Saving money is a huge deal for all of us, whether you are an individual or a company. Saving money means more money for vacations, investments, hard times and so much more. The list for what you can do with extra cash is literally endless. But saving money for most Americans is a difficult, trying struggle. For one, we just have a lot of bills. We need money for gas, we need to write checks for bills, we want clothes, we LOVE entertainment and we waste money at any moment’s notice if it means convenience. We’ve grown up this way and changing our mindsets and habits are very difficult. But if you are like most of us, we need to make the efforts. So here are some things you can start with.
1) What’s Your Bank Like? Have you ever taken the time to see if your checking account has useless fees? The best thing you can do is go in and sit down with your bank and find out if you have excessive fees and if so, what options they have to either lower them or get rid of them all together. Next, assess what other banks offer! Many banks pay you back for ATM use out of their banking network, many of these banks are smaller and want the business more than the extra profit. This takes a day, but could save you a lot of money!
2) Do you have a savings plan at all? Truth is, most of us just don’t. Even if you start by saving $20 a month, the habit is what is most important. Once you get into the habit of saving at least something, it is much easier to start saving even more. Monthly saving is like surfing, it’s a developed and constantly evolving skill. Check with your bank and see if they offer change deposits (like every transaction your change on the dollar is simply pushed to savings).
3) Have you looked at the products which you buy the most and priced them online? If you check out Amazon Prime, you might find you can simply order these same products for less, plus you save in gas and time. Amazon Prime is roughly $100 a year, but do the math and see if their is value. Also, make sure you really shop around. I know, if its a one time small purchase, maybe you don’t want to go to 5 stores in a day, but if this is something you buy frequently, it’s a good idea to spend some time to find out where you can get the best value. For example, a Costco or Sam’s membership may pay for themselves.
4) Call your cable company. Find out what you REALLY need. Do you watch ALL THOSE CHANNELS? Do you use all the Internet bandwidth? Call them. They will probably straight up offer you a deal anyways!
5) What about your smart phone? How many text do you actually send a month? How much cell data do you actually use? Look online, find out, then call them and see what adjustments can be made. If you do happen to use a lot of data, check out which apps are responsible and then decide if you need them, or, if maybe you can use them on wireless. For example, Spotify Premium is roughly $10 monthly but it allows you to download songs you like over wireless, means you can play them back directly from your smart phone and not use the bandwidth. You can also set a lot of apps to not work unless they are on wireless.
The solutions are there folks, don’t just write checks blindly, look at ways to reduce spending!