Most Americans (22%) have somewhere between $1,000 and $5,000 saved away. Meanwhile, 39% of Americans can’t cover a $400 emergency. The average amount people have in savings is $3,500.
With COVID-19 leaving many people out of work, some people are finding it even more difficult to save. With these 10 money-saving hacks, you can put money back into your account. Don’t let financial stress affect your well-being.
Instead, start saving for your future! Discover the best money-saving hacks with these easy tips today.
1. Establish Your Goals
Before you start using the DIY money-saving hacks, sit down and consider your situation.
Have you tried saving in years past? What caused you to end up spending instead? Understanding your previous shortfalls can help you avoid them this time around.
Try establishing SMART goals to keep yourself on the path to success.
SMART goals are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Driven, Timely.
Make sure your goals are realistic based on your unique situation. If you’re making minimum wage and working part-time, you might struggle to save $10,000 a month. Instead, set an attainable goal.
Think about why you’re trying to save money, too. For example, do you want to plan a vacation at the end of the year? Set a SMART goal to have $5,000 saved for your vacation to London in December 2021.
Are you expecting a baby? Consider setting a goal to have $60,000 in their college fund by the time they’re 18.
Your goals will keep you on track. Try breaking your big goal into a few small benchmarks. Then, you can measure your progress as you go.
If you notice you’re not reaching your benchmarks, you can adjust your plan.
2. Track Your Income and Expenses
In order to use these money-saving hacks, it helps to know how much you have coming in and going out.
Gather your expenses from the past year. Grab your bills, receipts, and log into your bank account. Look at your bank statements and paycheck stubs, too.
How much money is going into your account every month? How much are you spending? What are you spending money on?
Try to organize your spending into categories like travel, food, rent/utilities, and entertainment. Use a spreadsheet to stay organized. Add a category for your debts, too.
What about medical bills and healthcare? Are you still making car payments?
Once you determine how much you’re spending each money, you can find places to cut back. What spending seems frivolous compared to essential expenses?
Calculate how much you can save once you cut back. Now, determine your new monthly budget. Segment your budget into different categories.
Now you have a budget for the month based on your personal spending habits! If you have money left over at the end of the month, save it.
3. Cut Back
As you use these DIY money-saving hacks, look for ways to cut back your expenses. Every small way you cut back can have a big impact.
For example, are you spending money on monthly subscriptions? These fall under “entertainment” and can include:
- YouTube TV
Food subscriptions like Instacart and HelloFresh count, too.
Turn off the “auto-renew” option on these subscriptions. Then, pause any subscriptions you’re not using. Try to minimize how many subscriptions you have each month.
The next time you go shopping, select generic brands. Most of the items are similar to the name brands you’re using. You can use generic foods, cleaning supplies, and makeup.
Switch to cash each week instead of using your credit or debit cards. Switching to catch will allow you to watch your money disappear each week. You’ll feel more inclined to hold onto it.
Do you have a habit of buying new clothes each month? Consider learning how to repair and restore items throughout your home.
These simple money-saving hacks can help you save hundreds over time.
4. Plan for an Emergency
You never know when an emergency might strike. For example, you might end up in a car accident. You’ll need to pay for property damage and medical bills.
Have a small rainy day fund prepared for these events. Keep it separate from your general savings account.
That way, you’re ready for an emergency but don’t have to dip into your savings or delay your goals.
5. Minimize Your Debts
The average American has about $90,460 in debt. Remember to look at your debts, including:
- Student loans
- Personal loans
- Auto loans
- Credit cards
- Mortgage loans
- Home equity lines of credit
Pay off these debts as soon as possible. Try using the debt avalanche strategy. With this strategy, you’ll pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first.
Put as much as you can toward paying off this debt as possible. Once it’s gone, pay for the next largest debt. Keeping using this strategy until your debts are gone.
6. Plan Meals
You can also save money by planning your meals ahead of time.
Establish a menu for the week. Then, only buy the groceries you need. Do not impulse buy.
Remember, you have a monthly food budget. Planning your meals can help you avoid eating out. You don’t want the food in your fridge to go to waste.
7. Get a Side Hustle
You can add a little more money to your savings account by getting a side hustle. What skills will help you save money?
Did you start learning how to restore and repair clothing and other items around your home? Offer your services. Otherwise, consider delivering groceries, blogging, or babysitting to make extra cash.
Give this money saving trick a try while you’re at it.
8. Stay Motivated
As you use these money-saving hacks, it’s normal to lose motivation once and a while. Look back at your goal. Remind yourself why you start saving in the first place.
It’s important to stay motivated and remain consistent. No cheat days!
Consistency will help you build your savings account faster than you anticipated.
Cha-Ching!: 8 Essential Money-Saving Hacks for 2021
Say hello to that extra cash in your account. With these eight easy money-saving hacks, you won’t have to worry about financial issues. Start saving with these simple tips today.
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