We’ve all been there before: financial hardship. If you’ve recently found yourself struggling financially, then know you’re not alone. Around 36% of Canadians are struggling financially.
Although a job with higher pay could be beneficial, the amount of money you earn isn’t always the problem. Sometimes, it’s your spending habits. With the wrong spending habits, even someone with a good-paying job could find themselves facing financial hardship.
Knowing how to save more money might be all you need to recover from this financial hole you’ve found yourself in. Saving money each month is easier said than done, however. It’ll take dedication and strong willpower to ensure you save enough money each month.
Thankfully, we’re here to help. Continue reading the guide below for our list of money-saving tips to keep in mind each month.
1. Create a Budget For Yourself
The first step to saving money each month is creating a budget for yourself. To create a budget, you need to know how much money you earn each month versus your expenses. Compare these numbers to determine how much money you have left over each month after paying all of your bills.
Next, remember to subtract the costs of necessary items such as household cleaning products, toiletry items, gas, and more. How much money is left? This is your budget.
However, you don’t want to be left with no money during the month either, so always make sure to leave yourself at least $100 in case of emergencies and other situations that might come up.
2. Work Your Way Out of Debt
If you’re currently in debt, then working your way out of it should be a priority. You can begin to work your way out of debt by looking at every company you owe money to and sorting them out. Which debt has the highest interest rate?
This is the debt you want to pay off first. Here’s how you’ll do it. You want to pay every bill on time each month, but put a little extra money towards the debts with the highest interest.
Even if it’s only 5 or 10 dollars, it’ll add up and help you get that debt paid off fast.
3. Make Your Savings Automatic
Remembering to put money into your savings account can be difficult at times. If you struggle to remember to transfer your money into savings or try to transfer it too late after you’ve already spent it, then it’s time to set up automatic savings.
If you know what your budget is, then you’ll know how much you’re able to move into a savings account each month. Speak with your bank about having this done automatically on a certain day each month. A good rule of thumb is to have it transferred the day after you’re paid or as soon as you deposit your check.
This way, the money will go straight to your savings, and you’ll never see it.
4. Set Up a Spending Limit on Cards
Another great way to prevent yourself from spending money is to set up a spending limit on your cards. Speak with your bank about placing monthly spending limits on your debit and credit cards. Once you hit this limit, you won’t be able to spend any more money.
This is also a good way to track your own spending habits and realize how quickly you go over your limit.
5. Eliminate Luxury Expenses
When going through all of your expenses, take a look at some things that might be luxuries. Some examples of luxury expenses might be cable TV, theme park passes, and so on. If you have any expenses that aren’t necessary, then you’ll want to eliminate them.
When saving is a priority, these expenses will only set you back. Cancel them for now and open them back up once you’re in a better place financially.
6. Reduce Your Utility Bills
Did you know you can reduce your utility bills? You can cut back on how much water or electricity you use, but there’s another step you can take. Now is the time to start shopping around for different utility companies.
See what the rates are for different companies in your area and make the switch if it’s beneficial for you. You can do the same for your car insurance as well. Shop around, do your research, and choose a cheaper provider.
7. Start a Side Hustle
Picking up a second job is great if you have the time in your schedule to do it. Otherwise, consider starting a side hustle. How is this different from a second job?
Side hustles give you the freedom you need to work when you want or when you can. A side hustle is a way to earn money while working for yourself. You could consider driving for a rideshare company or selling homemade products for a profit.
Work on the weekends or at night and whenever it’s convenient for you. Take this extra money you earn and place it right into savings.
8. Cancel All Unnecessary Subscriptions
Do you have any subscriptions you may not use on a regular basis? Some subscriptions are necessary and beneficial to have, such as a membership to an online shopping platform you use to purchase all of your groceries.
If you use it regularly and receive a discount for having a subscription, then you want to keep it. However, all those subscriptions that are collecting money from your account without you using them need to go. Start canceling all of these subscriptions and write down the ones you want to subscribe to later once you’re in a better place financially.
9. Write a Shopping List
Before you go shopping, whether it’s for household items or groceries, you always want to start with a list. Having a written-out list will prevent you from spending more money than you intend to. When you go into the store without a list, you’ll be tempted to buy a variety of things you might not need.
Instead, have a well-thought-out list of items you need and give yourself an idea of how much you’ll spend on these items. This way, you can go into it knowing exactly what you’re going to get and how much you’re going to spend. It makes for a quick and cost-effective shopping trip.
10. Give Yourself Savings Goals
Sometimes, it’s difficult to save money each month if you don’t have savings goals. You should know how much you want to save each month to ensure you’re reaching your goals. Sit down and figure out what a good amount would be.
Think both short-term and long-term goals:
- What are your long-term saving goals?
- How much money do you want to have saved up by the end of the year?
- Think about 5 years from now: how much money will you need to save each week or month to reach those goals?
- Are those goals realistic?
These are a few questions you should be asking yourself before deciding on your specific monthly savings goals. Once you have goals written out, it’ll also help motivate you to reach them.
11. Find Free Entertainment
Everyone needs a break to relax or have fun! When you’re trying to save money, however, it may be best to skip the expensive theme parks or bars. Instead, look for free entertainment in your neighborhood.
There are lots of ways to have fun and enjoy yourself without having to spend money. Depending on where you live, there might be free outdoor yoga classes you can join. Walking, jogging, or biking nature trails with friends and family gets your workout in while spending time exploring the great outdoors with loved ones.
You can also do some online research to learn about a variety of free events in your area for each weekend. Make it a challenge for yourself to go an entire month with a $0 entertainment budget and see what you can find!
12. Have a Backup Plan
You have several different methods of saving money each month, but do you have a backup plan? You need one. Having a backup plan is essential if you ever need emergency money to help get you out of a financial crisis.
You should be building an emergency savings account (for emergency use only), but you should have a backup plan in case the money isn’t available. If you find yourself in need of cash with little notice, then what will you do? Where will you go?
Having a lender you can trust to provide you with a quick loan when needed is ideal. These loans should require an easy and painless application form and a fast approval process. This way, you’ll have the money in your account right when you need it without the hassle.
Know How to Save More Money and Reduce Financial Hardship
No one wants to find themselves facing financial hardship. Unfortunately, it’ll happen at times. When you know how to save more money each month, you not only reduce debt but also climb your way out of that financial hole you’ve found yourself in.
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Follow these 3 easy steps today to get started.