Learning how to save money is essential in the current environment. After the COVID-19 pandemic, soaring inflation and skyrocketing gas prices have tightened budgets everywhere.
While this new reality has made things more difficult for many people, saving money has never been an easy task. According to a survey from Bankrate, 56% of Americans are not in a financial position to cover a $1,000 unplanned bill.
Greg McBride, who is a chief financial analyst at the consumer financial services company, says this about his findings: “Emergency savings and the $1,000 threshold are really an indication of how much people are struggling, that they are that close to the edge financially.”
Moreover, according to a survey close to 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. So, it is more challenging and necessary than ever to find ways to save money and spend wisely.
The following guide contains practical tips on how to save money in different situations.
How to Save Money Fast on a Low Income
It is probably easier to save money with a comfortable salary. However, even when your income is low, it is possible to save some money here and there; every little bit counts. Additionally, small changes can make a huge difference at the end of the year.
1. Cable and internet bundle
When looking for ways to save money, downgrading your internet plan and cable subscription can help save money every month. However, opting for a cable and internet bundle might bring more significant savings.
You could save $500 per year by just bundling the two packages. It is also a great idea to cut some streaming services and premium entertainment subscriptions to save money.
People do not necessarily think about this when trying to live on a tighter budget. Renting a smaller space is one way to save money fast.
The fact of living in a smaller residence may push you to focus on the essentials and to get rid of things that are not necessary anymore.
Moreover, there are always things around the house that you could sell to make extra cash. If you can find 20 or 30 items that you no longer need, it is possible to make money on websites like Craigslist or Facebook.
3. Reduce restaurant spending
Eating at restaurants costs a lot of money, and it is one area where cutting is really simple. The average American household spends over $3,000 per year dining out. The cost can even be higher if you live in a big city.
Some credit cards reward those who eat out; this can help reduce the cost. Moreover, skipping desserts and appetizers is also an excellent trick to decrease prices.
Also Read: Soup and Salad Diet
How to Save Money on Food
It is something that is on many people’s minds, how to save money when food shopping? Groceries amount to a big portion of the spending of a household.
1. Make a shopping list
It might require extra effort, but preparing a list before you go to the grocery store or shop online is one of the best and simpler ways to save money. Impulse buying and other unexpected purchases can have a negative impact on your budget.
Having the list is a decent first step, but sticking to it is also important.
Additional tips to save money on grocery shopping include using a cash-back credit card to earn extra cash when you buy groceries and getting an app to find coupons from local stores.
It is also wise to check for the things that are on sale.
2. Use grocery stores or supermarkets
If you are hoping to save money, it is best to shop at large grocery stores and supermarkets. Convenience stores and smaller shops do not usually offer cheaper prices.
3. Compare prices
Competition is often a great thing for the consumer. To take full advantage of this, it is good to compare prices between stores. You can keep a list of which store sells the items you need at a lower price.
4. Go for generic brands
While stores do not always put them forward, generic brands tend to be cheaper and almost as good as their premium counterparts.
5. Join a loyalty program
Supermarkets like to reward loyal customers, so take advantage of this. Their members enjoy special discounts that can impact budgets in a good way.
How to Save Money During Inflation
The US economy is currently facing a new set of challenges. Inflation is at levels not seen in the last 40 years, since the 1980s and President Ronald Reagan’s era.
However, the bright spot this time around is that unemployment is very low. This unique situation offers some opportunities to save money during inflation.
1. Increase income
Money is worth less during inflation, increasing your income if possible might help maintain a certain balance in your budget. There are many ways to achieve this.
For example, getting a side gig can bring extra cash to the table. You can become a freelancer, a babysitter, or a dog walker, among other things, to make more money. Another solution is to ask your employer for a raise.
To get better pay, some workers also opt to change jobs altogether. Others choose the part-time route and decide to go for a second job.
Increasing your income is not simple, and some of these options have clear disadvantages. However, protecting your savings and budget during inflation might be worth it.
2. Focus on saving
It is not the easiest thing to do during inflation. However, it is best always to include saving into your thought process. It does not have to be a lot of money, but this is a habit that you want to keep in the long run.
When working on your budget, it is the right move to start with the savings and then focus on the expenses later.
How to Save Money on Energy Bills
Saving money on energy bills serves different purposes at a time when climate change is becoming more critical.
1. Energy audit
Many companies do offer free audits for your home. This is a great starting point before your next move. The professionals can offer ideas on how to reduce your utility bill.
2. Replace your old appliances
By going for more modern and energy-efficient appliances, you will save money in the long run. Energy-efficient appliances are built to use less power and water in some cases.
3. Go for shorter showers
Removing a few minutes off the time you spend in the shower weekly can do some wonders for your energy bill at the end of the year—moreover, this benefits the environment.
4. Seal what you can
A clever and simple way to make additional savings in terms of energy is to make sure that your appliances are appropriately sealed. The same goes for doors and windows.
How to Save Money for Students
Saving money is also an important topic for young people. Here are a few interesting ways on how to save money as a teenager or as a student.
1. Open a savings account
With a savings account, you can place the money that you will need for the future. Students under the age of 18 might have to ask a parent for help to start this journey into financial freedom.
2. Find ways to earn
Teenagers and students can get traditional jobs, a summer gig or use technology to start earning some money. If you have certain skills, a website like Etsy can offer some opportunities to market yourself.
Also Read: Inspirational College Quotes
There are different ways to save money regardless of your current personal situation. However, most of the tips require some motivation to get the job done. The main lesson on how to save money is to keep going at it and never give up.