The purpose of cutting spending and saving on purchases is to set aside some to pay off a debt or build savings. It can also help you stretch your dollar when you are low on cash.
There are many ways to cut your spending painlessly even when it feels like you don’t have enough to cover everything. If you can focus your efforts on a few things to cut, you will find you can cut $20-50 a month and then start your savings or reduce your debt.
Here are lots of ideas to get you started. Read each category then go through your last few months of spending to see which ideas you can use in your own plans. If doing them all is overwhelming, start by choosing 1-3 from each list and then watch how much you can save over time. Be sure to download the checklists from the resource library so you can go over your spending and check the tips off as you implement them.
Banking is something we all do to store our money and to conduct our money transactions. Did you know that all banks are not created equal?
The keys to saving money with your daily and monthly banking needs are to eliminate fees and interest payments.
1 Don’t allow your checking account to overdraft ever! The $29-$49 fees will add up quickly if you are not paying attention. That $2 McDonald’s hamburger could cost you over $50 if you are not careful. You can stop these from happening by opting out of overdraft protection at your bank. Many will allow you to do this on their online system, but some you will have to call in to request it. If you eliminate overdraft protection, then even in the case of a mistake your card will be declined rather than allowed to overdraft and then a hefty fee added.
2 Don’t trust overdraft protection completely. Sometimes autopay for bills will charge you a fee if they attempt to take a payment and they are not allowed due to insufficient funds. Eliminate these by sending autopay from your own account so you can stop payment easier if you are short on money. Watch your account carefully or set up a notification before a bill is pulled so you can check your balance.
3 Avoid monthly late fees by setting up auto-pay for your bills from your account to the payee. This allows you to pay on time, but also maintains the most control of money coming out of your account. You lose some of the control to stop or change the payment when you allow the payee to pull the payment from your account.
4 Make your monthly credit card payment on time. A late fee of $30-$50 dollars will be charged for a payment that is even one day late.
5 Even better, pay your credit card balance in full every month. This will eliminate the high rates of interest (most charge over 20%) on any credit card balance. For every thousand dollar balance, you will pay $200 in interest each year.
6 Always use an ATM from your own bank or credit union. If you withdraw cash once a week, the $3 charge will end up costing you over $150 per year. Some banks will reimburse you the ATM fee if you use another bank’s ATM, this allows the convenience and saves you money in fees.
7 Look over your checking account statements. If you are paying a significant amount in fees, shop around for an account that offers no-fee banking to cut out these costs.
8 You can also make sure you are earning more interest on your savings by shopping around for a higher-earning account.
Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar or the bottom of this page to gain access to the Resource Library. There you will find the 8 Page Checklist to guide you through saving on all eight categories below!
To find out other ways to save money, check out the rest of my money-saving series.