Try these smart ways to save.
Oftentimes, the most difficult part of saving money is getting started. Examine your expenses, and identify a few areas where you could cut back. Trips to the coffee shop can add up, just like dining out frequently or making impulse purchases on the season’s latest fashion trends. Do a favor for your future self, and start saving money now. Once you find a money-saving system that works best for you, you’ll realize how large you can live on a small budget. Read on for nine habits of Southerners who are great at saving money, and pick up a few of their helpful tips.
1. Establish a retirement fund.
Aim for contributing 10% of each paycheck to your 401(k). Many companies will even match your contributions up to a certain percentage.
2. Set a realistic goal for how much money you’d like to save per month.
Automatically draft that amount into your savings account each month. It helps to have an end goal in mind when establishing a sturdy financial foundation.
3. Use budgeting apps to allocate funds and keep track of spending.
Many apps like Mint are also free and will help you set realistic budgets for even the smallest expenses (such as coffee) and manage your spending habits.
4. Try the 24-hour rule.
This mindset helps you filter what you want vs. what you need. Take a pair of shoes, for instance. Rather than making an impulse purchase, walk away and take 24 hours to think about if you really want (or need) them.
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5. Fix problems early on.
Whether it’s a leak in your ceiling or an issue with the engine of your car, don’t wait to fix these small problems, as they’re likely to grow into bigger, more expensive fixes in the future.
6. Pack your lunch.
Limiting the amount of times you dine out per week is a great way to cut costs and save money. When you do eat out, ordering water instead of soda or alcohol is another easy way to save.
7. Use cash instead of credit cards.
You’ll have a better idea of how much you’re spending.
8. Take advantage of free activities and entertainment events in your city.
There are plenty of cost-free activities to take advantage of like hiking, movies and concerts in the park, or visiting a museum. Rather than buying books, become a member of your local public library.
9. Keep your eyes peeled for deals.
Many clothing stores, movie theaters, and more offer discounts for senior citizens. Looking to book a vacation on a budget? Visit one of these charming and affordable small Southern towns. Be sure to stay on the lookout for flight deals as well.