With the news that more budget cuts would be enacted (because of the disagreement between Republicans and Democratics and thein inability to work together), it made me realize again that low and middle class Americans will be directly targeted. Financial topics are always hard to write and its especially hard to take financial advice from the experts. Experts never seem to have the everyday ‘Joe’ in mind. How many times have we heard that we should be saving 10% of our income for savings and retirement. I don’t know about you but I don’t know a lot of people that can do that because they are living paycheck to paycheck and for the people that I know that can, they are more into the instant gratification and consumerism that plagues are society – so no savings there.
For once, I would like an expert to be real. To look at people’s situations and offer some viable, easy to follow and not drastic ways to save money. So that is the reason for my post. I’m in no way a financial or investment expert. I have no formal training in any financial field. However I’m a person that has had to make some changes in my life so that I can save. The push towards this came from gaining a better understanding of the things that are important to me and determining the things that I want to do in my life. Money for home renovations, money for travel, money for school. These are my priorities and that is why I thought I would share the best three ways to save money with everyone.
1. Cut out the excess (i.e. eating out, going to the movies, all the latest technology or the newest hottest trendy item, etc.)
2. Write down daily everything you are spending
Cutting out the excess was the hardest thing for me and that is why I added it to the top of my list. I love eating out and I love movies. Yet when I looked back on what I was spending on these things, it made me really think. These things weren’t essential and they were costing me hundreds of dollars per month and what did I get from them – a few hours of entertainment and a full belly. Its hard. I’m not going to lie. It makes me so jealous when I see people eating out all the time, going to bars, the movies and I’m at home making my dinner and watching Netflix (which isn’t the worst thing). In all my cutting, I also got rid of cable and subscribed to Netflix. I’ve also realized that I don’t need the newest of everything – no iPhone 5 for me. I have stuck with my old blackberry. It still works. I guarantee if you try this – you will not believe the money that you save. Also, I still do go to the movies and I do occasionally eat out and its great – its something to look forward too.
The last thing that I recommend as a one of the best three ways to save money is to go to your bank and set up an amount that is automatically transferred into your savings account. I did this and at first I had my bank set up $20 monthly. As I started saving more, I increased the amounts that were taken out (like to $40 when I saw the coffee expenses). It was another year before I was comfortable raising it up. I’m happy to say that I now put away at least $600 per month. Saving has been a hard process but it’s really worth it – my next vacation is in September and is already paid for.
- Discover Savings Accounts for Every Lifestyle (ally.com)
- 4 Ways to Build an Emergency Fund with Extra Savings (ally.com)
- CashNetUSA | 3 Money Rules to Live By – CashNetUSA (cashnetusa.com)
- 5 Smart Ways to Spend Your Income Tax Refund (apartmentguide.com)
- Her Financial Goal: Cut Out All Those Small Money Wasters (dailyfinance.com)
- 10 Easy Ways to Save Money (lovinghomelife.wordpress.com)
- 14 Ways to Cut Down Your Monthly Expenses (healthylifestyleplus.com)
- How To Improve Your Finances (nationaldebtrelief.com)