September is self improvement month, and if you’re looking to change, why not start with your financial well being? On average, Americans tend to overspend on expenses they don’t simply need.
So, how can you cut your spending habits and have more money in the bank? By following our money saving tips to help you gain control of your personal finances.
Get rid of the expenses you don’t need.
There’s a difference between wants and needs when it comes to your personal finances, and if you’re overspending on frivolous wants, it can make it hard to pay for things you actually need.
Products or services that aren’t a necessity can swallow up your savings and make it harder for you to pay for essentials, such as food, housing, basic utilities, transportation, and even insurance.
How can you separate the expenses of what you need versus what you actually want?
First off, take a look at your bills and analyze what you’re paying for every month. Are you paying for both a cell and home phone? Chances are you don’t need both. Does your cable bill come in around $200 a month? Well, if you very infrequently watch TV, prioritize that money to go elsewhere with these money saving tips.
Additionally, subscriptions like a gym membership, streaming services, or specialty retail deliveries may seem inexpensive at first, but can add up overtime, especially if you aren’t using them regularly.
By paying for something you’re not actively using daily or weekly, you aren’t getting your money’s worth. Therefore, if your subscriptions aren’t being used regularly, try to cancel them. Save your personal finances the exhaustion of unused monthly memberships.
Save on your utilities.
Once you’ve separated your needs and wants in your personal finances, it’s time to look at how you can use these money saving tips to save on your monthly essentials, like your utility bills. While you may not be able to completely eliminate the expenses of heating, water, or electricity, you can still save money by taking these proactive steps towards an energy saving lifestyle.
- Shut off anything not in use, such as lights, fans, electronics, or water.
- Appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers can add to your electricity bill. Opt to hand wash your dishes and hang your clothes outdoors or indoors on a rack when you can.
- Inspect your home for any leaks or cracks. This is important before the summer or winter time. Leaks and cracks allow cool and hot air to escape, causing you to use more energy than you need to.
- Use thick curtains around your windows. Not only will this help keep your home warm in the winter months, but in the summer, thick curtains provide shade and help keep your home cooler.
- Invest in a dehumidifier or humidifier. Summer can cause excessive humidity, making the air feel sticky and hotter than it actually is. Additionally, in the winter, the air can get very dry and harder for the air to retain warmth. Therefore, using something such a dehumidifier or humidifier can help keep your home environment cooler or warmer without costing you a lot of money.
Take advantage of coupons.
Do you use coupons? If not, it’s a good habit to start. With the ever rising cost of items like food and clothing, coupons can help you get a great deal on items you need. You can find coupons online, in store, or in print material such as magazines, receipts, or newsprint. Before you head out, do a bit of research and plan.
Be weary while couponing though, because some coupons actually want you to spend more to get the deal. For example, some coupons require you spend a certain amount to receive a discount on your total, while others require to you to purchase multiple items to get the sale.
Therefore, unless you really need four loaves of bread, it’s best to ignore coupons like that. Don’t spend more than you need to, because then you’re not really getting much of a deal.
Additionally, if you can’t find a deal or coupon on an item you normally buy, opt for the store brand instead.
When you purchase goods or clothing from a thrift store, it may not be brand new, but for the most part it’s in fairly good condition. This is a great way to utilize our money saving tips and have a better grasp on your financial well being.
Plus, there are a variety of places online where you can find great deals on used clothing, appliances, electronics, and more through websites like eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook marketplace. Look around before you make a major purchase on expensive items.
Check up on your insurance policy.
Therefore, consider allowing one of our licensed insurance agents to take a look at your current insurance policy. We work with multiple carriers to find all of our customers the best coverage for the best price. We also promise to help you understand all of your insurance options.
Even if you maintain a clean driving record and pay your bills on time, sometimes your insurance premium can go up unexpectedly due to carrier rate increases. If you feel your insurance rate isn’t within your budget, speak with one of our agents and we can help you get the best coverage for the best price.
Stick with a budget.
Another way to best practice these money saving tips is to learn how to budget effectively. If you’re unsure on how to get started, use the popular 50/30/20 plan, which suggests using 50% of your take home income for necessities like housing, utilities, and food. The next 30% goes to expenses such as clothing, internet, eating out, cable, phone, etc. and the remaining 20% goes towards any savings or loans you may owe. However, you can have a bit of flexibility with these numbers depending on your needs and income.
Having control over your personal finances leads to greater financial freedom in the future. If you’re looking for other money saving tips to help you spend your income wisely, check out our blog about how to save money on gas by clicking the button below.