We all understand and get that saving money can seem impossible sometimes. It’s not even worth pretending that everyone has the innate ability to save money, but that’s likely the reason the headline above drew you in, isn’t it?
While saving money may not come easy to everyone, it’s something that anyone can try to do. The idea is that as long as you actually try, there’s a chance. But it’s not all about some drastic cutting back on everything you have and want and it’s not some secret scientific formula that I’m planning to sell to you that will make me rich. It actually is way more subtle than that and that’s why I have called it E-Z. So here are my best E-Z ways and save money tips to get you started!
10 “E-Z Ways to Save Money” Tips
Counting them down they are:
10. Analyze your expenses…critically
Admittedly, this is likely the most important suggestion because it is money you actually have and that you are already spending. When I say have, I also mean have access to like with credit cards, which doesn’t mean it’s just ok to spend. That’s how you get into the hole and owe even more with interest tacked on to the purchases.
The key to analyzing your expenses is being honest with yourself. What can be cut? If it’s not directly responsible for basic hygiene, water, shelter, and food, then theoretically it can be cut. That’s not to say cut everything non-essential, but getting rid of that streaming account you pay 12 bucks a month for and barely use may be a great start on saving.
9. Do not eliminate all of the fun in your budget
Building “fun money” into your budget can bring you a long way from where you began. When you know exactly how often a night out is possible, it’s easier to navigate through each pay period. The benefit of this is a sort of balance between saving and still having fun, and as time goes on, the fun money budget will grow if all goes right with the plan.
8. The technology trap
Technology moves at a pace that is nearly impossible to keep up with and it feels like your everyday life is completely missing out on the changes. While this is true to an extent, when changes are made it takes time for them to trickle down to the average person despite what you see, hear, and read. Daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly, it’s not exactly necessary to upgrade every gadget we have ever heard about in our lives.
While that tablet or phone might not be as snappy as it was on day one, it will certainly get the job done. It’s much smarter to wait for a model that goes far beyond just looks and incremental speed increases and serves a higher practical purpose. Think about it, do you really need a 85-inch TV?
7. Stop drooling over the ads
There is a real benefit in limiting your ad exposure from television. While television ads are the big guns in advertising, the truth is that advertising is everywhere. This can make it impossible to truly limit exposure, but the thought alone will bring about your awareness when advertisements are attempting to sap all the money you have from your wallet.
I believe that seeing the glitz and glamor of all the ads we have is a big part of the unhappiness that just too many of us share. If we don’t have all that stuff we see, it makes us feel bad about ourselves. So why do we watch, listen, and read them so much?
6. Stop impulse spending
Credit cards, ATMs, and online shopping make it easier than ever to spend your money. That’s especially true on things we want rather than need. We succumb to our temptations typically by reacting impulsively and that actually boils down to our willpower. Studies have shown that self-control is a bit like a muscle that tires out with use.
Ironically, it’s the willpower of poorer shoppers that tends to get depleted the most. This is a result of the fact that they face repeated, difficult financial decisions. Every buying decision, even whether to buy soap requires self-control and dips into our limited willpower pool.
5. Don’t lend money unless your name is Bank of America
While it would be better not to lend money at all, there are definitely occasions where friends or family will call you for help, and lending a helping hand is often times the right thing to do. However, before you let your brother borrow $3,000, operate under the assumption that you may never see that money again. If your budget doesn’t allow that reality, then you must tell your brother to look elsewhere this time. You are not in a position to lend anyone money when you don’t have any money.
4. Avoid the “Poverty Mentality”
For many people, being thrifty, using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully is a virtue. However, while thrift is an obvious way to save, we need to guard against being too frugal. Why? That’s because the real way to get ahead financially isn’t on concentrating on being frugal. It’s about getting ahead by focusing on earning, saving, and investing!
Skimping on the grocery and electricity bill will only get you so far, and puts you at risk of a “poverty mentality.” A poverty mentality is one preoccupied with the shortage or lack of money. That is very limiting. People with a prosperity or abundance mentality base their decisions on what the possible benefits are and have better horizons.
3. Save money automatically
The easiest way to save money is saving it without ever thinking about it. You can set up your bank account to automatically transfer funds from your checking account into a savings account every month. If that sounds scary to you, you can also set up your direct deposit to automatically transfer 10% of each paycheck into your savings account. You can’t spend the money that you don’t have access to and if it’s not there, you won’t even think about it. Learning to live on less is easier when you actually see less of it to begin with!
2. Hide from your e-mail
I made the big mistake of signing up for every e-mail discount I have ever seen and I am not kidding when I tell you I have about 50,000 unread emails in my account as of today, some dating back as far as 2017.
Unsubscribe from emails. Email marketers are really good at what they do. They know the irresistible temptation of a flash sale or exclusive coupon. And talk about those flashy gifs! If you just can’t resist shopping when you see a special offer, click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email. You’ll be less tempted to spend, and your inbox will be a lot less cluttered. It’s a win-win!
1. Budgets are E-Z
Stop the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck with a simple idea: Make a zero-based budget before the month begins. A budget is all about being intentional. It helps you create a plan so you can see where your money is going and find out how much you can actually save each month. When you make a zero-based budget, you’re giving every single dollar a name—or assigning it a job to do—before you save or spend it. Remember: It really doesn’t matter how much money you make—it matters how you spend and save the money you make.
We all want to save money, but the truth is that we only start saving money when we develop healthy money habits. That then becomes a reality only when our future needs become more important than your current wants.
We have to make saving a priority as we do so often with so many less important money topics. A lot of times, our goal to save money isn’t big enough to delay the purchase of that new smartphone, kitchen table, or TV. So we spend our dollars away and, even worse, that debt then turns into monthly payments that control our weekly paychecks.
Theses E-Z tips don’t require any spending. You don’t need a course or a class or even a book. It’s your common sense that you will be using here and all it requires is to sit down and put thoughts into actions.
Is this the complete list? No way. There are another 100 ways to add to the list and I am sure you have some ideas of those yourself and would share them too, so please do. Just remember that with a few tweaks to your spending priorities, you’ll be on the fast track to saving money in no time.