September 6, 2016
Everyone – no matter what income level – loves to save money. So why is it that we often find ourselves spending randomly, and then wonder where our money went? While it’s completely up to you to build a budget and stick to it, there are a variety of ways to optimize that budget so you spend less on things you need and want. Follow these tips and you’ll find that your spending budget goes much further.
Create a Shopping List and Stick to It
Have you ever found yourself wandering the aisles of your favorite store, choosing items at random, and then wondered how you managed to spend so much once your shopping trip has come to an end? If so, you’re not alone. Luckily, there’s an easy solution to this problem: Create a shopping list and stick to it. When you go shopping, head straight for the items you need, and don’t spend any time looking at items that are not on your list. Not only does this smart spending tip save you money, it is likely to save time, too.
Use Discounted Gift Cards Like Cash
If you’ve ever read the back of a gift card or voucher, you’ve probably seen a statement that’s similar to this: “Treat this card like cash.” It’s true – gift cards and vouchers can be spent the same way money can, which is probably why they make such fantastic gifts. Use Zeek to purchase gift cards for less than they’re worth, and you’ll save money while buying the things you want. This marketplace keeps popular cards and vouchers for Starbucks, Amazon, iTunes, and many others in stock. Have a gift card you’ll never use? You can sell it on Zeek and get cash to use for something else.
Make Convenient Meals Ahead of Time
Restaurant meals taste fantastic, but they cut into your spending budget big time. Dine out less often, and you’ll have more money in the bank at the end of each month. One of the easiest ways to avoid impulse dining is to make healthy, convenient meals ahead of time and store them in the freezer. Pop one in the oven at the end of a hard day’s work, make a quick salad to accompany it, and you’ve got a delicious, easy dinner that will probably save you some calories while helping you stick to your budget. Bonus points if you take your lunch along to work!
Dust Off Your Bicycle
You’ll save money on gas and public transportation if you travel under your own power whenever possible. Walking and biking is great exercise too, and if you get into a good habit you might even be able to cancel that costly gym membership.
Make Essential Purchases Carefully
Buying new clothes for work, purchasing a mattress that helps you sleep better, or purchasing a new, essential appliance for your kitchen doesn’t have to be painful. You can easily save money by planning these purchases for times when they’re on sale, or even buying certain big-ticket items gently used instead of brand new. When you do buy things that you plan to use heavily, ensure that you purchase the best quality you can afford. The initial expense will be larger, but quality items last far longer than cheaply made ones do, so the per-use cost is less.
Re-Think Gift Giving
Nearly everyone enjoys giving and receiving gifts, but all too often, gift giving is poorly planned. Next time you give someone a gift, consider giving them an experience or a gift that will help them save money while costing you less than an item that’s likely to end up in a closet somewhere. Wisebread.com offers lots of budgeting tips, including this list of money-saving gifts that the recipient will appreciate.
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