If there’s one thing the last year has taught us, it’s that life change in a split second. When the pandemic hit— many businesses closed and millions of people lost jobs, and many people found themselves struggling to stay afloat financially. After months of shutdowns and waiting for stimulus checks, even people who had money tucked away in savings found themselves wondering just how long they could live on the money they’ve saved up.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “I’d love to save more, but I just don’t have the money to do it”. Just a few years ago, I was in a very different place financially, so I completely get how hard it can be to find money that you just don’t have. Even if you’re living paycheck to paycheck these days, you can still save money — you just need to find creative ways to do it.
Obviously, the best way to save money is to stop spending it, but in most cases, it’s not that simple. For many years, I’d been a chronic overspender and saving wasn’t a priority for me. Like many other families, our lives shifted drastically during the pumpkin, but we were able to navigate the loss of two incomes and thrive during a global crisis — because we’d started taking steps to improve our finances, months before it began.
Growing up, one of the things I always admired about my parents is that they managed money well. Although my dad was a big saver, he always used to say “There’s no such thing as extra money. Every dollar I have, I need”. It didn’t make sense to me then, but as I got older it became so much more clear. Even though my parents were able to provide everything I need, and most of what I want — they never considered the money left in their bank accounts a surplus — it was security for the future and protection against unforeseen circumstances. That mindset helped our family build up enough savings to have no change to our lifestyle during the biggest health and economic crisis of our generation.
Whether you have $5 or $500 leftover after your bills are paid, you can begin with whatever you have and gradually build up your savings. Here are nine practical tips that you can start using today, to start saving more money.
7 Practical Tips to Save Money
1 Be Intentional About Saving
It sounds simple enough, right? Think of your savings as a bill that needs to be paid. Put that money away in a savings account (or sock drawer) and DON’T TOUCH IT!
2 Cut Out Unnecessary Costs
If you don’t absolutely need something don’t buy it. Be willing to cut out things like Netflix and Starbucks, in order to build yourself a financial safety net.
3 Sell Unused Items
One mama’s junk is another mama’s treasure. Sort through all those clothes you and your kids have outgrown, baby gear, and furniture you no longer use — and get rid of it while putting a few bucks away.
4 Side Hustle to Savings
Turn your untapped skills and passions into a side hustle, and stash some cash away for a rainy day.
5 Plan Ahead
You can’t predict the future, but you can do your best to be prepared for it. $1,000 used to be the recommended amount for a rainy day fund, but I’d suggest at least $5,000.
6 Cook More
Cutting back on dining at restaurants and take-out is an easy way to cut away at a bloated budget.
7 Shop Smarter & Look For Deals
It’s hard to completely change your lifestyle overnight, so as your taking baby steps to save more money — look for discounts and deals to get items and services at a lower price.
Are you committed to saving more money this year? If you have a tip to help others, share it below or follow me on Instagram and let me know what works for you.