Many factors contribute to your finances, namely income and expenses. Income is something many people feel is stagnant. That without a raise, it won’t change. If you’re not willing to take on a side-hustle or look for a more lucrative income opportunity, you can still make your dollars work harder for you.
A Different Approach to Saving and Spending
Plenty of people claim to be saving money, but it’s more likely that they’re turning a blind eye. Of the many things you can do to “save” money, you need to start with a budget. To improve your personal finances, use a zero-dollar budget method. Assign every bit of your income a function. You don’t have to rely on an old-school envelope style method, but you will start saving when you begin to budget your salary before it hits your account. After creating a budget, saving will naturally come from sticking to it. Knowing where your money goes and assigning part of your income to go into a savings account will have a resounding, and long-term effect on your financial situation.
You need to shop, whether it’s for clothes or groceries. There’s no denying being able to avoid spending altogether in an entire month. When it comes to shopping, there are a few tactics you can use to improve your finances while still getting the products you love. First, gas. How often do you stop wherever is cheapest when your tank is low? In some parts of the country gas is regularly as much as $4 per gallon. You can plan your gas spending by shopping around.
Costco is known for its exceptionally low gas prices with absolute quality. Unfortunately, you can’t expect to pull in at 10 pm. Costco gas hours are strict, and the lines are usually pretty long. However, if you can plan ahead a bit, you’ll save money on your gas budget.
Second, groceries. Although you can try to rack up a few dollars after months of effort on apps like Checkout51, there are better ways to shop. You can also try shopping online. The $5 you spend on delivery costs can’t compare to the amount you pay on impulse buys or multiple trips to the store. Shopping online allows you to:
- Save money on gas
- Compare your cart against what’s in your cupboard
- Eliminate multiple trips to the store through the week
- Avoid impulse purchases
Track Your Balances Daily
Daily might seem like too much to ask at first, but checking your bank account and credit card balances daily will help you know where your money is going and where you’re spending most frequently. Have the apps on your phone, so you can monitor your activity while you’re doing other things such as waiting in that Costco gas line. When you start tracking your balances daily, you’ll start to catch things like recurring subscriptions that you don’t use. One major bill that so many people forget to account for is the interest charges on credit cards. These can easily range from a few dollars to a hundred dollars, and if you keep paying the minimum, you’ll lose thousands of dollars per year.