Whether you’re looking to save money on your household expenses, or for business purposes, there are a few money-saving principles that are common to both.
With everyone tightening their belts and looking for the best deals in every area of their outgoings, a penny saved has truly become a penny earned.
Starting with an honest picture of your finances is key – you would be surprised how easy it is to simply spend beyond your means whilst believing you’re being frugal.
Particularly when you’re falling for false economies and high quality brands would be more economical in the long run, for sheer durability.
Once you know what you’re dealing with, it’s easy to put that disposable income to work, and make great savings even on the most limited of budgets.
Here are 5 easy ways you can instantly apply to save more money!
1. Shop Around
Make use of price comparison sites, particularly for utilities and banking. It’s quite likely that reading the small print will make you aware of costs you could be avoiding with another provider, or by more diligent running of your account.
Don’t just automatically renew contracts, especially with cell phone or internet providers – quite often, new product releases are accompanied by attractive deals, for existing as well as new customers.
However, tread carefully, and don’t just get sucked in for the sake of the new gadget.
2. Procrastinate On Your Purchases
Whenever you want to buy something, ask yourself this question: “Do you really need to buy it?”
And if you do need to buy it, can you get it cheaper elsewhere?
And if you’re buying it online, can you use a cashback site to make a further saving?
Do your research – treat every purchase as a potential “impulse buy”, and mull it over.
If it’s something that can be purchased second-hand, check eBay or Craigslist before spending hundreds of dollars unnecessarily.
3. Make Do and Mend
This is a motto familiar in Britain during World War II, the idea of make do and mend was a credo that every 1940s housewife lived by without thinking.
Children’s clothes were altered to fit their younger siblings; leftovers were saved, and creatively became part of the next family meal; furniture was repurposed, and repainted.
Before you throw something away, ask yourself if you could repair it, use it for another purpose, or even sell it.
4. Avoid the Chains
How many cups of coffee do you buy on the go during an average week?
If you add up the cost of even forgoing one cup of coffee a week over the course of a year, you would be astonished. And considerably richer!
We all have a mental wish-list of things we would like to buy if we had the disposable income.
Walking past the coffee shop and putting that money in a jar instead is a very good start to having the extra cash to give you that financial freedom.
5. Cut Down on Takeout
Making the effort to cook even one meal a week from scratch can make a huge difference to your finances.
In a household where both of you may be working full-time jobs, it may not be possible to do this every day, and indeed, that’s the easiest way to set yourself up for failure.
Once that one meal has become a habit, it’s much easier to extend it to two, or even three home-cooked meals a week.
Using fresh, local ingredients is much cheaper, and better for you, than processed convenience products.
Once you start the money-saving habit, you will soon spot other ways to alter your spending behaviour, and realize that living frugally can also mean living well if you make wise choices.