There are a lot of reasons why you might want to save more money—from buying a home, to paying down debt, to building an emergency fund. Although saving small amounts or saving for a few weeks may seem easy, many people are looking for ways to really grow their savings.
Money challenges and budgeting are great tools for increasing your nest egg, but some of the following strategies can help you supercharge your savings.
The 10 Percent Rule
For people who have a hard time figuring out exactly how much they can comfortably save, a percentage-based approach might be the answer. The 10 percent savings rule basically means you will save 10 percent of your income. Ideally, this amount will be deducted from your paycheck or from any money that comes in (if you are self-employed).
The 10 percent rule makes calculating how much to save fairly easy, yet this percentage can always be adjusted if it does not work with your financial situation. Even saving just 1 percent will get you into the habit of saving money regularly. As your finances improve, you can increase the percentage. What’s most important is getting started.
Conventional money-saving advice recommends scouring ads for sales and clipping coupons, but there is another way that involves a lot less effort. Often, top retailers offer a price match guarantee, helping them to remain competitive while saving you money. Get into the habit of buying items from retailers that are willing to price match when you find the same item elsewhere for a lower price. Some stores lower their prices to match their competitors; others reduce the price by a percentage.
In addition to shopping price match retailers, you can also leverage technology to comparison shop for everything from household goods to flights. A quick Internet search allows you to input the items you are interested in buying and get real-time pricing from a variety of retailers.
Review Your Recurring Subscriptions
From streaming apps to gym memberships, recurring subscriptions can take up a large chunk of our money each month. However, canceling subscriptions that you rarely use will free up cash every month that you can then put into savings. Some of the most common subscriptions that you may want to consider canceling include television and music streaming services, in-car satellite radio, e-book services, and mobile apps with recurring fees.
You may have so many subscriptions that it’s hard to keep up with. If you want to examine your subscriptions to see just how much you are paying every month, look through your bank statements over the past few months to see how much you’re spending. You can also search through your e-mail and in your mobile app store settings for this information. If you cancel a membership but want it again later, you can easily restart your subscription.
Save Energy around the House
Some of the factors that impact our ability to save are things we use every day but don’t really think about. For instance, major appliances consume a lot of energy, leading to hefty utility bills and a drain on your wallet.
One of the easiest money-saving tricks is to invest in a programmable thermostat. These highly functional thermostats allow you to conserve energy when you’re away from home or at night when activity dies down.
Energy-efficient appliances are also a wise investment that can save you money. Quality appliances tend to last longer than less expensive options, and longer-lasting appliances will save you money in the long run. When you shop for new appliances, compare energy-saving models and opt for professional installation to ensure your new appliance is functioning properly and lasts a long time.
Sell Unwanted or Unused Items
One of the quickest ways to boost your savings fast is to sell unwanted or unused items. Whether you have been collecting items with the hope of a big payout or you find that you have things you no longer use, consider selling them in online marketplaces or list them on local classified websites. Research the value of the items you want to get rid of to ensure you get the most money possible.
Other Helpful Tips
Aside from the aforementioned tips, there are a few other things you can do to save money and boost your savings. Many people spend more than they realize on dining out, and hectic work schedules often make meal planning difficult. However, smarter grocery shopping not only makes you healthier, but it can also save a lot of money.
Start by planning your food purchases and take a list to the store. Try not to deviate from the list and by on sale whenever possible. Also avoid visiting the grocery store when you are tired or hungry, as both can lead to impulse buys. Use the weekly sales flyer to plan your meals and save money simultaneously.
Other money-saving tips include using budget tracking apps, planning driving routes to conserve gas, and limiting unnecessary purchases. When you combine any of these tips, you should see an immediate increase in savings.