrical device when not in use will help save money on your electric bill overall. If you have a smart meter you can see in real-time just how much wasting energy can cost you. Leaving the tv on when you aren’t in the room, not switching the pc off, leaving lights on overnight and many more can carelessly rack up your bill.
21. Prepare your own meals.
This heavily ties in with not ordering food or going to restaurants. Many greengrocers and farmers markets offer great deals on ingredients to make your own meals with. Not only is this much heavily then ordering takeout meals it is also significantly cheaper and more satisfying. Many places online or in your library are available to teach you various recipes and help you take the first steps. Knowing how to prepare your own food is also a very useful life skill.
22. Find out all of the benefits your employer offers.
You’d be surprised what kind of benefits your company offers in the fine print. Spend an afternoon talking with someone from human resources in order to find out everything that your company offers you. This can lead to a variety of things like improved pension payments. You won’t know if you don’t ask.
23. Make your own gifts.
Obviously, you won’t be able to make specific gifts like video games or action figures but that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise your creativity. Whilst with children it’s safer to stick with conventional presents from stores, with your adult friends they will be more understanding of your situation and will probably love the sentiment of the gift. Some people even prefer homemade presents as they are more personal. Make sure you talk to your friends and relatives in advance about this, they will be understanding of your situation.
24. Find cheaper hobbies.
Finding ways to entertain yourself during your spare time is incredibly important for staving off boredom but it is also important to consider cheaper options. Many hobbies such as games or going to the pub with mates can be pretty pricey in the long run. Look for clubs to join, find some good books at your local library, find hobbies that don’t have long-term costs associated with them. You might even make some new friends in the meantime.
25. Keep an eye out for any possible deals or sales.
Savings and deals aren’t going to come to you, you need to go to them, look for upcoming sales at your local stores, save up coupons, compare where you’re currently shopping at with other establishments and just constantly be aware of opportunities. You’d be surprised what rates you could get your current services at by going somewhere else. Try checking what benefits the various banks offer you for your savings account and switch to whatever one offers the best deal for your situation.
26. Set frequent small goals.
Instant gratification is a very dangerous thing as it can lead to all sorts of damaging habits like impulse spending, but you can also use it to your advantage. By setting several smaller goals to achieve instead of one large goal, you can track your progress more tangibly and feel better about spending. By utilising this strategy, you will be more willing to save over long periods of time because you see the benefits much earlier.
27. Don’t carry too much money on you.
Limiting the amount of money you carry on your person at any given time along with not carrying your credit card will heavily limit your spending options whilst you are out and about. This will force you to be a lot more frugal as you are forced to limit yourself to just what you are going out to buy and keep yourself from being distracted. This is a great exercise to build discipline if you don’t trust yourself. Once you have practised this for a while you should have more self-control and reap the benefits.
28. Bring your own lunch into work.
This ties into making your own meals. Buying lunch every day at work can be quite pricey over the long term even if there is a seemingly high-value meal deal. There are many simple and easy to make meals that you could bring in from home, from sandwiches to rice meals and soups. Finding effective and tasty recipes online or in your local library is straightforward. Doing this could even lead to health benefits as well as saving you a fair amount of money.
29. Insulate your home.
This will help you lower your energy bills, especially during the colder months. While the initial investment may seem pricey the benefits come from long-term savings. The reduced energy expenditure during the winter months will show results, unfortunately, this takes much longer to start actually saving money than the other tips in this list and if one is really desperate then the initial cost might block this option off from them. If hiring a professional would cost you too much, you can simply go to your local DIY store and purchase some insulation and place it yourself.
30. Don’t buy popcorn or drinks at the theatre.
A little self-indulgence once in a while is a great way to let some steam off and deal with the stresses of life, however, this doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to relax effectively. Cinema snacks are often unreasonably expensive and after buying movie tickets do you really want to be paying much more for refreshments? Simply sneak your own snacks in with you into the theatre to save a ton of money, purchasing your snacks from a pound store of some kind will allow you to have access to the same snacks for several times cheaper than if you bought them at the concession stand.