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4 Quick Steps to Save Money Effectively

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4 Quick Steps to Save Money Effectively

Do you want to know “the secret to saving money” that could make you become rich?

Money won’t save itself if you keep telling yourself to start saving it tomorrow. Let’s begin today!

Create a forced saving environment

There are probably a variety of reasons why you haven’t been able to save money. Have you been blaming this on your lack of perseverance or endurance? If that is so, your way of thinking is incorrect. Saving money should not just stay at the emotional level. Forcing yourself to create a money-saving environment is important. When you decide to go on a diet, you won’t lose any pounds by just thinking about it. You have to decide on your daily intake, and eat only what you should eat instead of any kind of food; eventually, you will lose weight. The same idea applies to saving up money:

STEP 1: Write down all monthly income and expenses.

Write down the current household income. At the same time, write down in detail all your expenses.

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STEP 2: Determine the amount of money you want to save.

Next, write down the amount of money you want to save per month. Remember, it’s not the amount of money you can save, but the amount that you would like to save monthly in order to reach your future goal. In other words, you should calculate backwards from your future savings goal instead of writing something like saving twice the amount of your income. For example, if you want to buy a US$10,000 car 2 years later, you will have to calculate how much you need to save monthly counting from today onwards.

STEP 3: Divide your expenses into 4 categories and determine their upper limits.

Then, divide your expenses into 4 categories and decide the necessary amount for each of them:

1. Cost of living (include rent, food and utilities)

2. Social costs (tuition, transportation, insurance,  ceremonial occasions)

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3. Entertainment (such as clothes, travel and eating out)

4. Amount of money you want to save

Deduct the amount you want to save from your income, and allocate the remaining amount to the other 3 categories. For example, if your monthly income is US$2,500 and you want to save US$420 per month, the amount will be allocated like this:

1. US$1380

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2. US$500

3. US$200

4. US$420

STEP4: Transfer the determined amount every month to separated accounts

Till this step, all you have to do is to transfer the determined amounts to the 4 accounts each month when you get paid, and just remember to limit your living expenses to the determined amounts. Of course it would be ideal to live off of the same amount of money every month. However, utility bills will fluctuate and events or family occasions will change your monthly expenses. Therefore, the trick is to review your possible monthly expenses each month when you are paid, and adjust them accordingly.

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By dividing your living expenses into different accounts in this way, you can easily save money every month without placing a finger on that saved money. This will also help you buy only the things you need and reduce the chance of wasting money. Create 4 bank accounts with the divided income and get started with your money-saving life now!

The information in this article is from the date of publication, June 15, 2013. Please be responsible and take into account safety and usefulness when implementing article contents.

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Last Updated on January 5, 2022

33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

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33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

In a difficult economy, most of us are looking for ways to put more money in our pockets, but we don’t want to feel like misers. We don’t want to drastically alter our lifestyles either. We want it fast and we want it easy. Small savings can add up and big savings can feel like winning the lottery, just without all of the taxes.

Some easy ways to save money:

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  1. Online rebate sites. Many online sites offer cash back rebates and online coupons as well. MrRebates and Ebates are two I like, but there are many others.
  2. Sign up for customer rewards. Many of your favorite stores offer customer rewards on products you already buy. Take advantage.
  3. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. The extra cost up front is worth the energy savings later on.
  4. Turn off power strips and electronic devices when not in use.
  5. Buy a programmable thermostat. Set it to lower the heat or raise the AC when you’re not home.
  6. Make coffee at home. Those lattes and caramel macchiatos add up to quite a bit of dough over the year.
  7. Switch banks. Shop around for better interest rates, lower fees and better customer perks. Don’t forget to look for free online banking and ease of depositing and withdrawing money.
  8. Clip coupons: Saving a couple dollars here and there can start to add up. As long as you’re going to buy the products anyway, why not save money?
  9. Pack your lunch. Bring your lunch to work with you a few days a week, rather than buy it.
  10. Eat at home. We’re busier than ever, but cooking meals at home is healthier and much cheaper than take-out or going out. Plus, with all of the freezer and pre-made options, it’s almost as fast as drive-thru.
  11. Have leftovers night. Save your leftovers from a few meals and have a “leftover dinner.” It’s a free meal!
  12. Buy store brands: Many generic or store brands are actually just as good as name brands and considerably cheaper.
  13. Ditch bottled water. Drink tap water if it’s good quality, buy a filter if it’s not. Get 
      a reusable water bottle and refill it.
    • Avoid vending machines: The items are usually over-priced.
    • Take in a matinee. Afternoon movie showings are cheaper than evening times.
    • Re-examine your cable bill. Cancel extra cable or satellite channels you don’t watch. Watch the “on demand” movie purchases too.
    • Use online bill pay. Most banks offer free online bill paying. Save on stamps and checks, and avoid late fees by automating bill payment.
    • Buy frequently used items in bulk. You get a lower per item price and eliminate extra trips to the store later on.
    • Fully utilize the library. Borrowing books is much cheaper than buying them, but in addition to books, most local libraries now lend movies and games.
    • Cancel magazine/newspaper subscriptions: Re-evaluate your subscriptions. Cancel those you don’t read and consider reading some of the other publications online.
    • Get rid of your land-line. Do you really need a land-line anymore if everyone in the family has a cell phone? Alternatively, look into using VOIP or getting a cheaper plan.
    • Better fuel efficiency. Check the air pressure in your tires, keep up with proper auto maintenance, and slow down. Driving even 5MPH slower will result in better fuel mileage.
    • Increase your deductibles. Increasing the insurance deductibles on your homeowners and auto insurance policies lowers premiums significantly. Just make sure you choose a deductible that you can afford should an emergency happen.
    • Choose lunch over dinner. If you do want to dine out occasionally, go at lunchtime rather than dinnertime. Lunch prices are usually cheaper.
    • Buy used:  Whether it’s something small like a vintage dress or a video game or something big like a car or furniture, consider buying it used. You can often get “nearly new” for a fraction of the cost.
    • Stick to the list. Make a list before you go shopping and don’t buy anything that’s not on the list unless it’s a once in a lifetime, killer deal.
    • Tame the impulse. Use a self-enforced waiting period whenever you’re tempted to make an unplanned purchase. Wait for a week and see if you still want the item.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask to have fees waived, ask for a discount, ask for a lower interest rate on your credit card.
    • Repair rather than replace. You can find directions on how to fix almost anything on the internet. Do your homework, and then bring out your inner handyman.
    • Trade with your neighbors. Borrow tools or equipment that you use infrequently and swap things like babysitting with your neighbors.
    • Swap online. Use sites like PaperBack Swap to trade books, music, and movies with others online. Also, look for local community sites like Freecycle where people give away items they no longer need.
    • Cut back on the meat. Try eating a one or two meatless meals every week or cut back on the meat portions. Meat is usually the most expensive part of the meal.
    • Comparison shop: Get in the habit of checking prices before you buy. See if you can get a better price at another store or look online.

    Remember that saving money is not about being cheap or stingy; it’s about putting money into your bank account rather than giving it to someone else. There are many ways to save money, some you’ve never thought of, and some that won’t appeal or apply to you. Just pick a few of the ideas that sound doable and watch the savings add up. Save big, save small, but save wherever you can.

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    Featured photo credit: Damir Spanic via unsplash.com

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