There is a very realistic saying: “A penny saved is a penny earned”. Before you start that thrilling process of earning, you’d better learn how to save. Well, citizens of China are brilliant in saving! According to statistics, in recent years, China’s gross savings rate has kept high nearly fifty percent! People prefer saving half of their income for future use, like buying a house, raising a child, or paying for medical services. For many, this strict saving habit is almost like a tradition. Now, you know where to raise the bar.
No matter what type of financial planning you already have – long-term or short-term, you have to work out a road map to follow in order to save up more quickly.
The recommendations below will help you enter the grand savings regime easily and seamlessly and save up to $1.000 monthly. Hopefully, these budget-cutting ideas will inspire you to create your own cash cushion.
1. Make a budget
First things first. making a budget is the first step on your way of an effective saver. Find the areas were you might be wasting money. Install an app for controlling your expenses, for some people a simple Excel sheet works just fine! You’ll be surprised after the first week. Remember how people struggling with overweight run the food diaries, writing down every cookie and every almond they eat? Same type of logics here. Don’t forget to categorize your spending (e.g. grocery, eating out, gifts, clothes, monthly bills etc.) and then you’ll find out the categories you should probably cut down.
2. Re-evaluation = saving
Re-evaluate your stream, cable and satellite bills. Sometimes the companies are giving better prices for the new customers, so you may just sign-up for a new account for your partner / roommate. Not to mention you may just search for the new service companies.
3. Financial declutter
Get rid of unnecessary services, memberships and subscriptions. My friend is subscribed to 4 beauty boxes, and she’s using less than 20% of products she’s getting. During pandemics some gyms were still charging the customers with monthly bills. People who cancelled memberships saved some cash. Or you probably signed up for a free trial period of some service or app a while ago and forgot to cancel. Or you are subscribed to streaming services or cloud storage that you don’t really need.
Go through your monthly bank statements to look for recurring subscription charges.
4. No-spend is a fun and beneficial challenge
Try a no-spend day (or week). Or practice a no-buy clothes (no-cosmetics, no-fast food year, your digestive system will thank you later anyway). Or stay away from vending machines forever (pantry snacks ant bottled water from your pantry instead). This can be an eye-opening process; you’ll see how much you can actually save easily. Unsubscribe from e-mail notifications about deals and specials, they are just seducing to shop more for the stuff you don’t need.
5. Refinance your mortgage
Sometimes you don’t realize that your credit score is higher than it used to be 5 years before or that there are banks with more attractive mortgage rates. This can be a small monthly saving which will add up over time.
6. Bare minimum will not leave you bare
Sell the items you no longer use – your prom dress, the piano, ice skates. Spend a day at your basement, attic or closet to find out those unwanted pieces. Use e-bay, Nextdoor, Facebook marketplace or simply organize the yard sale. Donate whatever you don’t sell, getting rid of stuff is a good habit of low consumerism policy.
7. Saving is not a full stop for shopping
Even at tough times you still need to shop for essentials. Buy in bulk where possible. Plan your weekly menu and build your grocery shopping list around it.
Cashback is a good way to get rewards for buying basic stuff like food, laundry detergents and gas. Think of a cashback credit cards and cashback apps and browser extensions if you shop online. Don’t ignore dollar stores and thrift stores as well as home brands of major retails, you may save quickly just switching to non-branded or generic goods from branded (sorry, Gillette, this 2-dollar razor is no worse)
8. A streetcar named desire
Use public transportation instead of your vehicle if that is relevant. You get rid of the whole bunch of spending like gas, parking, maintenance, insurance, wash and so many more.
9. Surprising but here we go: use more cash!
Good old advice still effective for those who want to save quickly: use cash instead of bank cards. You cannot deceive your brain – when you have something very physical in your wallet and when you take it out you feel the loss, which makes you spend less. Plus, you don’t pay any unwanted bank rates and hidden charges.
10. How long do I work to buy this?
Use this very simple technique. Before buying some item that doesn’t seem necessary, do the math: think how many hours (or days!) you basically spend earning for that. It’s like a question you may ask yourself before having that Starbucks Frappuccino with a croissant: how many hours at a treadmill do I have to spend to burn those calories?
11. Handyman of all trades
Try to fix things yourself, that is a fine way to make some significant savings. There are tons of tutorials on YouTube, which will teach you how to clear up a clogged tube or fix a leaky pipe. It’s always more cost-efficient to fix these things yourself rather than pay someone else to do it, or replace them entirely.
12. Buy your car at the right time and save a lot
If you still need a car and want to get a good deal on it, buy at the end of a financial quarter. The best time to buy is usually at the end of March, June, September and December, because most car dealers are given specific sales targets to reach so that they can claim their financial bonuses. While these targets are set weekly and monthly, the big bonuses are given out quarterly. This means that you’re more likely to be given a better deal on a car at the end of each financial quarter as the car dealer will be keen to hit their quarterly sales target.
13. The kids are not only trouble-makers
If you own a car, ask your teenagers for help with the car wash. You save some cash, and the feeling of responsibility and accomplishment would be the best reward for your kids. Plus, they’ll learn how to maintain a car. Also, the kids may help you with the house deep cleaning, decluttering and gardening, so you don’t have to hire anyone.
14. Do not deprive yourself of eating out
Eating out is a fun way to save if you use coupons, happy hours and daily specials and if you eat out on special occasions only (A weekend is not a special occasion though). An open secret: any restaurant will be pleased to say you Happy Birthday with a free dessert.
This was just a tiny amount of hacks of saving quickly without really dropping your life quality. Start right now, don’t wait for tomorrow.