Saving for a big goal can be riddled with frustration and anticipation. On one hand, you look forward to payday because a certain amount of money will go into your “goal” fund. On the other hand, the amount you have left to obtain your goal may seem insurmountable. For those who are motivated to save more, simple things can be done to put away a few extra dollars each week.
How To Save Extra Money
At Kaiku, we’re always helping people save money by budgeting properly on prepaid debit cards. Here are a number of other ways to save even more:
- Before going to the grocery store, have a list with at least three days of meals planned out and the ingredients that go along with them. Going unprepared may cost you more.
- When birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays come around, make your own gifts instead of buying from the store. Baking bread, a cake, or preparing a meal for someone is thoughtful and inexpensive.
- Invite friends over instead of going out. Meeting friends at restaurants, bars, and lounges will set you back on your big goal. Instead have people come over to watch movies, play cards, or cook a meal together.
- For those with kids, don’t spend big money on entertainment. Depending on their age, children can be amused very easily and cheaply. Make games out of items you already have around the house.
- Decrease your intake of expensive habits such as cigarettes, alcohol, and coffee. Reducing the amount you smoke and drink is also beneficial for your health. Make your coffee at home and take it to work.
- Cook enough for several nights. Casseroles, for example, are easy to prepare and store. Next time you cook, make three or four extra batches and freeze. On late nights home from work, instead of calling for take out, just defrost!
- Use less energy at home. Turn all your lights off before leaving, switch off the TV if you are not watching, and condense your laundry into one batch instead of two smaller loads.
- If you own a car, clean the air filter regularly. A clean air filter improves gas mileage by up to 7%. That equates to about $100 for every 10,000 miles driven.
- Cancel unused club memberships. If you only go to the gym once a week, it may not be worth it to pay those fees monthly.
- Shop generic. Most people are loyal to brands for certain goods, but if it’s not a big deal for you, try a generic brand to see how it compares. If you don’t notice a big difference, switch to generic for good!
- If you have an extra bedroom in your house or apartment, rent out unused space for short periods of time in order to make some cash quickly.
- Eat breakfast. It fills you with energy for the rest of the day, but it also keeps you from feeling hungry quickly and succumbing to the temptation of an expensive lunch.
- Have the urge to go shopping? Start in your closet. Go through all the items you have and see what “new” finds you come across. There are likely accessories and clothes you forgot you even had.
- Start a garden if you have a backyard. If you live in an apartment, start with a small basil plant. As you start enjoying the feeling of picking fresh ingredients, you can then purchase other plants that do not take up a ton of space.
- Consolidate your student loans. There may be a fee to consolidate based on the company you work with, but they should be able to help you reduce payments to a manageable amount.