If you are finding it hard to make it from paycheck to paycheck without relying on your credit card, or want to save up some money for a rainy day, look no further. These are tips that are guaranteed to save you money, and most of them are fairly easy to implement.
Go forth and save!
Big ticket savings
These money saving tips will have a big impact on your bottom line. If you only use some of my tips, make sure you start with the top ten – they are pure gold for saving cash.
1. Live close to work: You can drastically reduce your reliance on fuel, or possibly the need for a car altogether. Time saved commuting is time you could be spending doing something else – time is your most precious resource, so make sure you don’t waste it driving to work in rush-hour traffic.
2. Ride a bike: Save money on fuel, on car registration and insurance. Save money on gym memberships, develop discipline and willpower. Everything about bikes is awesome. They are cheap to buy, cheap to maintain and good for the environment. I’ve written a post specifically about this – read more about how awesome bicycles are here.
3. Have a budget and review it regularly: Knowing where your money is and where it is going is the first step to working out how to save it. Are you spending $500 a month on take away food? If you are, you really need to know that so you can do something about it. If you’re in the USA, you really should check out Mint. It’s a free product that lets you add all your accounts so you can track your money in one place. It’s secure, easy to use and powerful. Pretty graphs too.
4. Set up an emergency fund: Some people suggest keeping a year’s worth of expenses in a savings account in case of an emergency, but I think that’s too much for most people. Work out what you’re likely to need to get through losing your job or if your hot water cylinder dies spectacularly. If you need to use a credit card to get through emergencies, then you’re wasting money and setting yourself up for financial trouble. If you do set up an emergency fund, preferably use a high interest savings account.
5. Pay yourself first: If you religiously pay yourself first (retirement savings, topping up your emergency fund, long term savings) and spend only what is left over after your bills are also paid, you’re very unlikely to get into major trouble. As the great Warren Buffett said: “Do not save what is left over after spending, but spend what is left over after saving.”
6. Get serious about crushing your debt: Paying interest to someone else to fund past purchases is a horrible place to be in, and it’s really hard to get ahead. Pay more than the minimum payment and prioritize debts that have the highest interest rates (all other things being equal). Check out this great tool to see how long it’ll take you to get into the black, and where to start: Unbury.me
7. Cut your own hair: If you keep your hair short and you haven’t bought a pair of cheap, reliable clippers (Note: This is an affiliate link, it won’t cost you more if you use the link, but it will help support the blog!) then you need to have your head read. It’ll save you an absolute packet and is about the easiest thing in the world to do. Paying someone to chop your hair slightly shorter is madness. Read my sermon about this topic here.
8. Learn how to cook basic meals: Cooking doesn’t have to be hard. It’s actually quite a bit of fun once you learn some basic skills. It’s definitely cheaper than buying dinner or your lunch at work. Also make large quantities of each meal to use in the days ahead or to freeze as the economies of scale will help you save. Check out Gordon Ramsey’s great ‘Ultimate Cookery Course’ on YouTube as a brilliant starting point.
9. Exercise: Moving your body about and getting your heart rate up is what it’s all about – it doesn’t have to be expensive, and almost certainly doesn’t have to involve a gym membership. Adding years to your life expectancy is a great return on your investment here – you’ll save a heap of money later on in increased productivity, cheaper health insurance and on medical expenses. Start running today.
10. Sell your junk: Sell your old games, books, CDs, DVDs, records, or stuff in the garage. I sold stuff that was lying around the other weekend and made $350 with almost no effort.