You’re at the kitchen table with a stack of bills next to you, armed nothing with a pen and a calculator, you attempt to make sense out of last month’s finances. Much to your chagrin though, you find out that after taking all the expenses into account, you’re not left with much money.
You need to learn how to save money—more money so that you’re actually feeling the impact in your bank account.
So, you pull out that expenses spreadsheet again and start seeing where you can start cutting costs and begin looking for clever ways to save money in your budget each month.
Well, first and foremost… know that you’re not alone. This situation of needing to learn how to save money, is one that millions of people around the world find themselves in every single day.
As an entrepreneur, especially if you’re bootstrapping your business idea or starting a blog you hope to grow into a full-time business, it’s a constant battle to keep your finances in order. To find that right balance between investing enough money into your business so it actually grows, while still having enough money left over so you can pay your rent, buy groceries, and stay afloat.
As I mentioned earlier, the instinctual reaction to financial woes is to simply start cutting things out of your life. Which usually means taking a pass on that coffee in the morning, staying in for dinner, or making the choice to start cutting your own hair.
And I want to dispel a common myth. You don’t have to live an undesirable lifestyle in order to save money.
The problem with this kind of penny-pinching you’re doing when you skip the daily coffee, is that not only are you constantly demoralizing yourself by cutting out the little luxuries that make life worth living, but you’re saving pennies-on-a-dollar when you can be saving actual dollars.
That doesn’t mean that I’m telling you not to be frugal though. The wealthiest people in the world only got to where they are through smart money management.
What I am telling you however, is that there are better ways out there to save money.
Which is why I’ve put together this list today, to show you some of the most clever ways I’ve discovered to save money every month.
If you’re looking for a change, give these practical money management skills a try!
1. Savings before expenses
When your monthly salary comes, you probably set aside some for groceries, utility bills, and other essentials right away. Some people’s savings come from what’s left after paying all the necessary expenses. While that strategy works for some people, others are left with little to zero savings depending on how fat your paycheck is.
To avoid that from happening, you might start putting aside a realistic amount directly into your savings account before allocating your money for bills and other necessities. This may prepare you for unexpected expenses and save you in case you get low on cash. You may also learn how to maximize the remaining amount you have and not spend beyond that!
Read: step-by-step guide through the process of Getting your blog online in 2020 (web hosting)
2. Create a budget
This might sound obvious, but budgeting your money allows you to have a clearer picture of where your money goes. This includes your grocery list, utility bills, personal savings, emergency funds, and other things you need money for.
By budgeting, you can allot portions of your income in things that really matter. It may also be an effective way to avoid spending leaks and save up for sudden expenses or emergencies. Being on a budget also allows you to spend your extra cash on items you want—without feeling guilty about it!
As long as you’re spending within the budget, some small side purchases may not severely affect your monthly expenses. You can start off by keeping track of your purchases on a piece of paper or a spreadsheet.
3. Manage your subscriptions and memberships
Memberships and subscriptions are useful and fun until you forget you’re subscribed to dozens of services you’re not using. This might include gym memberships, or online subscriptions like Netflix, Spotify, LinkedIn, and others.
It’s essential to keep track of these, so you’ll know if you’re still maximizing the services you’re paying for. If you notice and find some subscriptions that you no longer use, you should consider cancelling them right away!
4. Know that there will always be another sale
Among the most popular spending triggers we have are clearance sales or major markdowns. This is when we usually go on shopping sprees because things are 10, 25, 50, or even 75 percent off. We buy because of the fear of missing out on those discounted items—not because we need ten pairs of high-waist shorts or twenty pints of ice cream.
Putting up signs like “sale” or “discounts” is a tactic used by stores to trigger your urge to spend. Don’t fall for this trick and remember, cheaper doesn’t always mean better!
Among the best money skills you need to practice is being conscious of your spending—it may be helpful to know your priorities.
Read: How to Create a Bitcoin Wallet Account(and buy your first Bitcoin) in 2020
5. Let your money make money for you
Putting your money or resources in investments is one of the most popular money management skills you’ll hear from people. It’s allocating money or other resources to grow them and generate income or revenue in the future. You can try searching for investment companies online to better understand which product best suits your needs.
Wouldn’t it be nice to travel back to 2009 and get bitcoin when its value was under a dollar? If you missed jumping on the crypto bandwagon early, don’t worry—it’s never too late to enter the markets of cryptocurrencies.
You can explore some interesting investment strategies like HODLing, where you buy bitcoin, hold it for a very long time, and sell it when the time is right. This is very popular, especially with new investors.
You can also find lots of online marketplaces where you can buy and sell bitcoin, like Paxful, or luno and make money from crypto arbitrage trading.
6. Limit the credit lines you own
Having a credit card or two can be really helpful, especially for those who make big purchases most of the time. It can yield exciting rewards and discounts, increased purchasing power, and more.
However, having multiple active credit cards at once can hurt your pocket. If you’re not careful, there’s a risk that you’ll make impulse purchases you can’t pay off. It can also be challenging to keep track of all the payment due dates from different companies.
Most—if not all—credit card companies charge annual fees even when you’re not using the card. Check your credit lines if you have many, and consider closing those accounts that you don’t use anymore. You may save hundreds of dollars worth of charges by doing this.
7. Live within your means
Here’s another must-have practical money skill: don’t buy something you can’t afford, especially if you have other important bills to pay. You wouldn’t want to see yourself frowning over a low bank account balance, right?
Maybe that wristwatch looks really good on you, but is it still within your budget? If not, then you can leave it at the store and come back for it when the time is right.
Read:15 easy Ways to Make Money with Bitcoin in 2020
8. Try some side hustles
There’s a great deal of side gigs that can be a nice source of extra income. Know where you’re good at and turn that passion, hobby, or skill into profit! You can stream your gameplay on various platforms, sell delicious pastries online, take writing or editing gigs, translate some write-ups, or transcribe audio files, during your free time. You can add your extra income to your savings or spend on stuff you like later on.
9. Carry enough cash
Swiping a credit card is so tempting and easy to do, but the repercussions of not doing it in moderation can be hard to bear. We’re gradually transitioning into a digital world where cashless transactions are becoming the new normal. However, having some cash in your wallet that’s enough to take care of your errands can save you from spending too much! When there’s no more cash, you can’t spend anymore. Simple!
10. Note your bills’ due dates
Your friend may be okay with you running late to a meeting, but don’t be late when it comes to paying your bills. Late payments often come with penalties or charges, and if you’ve already set aside money for your bills, that means you have to take out an extra amount outside of your budget.
Check and note all your bills’ due dates to ensure that they’ll get paid on time, so you won’t have to spend extra bucks!
Read:Why Lamborghini Became the Status Symbol of the Crypto Boom
It’s never too late
In addition to what we’ve listed above, you can also try other practical money skills like taking an off-season vacation using discount coupons on groceries, buying locally made items, and a lot more. You’ll be surprised to know how much you can save!
It might be frustrating to deal with the undesirable effects of financial mistakes from the past, but we all learn from our experiences. Again, it’s never too late for you to develop a solid financial plan. Try some of the tips we’ve discussed above and let us know which works best for you!