9 easy ways to save money in 2018
Looking to save a little extra cash this year? Follow these super easy tips!
Track your expenses
Photo by Mathieu Turle on Unsplash
Have you ever checked your account and found you have less money than you thought? It’s so easy to lose track of your spending, especially if you make a lot of regular small purchases like coffee and lunch.
Luckily, there are tons of apps available to help you track your spending. Download an app like ClarityMoney or Mint (both of which link to your checking account) and they’ll provide a weekly overview of what you’re spending. From there, you can decide what you can cut out and draw up an average weekly budget.
Buy in bulk
Although buying in bulk can cost more in the short term, it’ll save you a lot in the long term. Dried foods (like pasta), toilet paper, canned foods, vitamin supplements and office supplies can all be bought in bulk, although wait until there’s a decent discount before stocking up.
It’s also a good idea to join a warehouse club. You may have to pay an annual membership fee, but the money you’ll save will more than cover it.
Budget to save money
Putting aside some cash every month is a great habit to get into. Even if you aren’t saving for a big purchase, the extra cash will come in handy if you’re hit with a major expense unexpectedly.
Take a look at your monthly income and determine how much you can spare each month. Even $50 a month can make a big difference. Then, open a savings account and deposit your cash!
Buy second hand
You can buy pretty much anything second hand; clothes, phones, furniture. You’ll save a ton of cash compared to buying new plus it’s environmentally friendly!
…but use them wisely. Newspapers are still packed with discounts from retailers and there are plenty of websites offering low prices on a range of products too.
However, it’s easy to fall into the trap of buying stuff you don’t really need because it’s cheaper than usual. Instead of hoarding coupons, hunt out discounts for the stuff you actually need.
With so many price comparison websites around, there’s no excuse not to check for the best price before buying something.
If you have a preferred retailer but they aren’t offering the lowest price, ask them to match it. It won’t always work but you’ll be surprised how many times it does.
Write a list
Stores, both in the real world and online, are jam-packed with temptation, whether it’s a huge discount on an item or just a well-placed candy bar when you’re feeling hungry. Unfortunately, the cost of those temptations soon adds up.
The best way to keep yourself focused while grocery shopping is to write up a list of everything you need and stick to it religiously.
Give up bad habits
We all have our vices, but some are more expensive than others. Take smoking, for example: the average cost of a pack of 20 in 2017 was $5.51, which means a 20-a-day habit would set you back over $2,000 a year. It’s even worse in New York, where the average price is $12.85; that’s over $4,600 a year!
Giving up isn’t easy but realising just how much you could save is a strong incentive. With a strong support network and the right help (like patches, e-cigarettes or even therapy), it’s possible. Your health and your bank balance will thank you for it.
Entertainment is gradually moving towards a subscription-based model: Netflix, Spotify, Apple Music, HBO Go – the list goes on.
Although these services seem cheap at first – not many people will miss $10.99 a month – the cost adds up over time. If you’re not using a service you’re subscribed that much, consider cancelling it.
Gym memberships are another common ‘stealth’ cost. If you’re not going regularly, cancel your plan!
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