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10 Saving Tricks You Haven’t Tried Yet

10 Saving Tricks You Haven’t Tried Yet

It seems like we can never have enough of cash. Most of us are in the perpetual state of needing more than we earn. Most often, it appears we are actually earning less than what we need. But the reality is quite different. It’s not that we don’t earn enough, it’s actually we don’t save enough. We’re eager to spend as soon as we get our paycheck and thus, how much we earn, we readily spend all of them. The end result is,  we find it difficult to afford things we need the most and often, we might end up turning to loans to save ourselves.

But all of this continual despair and hardship can be avoided. It just takes a bit of self-discipline and wisdom. With proper planning and wise spending, we won’t have much difficulty in making ends meet. Below are the 10 unique and rather unusual saving tricks, often looked over by most of us, which can helps us save a few dollars each month.

1. Partner with someone frugal.

The truth is that not all of us are very wise in terms of making financial decisions. But we could make up for our shortcomings by seeking out a significant other who’s frugal and has a financial head on their shoulders. This is one of the great saving tricks. They help us make better decisions while spending money and keep the balance between earnings and expenditures. One could even focus solely on earning and leave all the works of financial management on the partner’s shoulders.

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2. Unplug.

The plan to execute this trick is quite simple. Unplug just about everything when you are not using it. This includes lights, laptops, coolers, fans, heaters and other such electronic items. This way we can save a significant amount of energy. And, saving valuable energy doesn’t mean we are only contributing to mother earth but also to ourselves. As energy bills make up a significant chunk of our expenditure, with this way, we can spare ourselves a dime or two.

3. Buy fewer clothes.

This one might seem rather silly of the saving tricks. But clothes do make up a significant portion of our expenditures. Moreover, in the case of most adults, they do not actually need to buy more clothes as they already have a fair possession of attires. People often wear only a fewer set of clothes among the ones they possess and rest remain hanging in the closet more often than not. So one could do with buying fewer clothes. For this, going a year without buying clothes could be a good idea.

4. Become good friends with your neighbors.

Well, it’s always good to be friends with more people and more so with one’s neighbors. This way, one doesn’t always need to buy new goods even if they’re required just for a while or even just for once. One can not only turn to their neighbors for help when something is needed at the crucial moment but also look up to them for those things one needs once in a blue moon. This way, a significant amount of unnecessary expenditures can be avoided.

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5. Save your time.

They say time is money and rightfully so. One could save a little bit of time across their activities and add up those moments to do more, leading to some more cash. By saving time, we can use it to do other jobs to make more cash. Time can be saved by avoiding unnecessary chores, which is of course for a person to decide himself/herself, by spending less time on social media, increasing speed at reading and many other ways. By doing works quicker and avoiding waste of time, life can be made significantly more productive. So, search for the moments you can steal every time you’re at work.

6. Graduate sooner.

Normally, bachelor courses are four years long. But one could take more courses in a year so that the program can be completed even within three years. This way, the tuition fees for the courses can’t be reduced as they need to be paid anyway. However, extra annual fees for accommodation, food, libraries and other annual college fees can be avoided. Moreover, you could even avoid potential tuition hikes by paying the fees early. It’s quite challenging but you could save thousands of dollars with this trick.

7. Go shopping at late hours and at sales.

Go shopping at closing hours, just when the owner is about to call it a day. You can bargain and get a few more things at the same price. Furthermore, with late night shopping, you can avoid bustling crowds and won’t need to go through lines at the checkout. And, along the way, you can have your pick of the bargains and markdowns that would otherwise be put out for the next day. This way, you can spare a considerable portion of your monthly budget.

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8. Go vegetarian.

Generally, vegetarian food items are less expensive than even the cheapest varieties of meat. Moreover, vegetarian diets have proven to help reduce the risks of various health hazards, thus avoiding the potentially high medical expenses. So consider going vegetarian and see how much you can save by doing without flesh. Going vegetarian has several benefits, one being that it saves you a considerable share of your budget.

9. Go to bed earlier.

You may be wondering how something like this made the cut. But this one has huge potential, although it is more likely to have never struck more of us than not. The idea is that, going to bed early means we don’t have to use electricity at late hours of the day. We can work with daylight, if we can make up for going to bed early by waking up early in the morning as well. This way, extra expenses which would have to be used for paying electricity bills can be avoided.

10. Buy cheaper versions of goods.

Everyone knows that buying items at a cheaper price will surely help reduce expenses. There’s nothing to fancy about with this idea. But what I’m trying to suggest is that a lot of times, we could do all fine by turning to lesser known brands, which are also the cheaper ones. Let us take the example of Finecoffeeclub. They basically provide coffee capsules to fit Nespresso machines, but at about two-third of the cost of the Nespresso brand. So if you are looking to regularly save money and you are a coffee drinker, this is a great way to go. This is just an example. Most often, prices are inflated just because of the brand name, with not much difference in terms of quality. So this could help you solve a lot of your financial woes.

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Featured photo credit: Tips on saving money via stockrockandroll.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on January 2, 2019

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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How It Leads to Financial Improvement

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

Types of Personal Finance Software

When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

When to Use Personal Finance Software

So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

1. You Have Multiple Accounts

There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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How to Get Started

From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

Final Thoughts

Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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