From saving money to buy a house or paying off remaining student-loan debt, there are countless ways to make sure your pockets are full and your shoulders are stress free. Financial security can implement a strong sense of implicit happiness and protect against emergencies, and ultimately, allows you to do more in regards to both life’s necessities and recreation.
Having a strong financial plan in place can be difficult to manage, though, especially when those paychecks just aren’t what you’d like them to be. Luckily, there are many ways to track your expenses and save money in today’s age. Here are a few ways you can maximize your savings account.
Making Yourself Accountable
Have a goal and hold yourself to it. In the event you don’t meet your saving benchmarks, it’s important to have a consequence in mind to hold yourself accountable. Maybe this means you’ll stay in this weekend or forgo those new speakers you’ve wanted to buy. Whatever your personal consqeuence may be, calculate how much money you saved by implementing that accountability in cutting and send it straight to your savings. You may be surprised how fast it adds up.
Money Saving Apps
Mint: Keep track of all your financial activities to make sure you have a grasp on your cash flow. Mint takes note of your spending patterns and creates a budget with visualized graphs that clearly show your good and bad spending habits. Know your budget and you’ll always be in the black.
Groupon: Most of us have purchased something on the popular discount hub. Whether it was a cheap addition to your body art or a new two-piece suit, the savings are fantastic. But, maybe they’re too good. To save yourself from getting too carried away, try and give yourself a 48-hour waiting period to contemplate whether you really need that grill shaped like a pig. Just because it’s a great deal, doesn’t mean you need to go out of your way or your budget to acquire it.
GasBuddy: Gas is one of those annoying expenses you hate, but that are almost universally necessary. Avoid feeling sad after you fill up your tank by seeking out the lowest fuel prices around. Maybe a few bucks here and there doesn’t seem like a lot (especially when you’re running low or late for work), but trust us –it adds up.
Make Your Own Coffee
Spending $5 on that whole milk latte every morning will add up fast. Whatever your drink of choice may be, if you get your coffee from a barista you’re likely spending $100-$150 on caffeine every month. Instead, you could buy a relatively cheap coffee maker from Amazon to cut out the bad habit.
After spending $25 on a machine and about $8 on a potent dose of coffee beans per week, you’ve saved yourself a solid chunk of money that can go elsewhere — maybe to those speakers you weren’t able to get before or, you know, that rainy day fund.
Related: Get Your Coffee Fix
Find the Meaning of Free
Yes, it is a cliche, but the best things in life are truly free. Over the last month, I’ve been to four free concerts which I won through simply sharing events and entering contests on social media. You can also check out local blogs to find what activities you can do around your town or city which costs approximately nada.
Cut the Cable
And no, not for Direct TV. At NPD Group of Market Research, they found that cable TV costs will soon rise to an average of $123 a month, or about $1,500 a year. Why spend so much on TV with services such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime at your disposal? This way you can stay up to date on your favorite TV shows and movies on your own time and for just a fraction of the price. Want to go a step further? Sling TV is a live-television subscription streaming service that promises to help you cut the cord and cut your bills. With a $20 per month Sling Orange pack, you get 25 channels including favorites like AMC, Viceland, and ESPN. Upgrade your package to just $40 per month and get more than 40+ channels. The best part about all these options? You’ll be out from under the foot of that near-monopoly, Comcast.
Stop Paying for Fitness
A healthy, active lifestyle does wonders for your body and brain. But gym membership prices can be a little outrageous these days. To counter this expense, you can try other ways to stay in shape at home, like running around the neighborhood or investing in your own home gym. A pair of free weights and a bench will give you enough workouts to stay fit and save money in the process. Also, check out a few at-home workout apps to help you get fit without the expense of the gym.
Related: How to Recover from a Workout