Whether you’re well-off or just trying to get by, pretty much everyone could use some extra cash these days. However, squeezing some out of your budget can be difficult, especially for those not entirely enthusiastic about making financial sacrifices. But there are some easy ways to save some dough without feeling like you’re upending your life. Here’s a look at five of our best tips, from how to monitor your spending to why you may want to choose an online doctor.
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1. Make a Budget – and Stick To It!
Simply spending money when it feels right can be an easy way to manage your finances. But it can also be a disastrous one long term. Before you can truly save money, you’ll need to understand how much is coming in and where it’s going.
Make a budget that accounts for every single dollar, from your rent or mortgage to that cup of coffee you treat yourself to every Monday morning. Obviously, savings and investment should be among these categories, set at an appropriate level for your situation. This exercise can also help you prioritize some times of spending over others and make you more conscious of your overall financial picture.
Now that you have a budget, here’s the hard part – following it! Be rigorous in keeping within your boundaries, and check on your spending every few months to ensure things are still working properly. This single tip alone can go a long way toward righting the ship and saving money for many individuals or families.
2. Check and Cancel Subscriptions and Memberships
It may surprise you how much you spend every month without even thinking about it. Streaming services, that gym membership, magazine subscriptions, recurring charity donations – each may have seemed like a good idea at the time, and may still be! But now, it represents a chunk taken out of your bank account or put on your credit card every month automatically.
Go through your checking account and credit card statements line by line for a few months and write down a list of all your subscriptions and recurring charges. The total number can be a bit shocking to many people! And chances are, you’re not using all of them either. Culling a few recurring payments from your monthly budget can save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year.
3. Try Telehealth Services
Staying healthy isn’t just a way to enjoy a long, comfortable life with those you care about – it can also be a crucial way to save money! Medical care and treatment certainly aren’t cheap, even for those with good insurance. That’s why it’s valuable to save money on medical expenses where you can.
One of the best ways to do this is to visit with an online doctor instead of an in-person doctor’s office visit. Telehealth visits are frequently far more inexpensive than traditional doctor appointments. This is due to a variety of factors, ranging from the ability for doctors to conduct more appointments in a day to lower overhead expenses for office space and other facility costs.
Medical professionals will be able to assess your situation via phone or video call, suggest treatment, and even prescribe medications if needed for pickup at your local pharmacy. An online doctor can also refer you to in-person medical care in more serious cases.
4. Coupons Are Your Friend
Coupons aren’t just something little old ladies clip out of the Sunday newspaper (although that can be the source of some valuable savings!) When used properly, coupons can make a significant dent in your grocery and household budget. In addition to the classic newspaper coupons, most supermarkets offer their own discounts for members who sign up for a rewards account, and many will double or even triple manufacturer coupons in some cases. You don’t need to be an extreme couponer to find a few dollars worth of savings each week, or to stock up on a particularly good deal.
Coupon apps can also be extremely helpful, as can a variety of online sites offering coupons or discount codes on items big and small. You may even find significant savings on bigger-ticket items, which can put a big chunk of money back in your wallet at once!
5. Make It Automatic
We’ve all been tempted by that shiny new toy or night out on the town when looking at that money sitting in our bank account, even if we know it’s supposed to be put aside for saving. By making the saving process automatic, you’ll remove this temptation.
Various banks or external services will withdraw an amount you specify every week, month, or other period and deposit it in a separate savings account. It can be most convenient to time this withdrawal to your pay frequency. That way, it’ll be like the money never even showed up in your account, with no chance to tempt you with spending on something unnecessary – no willpower needed.
This same principle can be set up for automatic investments, whether in a personal brokerage account or 401k. The best good habits are the ones that don’t require any effort to carry out, and this is undoubtedly one of them.
Saving Money Is Simple With These Five Tips
There you have it – some of the easiest ways to keep more money in your pocket without upending your daily life. From simple budgeting to switching to an online doctor, these tips can all help shape your financial life for the best.
However, these are just the start for those looking to live a more frugal but still enjoyable lifestyle. Use these as building blocks and you may be surprised at the extra cash you’ll have for the future or for the life you love today.