Most Americans are interested in ways they can save money every month to pay off debt more quickly or put savings aside for their futures. Here are just ten ways you can save a little each month.
1. Keep a Budget
The first step in saving money is tracking how you spend it. When you start keeping a budget, you can begin to see where you’re spending too much. You may find you could cut back on eating out, start clipping coupons or skip that morning coffee habit to save some serious cash.
2. Consolidate Your Debt and Student Loans
The next step in saving is to track all your debts. Once you have a handle on how much you owe and what your interest rates are, it may make sense to consolidate your debts at a lower interest rate. This saves you money in the long term on interest payments and cuts down your minimum monthly payments.
3. Shop Around for Auto Insurance
Auto insurance companies will raise your rates every year. It’s a good idea to switch providers regularly to negotiate for lower rates. Also consider paying quarterly or annually to save money in the long run.
4. Decrease Your Monthly Car Expenses
Now that you’re tracking your budget, you may find you’re spending too much money on your car – either in monthly repairs, gas or your monthly payment. Consider making a change to your auto expenses by buying a different car that won’t cost as much in those categories or driving less to save on your gas bill.
5. Cut Out High-Interest Credit Cards
After you’ve tallied all your debts and interest rates, you may find some of your credit cards come with high interest fees. On top of that, your minimum payment covers mostly interest, which means your principal balance could take a very long time to pay off. Consider moving your credit card balance to a provider who will offer you a lower interest rate.
6. Enter Into a Credit Repair Program
If your credit is in bad shape, you may want to look into applying to be in a credit repair program. These programs allow you to get lower interest rates on your debt so you can work on rebuilding your credit score. Overall, you could save money and be in a better place financially to make important purchases down the road.
7. Lower Your Health Insurance Costs
Health insurance costs can be costly expenses. Talk to your HR representative at work (even if you only work part-time) or shop around online if you have insurance from the Health Insurance Marketplace. There may be a tax incentive or benefit you’re missing out on that could save you money.
8. Implement a 30-Day Rule
The biggest way to save money each month is to not buy things you don’t need. If you’re trying to get control over a shopping habit, try a 30-day rule, where you don’t buy anything until you’ve wanted it for 30 days. Keep a list of purchases you’d like to make and evaluate them over the next month to see if they’re things you really need.
If you’re one of millions of college graduates who feel overwhelmed by your student loan debt, consider consolidating your loans. Through this process, you can merge multiple balances into a single balance to lower your monthly payment, interest rate, or both. It’s a great option for graduates who are struggling to make a dent in their overall loan debt.
Stick to a Grocery List
Rather than buying without a list and when you’re hungry, plan your weekly meals and stick closely to your list to avoid overspending at the grocery store. Also try sticking to the perimeter of the grocery; produce, dairy and proteins are both healthier and more cost-effective than processed foods in the center aisles.
If you’re looking to trim your budget, consider trying one, two or all ten of these simple money-saving hacks.