We have been going through a worldwide crisis (let me give you a hint, it starts with a C) as if global warming wasn’t enough. So this would be a good time as ever to start saving some energy. By doing so, you might just save good old mother Earth and pare down your expenses at the same time. The best thing is, you don’t need to be a power specialist in order to get the education you need to learn about climate change or the resources you need to help. Chances are very high that you can start today to make the changes to your daily habits that will help make these changes. SO in this post we will discovers ways to help you learn how to save money and give you some money saving tips.
How to save money
Saving money is very similar to losing weight. It can be difficult to achieve without first changing the way you think about it.
If you think about saving money as a way of cutting you off from the things you enjoy, it will be must harder to maintain, much like a diet. However, if you look at saving money from the money conscious angle and become more aware of how spending money is affecting your daily activities you can then make a budget.
This budget will help you put together a spending plan that can still allow you to buy the things you want in need, just in a much more responsible way.
So in order to put together a spending plan you need to do the following;
- Put together a budget
- Start some money-saving tips
Put together a budget
In order to put a realistic budget together, the first thing you need to do is dive deep into your spending habits. You can take the old school route and use a notebook and pen or you can enter it into a spreadsheet.
Download a simple sample budget template from Mint
You should also put together your credit card and bank statements to get an accurate picture of your spending habits. It is best to gather about two months worth.
Once you have all your expenses the next thing you need to do is gather all of your income sources. Factor in income from all sources including:
- Wage income
- Money from side gigs
- Alimony and/or child support
- Business income
- Income from investments
If your income is regular, you will be living off of your last month’s income and therefore will have to update your budget monthly.
Sample Monthly Household Budget
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Once you have identified your income you can lastly identify your financial goals. Although you are making a budget primarily to save you may have a long-term goal in mind that you will need to add in your spending plan.
This usually involves a long term financial goal such as:
- Saving for retirement
- Building a rain-day fund
- Buying a house
- Purchasing a new vehicle
- Paying off debt
- Saving for college
- Saving for a vacation or other big purchases
When setting a goal, the goal should be specific and achievable to each task. For instance, instead of saying “save for a house”, you should say “save $20,000 for a down payment”.
You should also include a target date for your goals in order to know when you need how long you have to achieve the goal. When do you want to purchase your home?
Decide how much you need for each goal and add that amount to your budget. If you need to save $20,000 for a downpayment on a house in 5 years you would need to save $333.33 a month.
Now that you have identified the areas where you are spending the most money, all of your income sources, and what your financial goals are, you can put together a budget/spending plan to set aside money to accomplish each goal.
Use a budgeting tool to make putting together your budget simple.
Budgeting money isn’t something you should handle on your own, get your family involved. Sit down and discuss what your goals are and what needs to be changed. Remember, financial stress is a leading cause of stress in relationships.
If you live on your own, then you don’t have to worry about this, but if you have a partner it should be a joint effort.
Now that you have put together a budget for your home here are some money-saving tips to help you save some cash.
Turn off it!
Don’t leave your personal computer and monitor running all day. It doesn’t take that long to start up when you are ready to use it. Just remember you need to switch off the monitor if you’re using an individual computer or a computer with an extra monitor.
Change your bulbs
CFL stands for Compact Fluorescent Bulbs, and this advanced light bulb might save you a ton of money plus they are easy to attain. Although they cost a little bit more to purchase initially, the money you will save on replacement bulbs and energy costs will add up in the long term.
Switch to energy efficient
Money may be tight for most of us currently, but when you find yourself in the market for some new electronics or appliances you will definitely want to think about looking for the Energy star and look into how much those items can save you annually on energy cost. Of course, these items are a bit more expensive but they will save you more money in the end.
Adjust your thermostat
Summer is around the corner and you have probably heard this tip before but with the current crisis, you have more reason to pay attention. There’s no reason for you to quit using your air conditioning all together if you live in a hot climate. Heat can be detrimental to your health,
However, it also unreasonable to have it set so high to where you need to wear a sweater in your own home. By simply monitoring the temperature settings on the air conditioning, you can save a lot of power and greatly lessen your summertime expenses.
The ideal setting for the summer is 72 but you should never go above 78 degrees Fahrenheit. You may think setting it higher will make the unit work faster, it doesn’t, all it does it burn more money from your pocket because it stays on longer.
Don’t wash small loads
In a situation where there are only enough dirty garments to fill only half of the machine, it is best to wait. You should only wash clothes when you have enough for a full load. You will not believe how much lower your power bill be by making this small change.
Wash clothes on cold
While we are on the subject of dirty clothes, did you know that there are laundry detergents that do a great job of washing your clothes on the cold cycle? Not only can you save money not using your hot water as much but you may also be able to preserve the life of your clothes.
Unplug appliances, not in use
Before you leave your house or go to bed at night, unplug all appliances that don’t need to be on. Your fridge can remain plugged in but items like a toaster, blenders, microwaves, and table lamps – all suck up minuscule amounts of power that can really add up, even when they are switched off. Pull the plug on a few of these appliances and you will clearly see a difference.
Set a Timer on Your Thermostat
Setting your thermostat to a minimum heating level and putting it on a timer is a great way to save money. You won’t need to use your homes warm water to heat your home when you are away or having fun. Even you are at home you can wear socks or a sweater, and drink a nice cup of warm tea to help you keep warm.
Keep the fridge full
Believe it or not, but a full fridge actually requires less energy than one that is empty. The more content that is in your fridge the cooler the temperature will be able to be maintained.
Defrost before heating
Another simple but effective tip is allowing frozen food plenty of time to defrost properly before heating it up in the microwave. This can help you save money by avoiding the microwave having to be the one to do the job. You should also leave plenty of moments for defrosting frozen food so that you can save even more by avoiding softening it softly in a microwave.
Bonus tip: Everyone loves to save money grocery shopping but not all of us like to clip coupons. So finding a way to satisfy both of those options would be great, wouldn’t you agree? Well, a free app called “Ibotta” lets you earn cash on your grocery shopping by simply taking a photo of your grocery receipt.
It is a great way to save money and earn cash at the same time. Download the app for free.
Saving money begins with a change in your mindset.
Start by taking a deep dive into your finances and spending habits. This will help you understand how you ate using your money and allow you to put together a spending plan that will better suit you and your houseolds needs.
Budgeting isn’t always about giving up the things you love but reevaulating money and your daily activities is affecting your finances.
Of course, you could walk around your home and make a few changes here and there to help you start saving money but unless you make the conscious decision to start saving, your efforts could end up getting right back where you started in the first place.
Try to be as serious as you can about saving money, make a plan, help your family implement the plan, and take your plan day by day. Start small and work your way to better saving habits every day.
We would love to hear your money-saving tips. Feel free to share them below!