Are you tired of hearing the same advice about saving, investing, budgeting, and spending? Simply get a budget, track expenses and start saving. It seems relatively simple but you still cannot seem to trim the budget, or save. If you have a budget, track your expenses and still cannot get ahead, you may have to start doing more unconventional things to help you get back on track.
Lowincomefinancialhelp.com has provided a list of practical tactics which should turn in to habits that can save you money. They can have a big impact on your wallet with minimal impact to your lifestyle.
Don’t Stop Tradition
The first word of advice is that although you may think your budgeting is not working – do not abandon it. This is the first pillar on the road to a financially healthy lifestyle. Sometimes you may just need a unconventional source to truly boost your saving potential, such as bill assistance if you quality for subsidies. This can help the monthly budget by really reducing costs.
Stop Wasting Food
It is estimated that up to 25% of groceries are wasted in a given year. You have budgeted for groceries a certain amount a month and you spend that money but never seem to have food in the house, or are throwing away too much ‘leftovers’.
The dreaded word abhorred by many a family is leftovers. No one wants to eat the same meal two to three times in a week and so many leftovers go un-eaten and eventually get tossed. However, you may be able to institute changes to cut your wasteful cooking and eating habits.
First, plan out your meals. Figure out what you or your family typically eat at a given meal and portion out the raw materials in these sizes. There is no need to cook an entire rack of ribs if you are by yourself and only going to eat a or slab. Instead when you buy in bulk, invest in a freezer vacuum system that can help you portion out a meal size. This not only cuts down on your waste, but cuts out leftovers as well.
Also, part of waste is because of over-buying and not buying according to a list. If you get to the store and cannot remember what fresh vegetables you need, you may buy what you have in the fridge creating a situation of waste. Have an app or fridge list, constantly on the go and buy off the list.
Stop Collecting, Start Selling
Are you a collector of things? From stamps, to toys to large items, some people love to collect. Although this is fine when you are financially secure, it can drag you down when you are on the edge. These items take up space that may cost you more in rent and utilities and they often lead to higher impulse buying to add to your collection. Even if you are not collecting “specific” things, you may just have ‘too much stuff’.
If this is the case, stop collecting and start selling it off. Make a point to cut your collection in half and refuse to buy anything more until you meet a financial goal. At that point allow yourself to buy only one item for the collection and keep the same goal-reward system for any future collections. Sell stuff you have not used in a year online or in a garage sale and put the money to good use by paying down high-interest debt or into a savings account.
5 Little Words
Lastly, do not be afraid to get the best deal. “Is this the best price?” These five little words can be the difference in thousands of dollars a year. Save on repairs, purchases, and even utilities by continually asking the same question. Is this the best you can do? Practicing such things can have a huge impact on saving, especially if you do them for commodities like fuel or other utilities, which are major expenses. Finding money-saving heating oil deals (offered by suppliers like Romeo’s Fuel) and discounts for other purchases could help you save a lot of money over time.
Start thinking outside the box to get bigger savings by looking at areas that are high expense categories or high-value items; shaving off even 5-10% may provide that little bump you need to finally get your finances under control.