There are a lot of reasons you might want to save some extra cash. You may have student loans you want to pay off, or you may want to buy a home in the next year and need a down payment. Saving money can feel overwhelming at first, but it’s easier than you think. Here are nine of the many ways to start saving today:
- Create a budget: Saving money can start with creating a monthly budget. Don’t think of a budget as a way of restricting your spending. It’s the opposite. A monthly budget is a tool to help track your spending so you can reach your financial goals more quickly. A budget shows how much money you bring in, how much money you spend, and how much money is left to start putting towards your goals. Many financial advisors recommend following the “50/30/20 rule” when setting a budget: 50-percent of your income goes towards needs, 30-percent towards wants, and 20-percent towards savings.
- Reduce your expenses: Now that you’ve made a budget, look for ways to reduce your monthly expenses. Don’t be afraid to suggest free or low-cost activities to friends. Instead of heading to your favorite brunch spot on a Saturday morning, suggest a nearby park or hike. Spending too much money on your rent? Give up your expensive lease and move into a modern, affordable room through PadSplit, a Wonolo Up partner. When you rent through PadSplit, your weekly payment covers your furnished room, all utilities, and perks such as a free telemedicine. Note: Use the code WONOLO55 for a free application through April 30th, 2021!
- Schedule no-spend days or a spending freeze: Challenge yourself to go a few days a week or for a period of time without spending any money on things other than essentials. It makes you more aware of your purchasing habits and reduces your overall spending.
- Earn more money: The more you earn, the more you can save. Off work for a few days? Pick up an extra shift or two on Wonolo. Have a passion like jewelry-making or yard work? Turn it into a side hustle.
- Meal plan: Meal planning is like setting a budget for food. By planning and preparing your weekly meals ahead of time, you can shop around for any sales at your typical grocery stores. You’ll also prevent last-minute takeout orders or drive-thru runs that add up each week.
- Sell any unwanted items on resell sites: Not only is it an easy way to add extra cash to your pocket, but you get the added benefit of a clutter-free home.
- Create a waiting period before purchases: Got your eye on a new TV you want but don’t need? Use the 30-day rule. Whenever you want to purchase a big-ticket item, wait 30 days before you buy it. More often than not, you realize you can live without it and end up saving money. Out shopping and have your eye on a new shirt? Use the 24-hour rule. It’s just like the 30-day rule. Whenever you’re out and want to make an impulse buy, wait 24 hours. You’ll likely realize you don’t really want it and end up saving money in the process.
- Use cash when you shop, and save the change: This tip has two parts. First, when you use cash for everyday purchases, you become more aware of how much money you have and are spending. Second, using cash gives you the ability to save your change. Over time that change adds up. For example, if you put aside just $0.50 a day for one year, you’ll have $182.50 just from saving your spare change in a year.
- Cancel automatic subscriptions and memberships: There’s a good chance you’re spending money and don’t even realize it. Take a look at your recent bank statements and look for recurring payments such as Spotify, gym memberships, or Netflix. Ask yourself whether you can do without it, and if the answer is yes, cancel it.
Anytime you start to get discouraged about saving money, remember why you are saving in the first place. Are you paying down debt, saving to buy a save, or want to buy your very first home? Those are all good reasons to keep going. Your small steps will add up over time.
The information provided on this webpage is for general information purposes only and should not be viewed as tax, accounting, legal, financial, or other professional advice. All information provided on the site is provided in good faith, however neither Wonolo Inc. nor PadSplit makes any representation or warrant of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information in this article or on our respective sites. You should not act upon the information contained in this article without seeking the advice of an accountant, financial planner, or other appropriate professional.