I learned some money management from Dave Ramsey’s famous book, The Total Money Makeover.
Imagine the time when you had no bills and no big responsibilities. You were younger then, right? You may have lived at home with your parents or grandparents. You may have even been called “spoiled”. Then life happens. You have bills, debts and no plan. “What plan?” you may ask. One of the plans is saving money. Here are some best ways to save money:
Get Rid of Debt
This includes credit cards. If you have not saved money, avoid credit cards if you can not pay off the entire purchase. Credit cards accumulate interest that you do not need.
Saving money seems difficult at first, but after you develop a habit of putting your money up instead of spending it down, saving will become easier. Getting rid of debt is the first way to start saving. What you don’t owe on one thing can go to a safe place, like an interest-bearing account.
What is debt? Debt is money that is owed on anything that goes down or up in value. Good debt can be from a purchase that will one day no longer be a liability for you but will be worth more than you paid for it. A house is an example of “good debt”.
Paying off that house should be your goal. This goes back to saving money. You will need that money to pay for a down payment on the house you buy. Buying within your means will help you pay more of a down payment and a good 5 -15 year loan, or it can allow you freedom to pay cash and own the home right away.
An example of bad debt is a car payment and the credit cards I mentioned. A car can lose half its after you have driving it off the lot and as you use it. You risk wrecking a car, wear and tear, etc. and must have some insurance just like any other property you own. Saving money is part of surviving and thriving, and debt is definitely not one of the best ways to save money.
Start An Interest-Bearing Account
In the midst of a coin shortage, there is a need for more coin donations to the banks. That’s right. Banks want YOUR change. Some are even offering incentives to deposit your coins into your bank account.
An interest-bearing account can be at a physical financial institution like a brick and mortar bank or at a secure online bank. Online places like Ally are a great start for beginners. There is no minimum balance to open and it has a great variable rate of monthly interest. My first month, I saw amazing results.
When you become more experienced and debt-free, you an even have the option of investing in stocks or mutual funds as one of your interest-bearing accounts. Although this is one of the best ways to save money, it is not the first. Once you get rid of the debt first, then you will see momentum of money flowing to you.
Pay Yourself First
This goes back to putting your money in a safer place that will earn more than you started with. If you are not ready to open an account, you can start with a jar. If you like to buy coffee or breakfast daily or weekly, you can use that $5 or $10 to put daily into your jar and watch it grow.
Check out my post, https://getwisdomwealthy.com/how-to-save-money-in-life/ for more details of jar categories and their uses.
Pack Your Lunch
This is one of the habits that has helped me achieve savings growth.
Just like the coffee or breakfast, I fix my own meal or grab a can of soup, fruit, nuts and water to add to my lunch bag. I even started out with a plastic bag to put it in.
Then I graduated to the cute lunch box cooler as a reward, which helped keep my lunch and water fresh and cool or warm as needed. Time is valuable too, so I usually pack my lunch the night before to save time.
If you have kids, they can also develop this habit of saving you and themselves money by packing their own lunches for school. Depending on your school’s menu, your own food may even be healthier. It beats the vending machine, and you may even be more comfortable monitoring how your food is prepared.
Ask About Discounts
Ways of saving money are everywhere. This includes discounts and coupons. Many times we overlook coupons, cash back rewards, discounts on cell phone bills, lower interest rates and lower insurance rates.
How will you know if you do not ask? Take advantage of free online coupons or mailed coupons to your local grocery store. Some even offer FREE items.
As I write this post, I found out from a letter and phone call that I had accumulated 14000 rewards points in several years from simple card purchases at grocery stores, gas stations and travel purchases.
I was given options to pick various gift cards from these points. I ended up with $150 Wal-Mart gift cards, $25 Amazon gift card, and other online cards I could use for home decor, food or streaming movies.
If you have shopped at grocery stores that offer store card points, you can use those points for other purchases such as gas or more groceries.
What Are Your Best Ways To Save Money?
The list I shared are just a few of many ways you can save money. I don’t want to bore you, so I will share more ways in another post. In the meantime, what are ways have you tried to save money? Please share in the comments below. Also please share this post with others who may need ways to save money during these perilous time.
Use this time as an opportunity to grow your funds. Grab the helpful book, The Total Money Makeover. I know from experience that with or without a job, you can still build your savings. All it takes is a little planning, consistency and much will-power.