If you feel it has been a financially rough couple of years, you’re not alone.
Many people have not been able to save, invest, or even feel positive about their financial situation. Trying to build your financial confidence back up can feel overwhelming, to say the least.
The good news is there are daily habits that you can start changing today that add up to big savings over the year.
Take on these seven simple hacks for saving money and being financially smart this year.
1. Make a meal and grocery plan, order online and shop sales.
It might sound funny, but often the over-budget spending in any given month is on food and dining out without realizing it. Planning your meals and budget in advance, ordering groceries online and picking them up at the store can save quite a bit of money. It helps to eliminate picking up extra items at the store when your stomach is doing the talking and allows you to plan for more affordable meals in advance.
2. Be a super-smart online scavenger.
If you need an item such as a printer or vacuum, do not just go to your usual big box store and pick it up because it’s on sale. Search online, not only for the item with the most value and quality that will last you a long time but also for the lowest price. You may be able to find that same item at Overstock.com or in a wholesale store. You also might be able to find someone selling it on Offerup nearby and almost new, for a fraction of the cost.
3. Find ways to get paid to spend through cash and points.
Spending is inevitable, so make sure you’re being strategic about your purchases. Some credit cards offer 5 or 6 percent cashback periods on certain categories of purchases like groceries. Many cards also offer points that you can redeem as payments. For example, on one Wells Fargo card, 5000 points earned allows you to apply $50 to your balance. One Capital One card allows you to use your points not only for travel but for Amazon purchases.
4. Identify and give up costly habits, like bottled water.
Believe it or not, your favorite bottled water is costing you more than you realize. Instead, buy a tap filter and see how much you can save on water alone every month. Also, the cost of alcohol and soda can actually be costing you the same amount per month as your cell phone bill. You may also have monthly apps or online subscriptions that you’re not really using that you can offload to save money.
5. Reduce your credit card interest rates.
What’s the harm in trying? You might be surprised at how much you can accomplish by calling your credit card companies and simply asking them if there are discounted rates or offers available to you on your account. Some companies will lower your rate if you ask, and some will take a look at your tenure as a customer first.
6. Review home, car and pet insurance rates.
If you’re like many of us, you have multiple insurance plans. When was the last time you took a look at the rates? You might be able to save quite a bit by shopping around or even calling your current companies to discuss options. You may also save quite a bit per month by adjusting the amount of insurance if such changes fit your situation.
7. Set your debt payoff plan and don’t veer from it.
Nothing feels better than sending in that final payment. Write down all of your debts and categorize, from the highest interest rate to the lowest. Start by paying off the highest interest rate first and pay as much over the minimum as you can. It will feel great to set the date that you will be debt-free and work toward it diligently.
If you would like to have your current financial plan reviewed, or if you are looking for a new financial plan, schedule an appointment on Bayntree’s online calendar by selecting the date and time that is most convenient for you! You can also always reach us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bayntree Wealth Advisors provides comprehensive financial planning and wealth management. The Bayntree team specializes in all aspects of financial health, including retirement planning, risk management, investment advice, tax strategies, estate planning and insurance.
Bayntree does not provide specific legal or tax advice. Please consult with your tax advisor or legal professional for guidance with your individual situation.