Do you ever reach the end of the month and wonder where your money went? It’s happened to all of us but here’s the good news! Saving money is easy with the right best practices. By adopting some new and easy habits, you’ll see your savings swell.
1. PLAN YOUR MEALS
Eating out or ordering delivery can really add up. A cheap $10 meal here and there can turn into hundreds of dollars throughout the month. Plan your meals and don’t deviate too much from your grocery list. When planning your meals, consider your food’s lifespan. If you find yourself throwing out perishable items for going bad, you’re basically throwing away money.
A great way to make those healthy foods last longer is to use them in recipes (hello one-pot soup to use up those turning vegetables). Not only do recipes make for tastier meals but a good combination of foods can help you get more proteins and vitamins. You might find that healthier meals are even more filling, saving you money.
Another good way to save money on food is to keep an eye out for grocery store sales and coupons. Some healthy foods are generally cheaper and can work for a variety of meals, such as eggs, broccoli and potatoes.
2. BUDGET TO ZERO
The basic approach to budgeting is to keep track of your earnings and your expenses so you know where your money is going and what you can afford.
Budgeting to zero takes this practice to an extreme, where you allocate every dollar of your income to a line item. Essentially, any money you don’t allocate for spending on necessities or fun, you plan to put into savings.
Keep in mind, you should aim to put at least 20% of your income into savings. It’s also recommended to have enough emergency funds to cover 3–6 months of lost work. You’ve got this!
3. COMPARE BRANDS
We talked earlier about how to save money on food spending. Another great way to save money in that area is by buying from no-name brands or grocery-store-owned brands, such as Compliments. You can also apply this principle to many areas of your spending.
Some brands pride themselves on their affordability. However, keep in mind buying cheaper may cost you more in the long run. A jacket from Carhartt may cost you more, but the durability can pay off. Buying new winter wear every year can send a hit to your pockets.
Other brands are expensive, but not for durability shake. Trendy streetwear brands make clothes that cost a lot and aren’t intended for heavy use.
Ultimately, no matter where you buy from, consider the brand and how people feel about it. What do product reviews say? How do they compare against competitors? Is what you’re buying a long-term or short-term purchase? Getting pickier with whom you buy from will pay off fast.
At Birchwood Credit, we believe it’s important to free people of financial burdens. That’s why we offer affordable interest rates on car loans to people with poor credit. If you’re looking to save on your vehicle, learn about our in-house financing.