If you feel as though you are not making it when it comes to money, there’s good news. These are at least 20 ways to save extra cash that you can start today to increase your on-hand money.
By making these small practical changes in your behavior you can often save more money. And the best part is that these positive changes are likely to last for the rest of your life.
What is extra cash?
Extra cash in personal finance is the cash that you have saved to meet your day-to-day needs. This includes finding ways to increase the amount of extra cash you have by responsible spending.
Eliminate emotional spending: Before you head off to the mall, take a minute to note what you are feeling. Remember, if you are feeling sad or frustrated, there are other ways better than shopping to make yourself feel better.
Pay off credit card debt as soon as possible: Take a long look at how much you are paying to borrow money from your creditors. Think about consolidating debt with a single loan that has a lower interest rate that’s fixed.
Start planning for retirement now: If you are not saving money for retirement, you should be. If you’re planning on relying just on Social Security, you probably should think again. The current average payout is just $955, or $11,460 annually-and could be even less, depending on your work history.
Prepare for the unexpected: Don’t use the “it could never happen to me” excuse when dealing with something as critical as your family’s financial future. Sudden accidents or unexpected critical health problems happen every day to those who least expect it.
You know you need to be saving money but you never seem to have enough at the end of the month or worse, you are further in debt.
Living below your means is more a matter of self-discipline. A few adjustments here and there could be all it takes to have the necessary funds available for saving and investing.
Here’s a list of ways to save extra cash by spending less.
1. Try to avoid banks that charge you a transaction fee for using their debit cards. If you have no choice, plan how much money you will need in a given period and then withdraw it all at once to avoid too many transaction fees.
2. Compare credit cards. Look for the ones that have little or no annual fees. It’s not too hard to find those with no annual fee.
3. Avoid specialty store charge cards as they often have interest rates six or seven points higher than major credit cards.
4. Never choose a card based solely on incentives or reward programs. These include auto reward points and air travel miles. These cards may lead you to spend more money over time than you can afford.
5. Most importantly, avoid unnecessary interest charges by paying off the complete monthly balance. You can avoid hundreds of dollars in interest expenses on an annual basis.
5. When you buy a car, consider buying one that is 1 to 3 years old. A one-year-old car will be about 20% to 30% less than a new car. A three-year-old car is a good buy because it could be around half the price of a new car. A car depreciates the most in its first three years. After that, the depreciation levels off and it will lose less of its value.
6. Another good saving when buying a used car is you will pay less for the insurance.
7. When going on vacation, consider staying in your home state instead of long-distance trips or even international travel. It’s often cheaper to travel within your own borders, that way, you avoid visa and passport costs, border hassles, currency exchanges, tropical shots, medication, and additional health insurance.
Frequently, people travel thousands of miles to see sights not nearly as spectacular as what’s next door.
8. You should consider off-season vacations. Travel at a time when everyone else is at work or school, and the staff will actually be glad to see you. You may also save 50% or more on the usual travel expenses.
9. Avoid large cities and tourist traps; you’ll save a ton by avoiding these places, where you pay more to eat, drink, sleep, and travel. If you do decide to visit a big city, consider accommodations in a smaller town close by.
10. If you have a lot of credit card debt at high rates, look into consolidating your debt at a lower rate.
11. Refrain from making impulse purchases. Exercise self-discipline.
12. Refinance your mortgage or debt at a lower rate.
13. Refinance your car loan at a lower rate.
14. Shop around for cheaper car insurance rates. There can be a big difference.
15. Use coupons when you shop.
16. Wait for things to go on sale before buying them. Keep a record of when things go on sale. Some items will seasonally go on sale. Ask stores when certain things will go on sale.
17. Buy generic, or non-name brand merchandise. Most times the quality is just as good.
18. Stop smoking. This habit is extremely expensive.
19. Contribute the maximum each year to your 401K or to an IRA.
20. Remember, paying down debt is also a way to save money. If you can make extra payments on your mortgage or go for a 15-year mortgage instead of a 30-year mortgage. The savings are enormous.
Reduce the number of times you eat out is one of the best ways to save extra cash.
Oftentimes eating out at a restaurant involves paying a lot of money for over-priced and under-sized meals. For healthy meals and to save money, eat at home.
Open up bank accounts that have little or no service fees.
Keep a cushion to avoid accidental bounced checks. These can eat you alive. Be sure to maintain your minimum balance to avoid service charges.
Don’t try to compete with your friends and neighbors.
Sometimes, an apparent prosperous lifestyle can be an illusion. Those illusions come with a lot of debt. It’s much better to have peace of mind.
Be alert. There are always ways to save money. Soon you will yourself with money you never knew you had. The key is to put that money to work for you instead of spending it.
You should consider working with a financial professional to find ways to save extra cash. This can help determine how much you need to start saving in order to reach your financial goals, such as retirement, education savings for your children, and other goals.
Are you ready to get started creating a better financial future? If so, check out the resources recommended to you by Inker Street Consumer Credit Advice.
- Household Budgeting: This guide will show you how to stick to your budget. So, soon you will have a monthly surplus, and you will see your savings start to grow.
- Debt Consolidation Strategies: When it comes to debt consolidation, you need to practice techniques that are a little unique and very much focused on getting you out of debt within a stipulated period of time.
- Debt Destroyer: Finally you can fully equip yourself with these “must-have” tools for busting debt and live a life without having to worry about debt collectors!
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