When it comes to balancing our budget we’d all love to be able to save more money. Most people use budgeting apps to help stay on top of their finances. These apps are great, but they mostly just tell you how much you’ve spent and how much more you have left for the rest of the month. I’m a big believer that anything can be made better with a plan and saving money is no exception. Here are some ways to stay organized and save money.
Managing the Ups & Downs – The summer is coming up and that normally means a lot of weddings, vacations and lots of expenses. How can you save during this time? Go through your calendar and for every ‘expensive’ weekend you have mark down another weekend as a ‘saving’ weekend. This doesn’t mean a boring one, it just means you should aim to spend as little as possible. Check out free events in your local area and try making meals from leftovers in your fridge. This can help to balance out your more expensive weekends.
Balancing the food budget – In a previous blog post I’ve talked about making bulk meals as a way to save money. However you can do this and also take it one step further. Base your meal plans for each week around what is on sale at the store. This can push you to be creative in the kitchen – almost like an Iron Chef. (I love that show!) There’s normally at least one special on some of the fresh produce so try to swap those in for some of the more expensive veg in your meals.
Make a list and buy it all – You can save on lots of little trips to the store by buying all the miscellaneous items you’ll need for the month in one stop. Stock up on all the cleaning supplies, moisturizers/shampoo etc you think you’ll need. This is also a good time to buy small gifts like candles or toys, as well as some generic cards and wrapping paper. That way you’re not running out to the store every time you need a small gift. And if you want to not think about this too much – you can subscribe for items you buy a lot through Amazon and have them sent every month or two months or whatever you choose. You won’t have to worry about it and you’ll get a discount. Similarly trying to shop weekly instead of daily can be a big fuel saver.
Put your savings towards other savings – Home and car insurance is often much cheaper if you pay in one lump sum instead of monthly. Comparing prices from sites like this one here can also help you to find competitive insurance rates to save you money in the long run. However the cost of an upfront payment can be too high for many. Set some money aside for unavoidable costs, such as a car crash or a garage spring repair. These things need to be sorted and it can be very stressful if you can’t afford to pay for them. If you do manage to save up a considerable amount of money you can put that towards a big insurance payment. Now you’re not making those extra payments anymore you’ll have additional money in your monthly budget. So you’ve effectively ‘doubled up’ on your savings. As well as insurance payments you may also want to check out PCP which can help you with your car savings!