Guys, this Covid 19 Pandemic caught many people unaware, some lost their jobs and even find it hard to put food on the table. Many dreams and visions were shattered, but for the ones who had a pot full of savings, maybe the situation isn’t as traumatizing as for the ones with none.
If you haven’t learned anything from this pandemic, then you should.
Well, here are 14 tips to help you save money for the future and rainy days.
1. Cut Off Monthly Subscription
Here we talking about those streaming services that you pay for every month like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Vimeo.
If you’ve got the budget, you can continue utilizing them, but if you’re into saving mode, it’s advisable to cut back on the utilities you don’t need. The rule of thumb should be, subscribe when the need arises.
Alternatively, you can downgrade to a cheaper package for the sole purpose of saving a few bucks. For instance, Netflix offers 3 packages include:-
- Basic $8.99
- Standard $13.99
- Premium $17.99
If you downgrade to $8.99 from $17.99, this is half the price and you’ll be saving around $100 per year.
2. Open Savings Account.
Now saving is not for everyone, many folks out there find it a bit hectic. But hey, you can automate the process by walking into any of your local banks. Consult with them and see if you can strike out a deal by opening a savings account.
This is where a certain percentage of cash is deducted from your checking account or paycheck and deposited directly into your savings account. Such types of savings account may include:-
- Basic savings account.
- Certificate of deposits.
- Money market account among many others.
Through budgeting, you get to analyze your monthly expenses like grocery, bills, debt, and what have you. By doing this, you’ll be knowledgeable on where your cash goes., and try cutting back on unnecessary spending. You can discover a loophole on where to save the extra cash.
4. Embrace Alternative Sources Of Energy.
Just 6% of U.S. homeowners say they have already installed solar panels at home. Another 46% say they have given serious thought to adding solar panels at their home in the past year. The share of homeowners considering getting solar panels is up from 40% in 2016 and has especially increased among those living in the South Atlantic states ranging from Delaware to Florida. This is according to PEW RESEARCH CENTRE.
By installing solar panels on your roof, you’ll not only be saving the environment from global warming but also, you’ll be saving pretty much on the electricity bills. Well, if solar isn’t your thing, that’s pretty much fine, you can instead make use of energy-saving bulbs to ease on the bills.
More so, the availability of solar heaters and cookers is increasing, these will aid you to save on gas bills. You won’t need gas cookers to boil or fry during the day. So why don’t utilize the power of the sun?
5. Cook Your Meals.
Well, preparing your own meals will save you a whole lot of cash, it will even do you a lot of good if you pack it and carry it with you to your workplace. Avoid restaurants at all costs.
If you’re that guy who eats out once in a week, you may find it costly surpassing a 1-week meal at home. Perhaps, this will work if we exclude things like drinks, beer, and all that.
It may even work out more to your advantage if you can consider preparing cheap meals using an easy recipe. For instance, beef may be quite expensive than white meat, talk of chicken or fish.
Fish and beef, both do contain proteins, meaning they serve the same purpose.
Let us break down this 2019 report of consumer expenditures produced by the U.S. BUREAU OF LABOUR STATISTICS.
Our focus is on food.
Cereals & Bakery products $583
Meat, Poultry, Fish & Eggs $980
Dairy Products $455
Fruits and Vegetables $876
Other Food At Home $1,749
Food Away From Home $3,526
GRAND TOTALS $8,169
According to the report above, on average, American household spent a total of $8,169 annually on both food at home and away food.
Divide $8,169 by 12=$680.75
The Total Monthly Expense is $680.75.
Now let’s delve into percentages for both foods at home and away.
Food @Home $4,643×100 divide by $8,169=56.8366%
It becomes 57% after rounding Off.
Away Food $3,526×100 divide by $8,169=43.1631 or 43%.
57% of cash is spent on food at home while 43% is spent on away food. You can significantly reduce cash spent on away food from 43% down to 21% or even much lower. The only tactic to achieve this is by cooking at home.
as stated earlier,
i) You can substitute expensive food for cheaper ones that serve the same purpose like for example, instead of beef you could consider eggs.
ii) Shop In Bulk.
In Walmart, 25LB great value sugar is $12.12, while the same brand of sugar in the 1LB category is $1.86.
25LB for $12.12 sugar will sustain you for a long period and you’ll save a lot in the long run.
1LB for $1.86 will sustain you for a short period and you’ll spend a lot in the long run.
Get the point?
6. Cut Back On Alcohol And Smoking.
The price of cigarette online is $5.99 on the low end and $12.95 on the high end.
Cigarettes by state vary, they ain’t the same, thanks to tax as one of the determinants. Some states sell for high prices while some lower. But even with the existence of such kind of prices, a large number of Americans still can afford a pack, which in the real sense, may hurt your pocket in the long run.
“Cigarette smoking is down, but almost 38 million Americans still smoke”, says The Centre For Disease Control And Prevention. (CDC)
Now let’s delve into numbers and see how you can save quick bucks.
On average, let’s say a pack of cigarette costs $6.50, and on average you smoking at least 1 pack a day. We are going to multiply $6.50 by the number of days in a month, then again multiply the result by the number of months in a year, to get the real annual cost of this habit.
so per month, that’s $195, in a year that’s a whopping $2,340 which is just too high to sustain your pleasure. More so, consider the health risks that come with smoking.
You can save $2,340 if you do away with smoking, and you facilely channel this cash to your retirement funds, school fees’ and other important issue.
Healthwise, you would have done justice to yourself and the environment.
Alcohol is another costly pleasure where numerous folks shell out a lot of bucks for sustenance. To be on the safe side, just abate or simply quit.
7. Pay rise or Bonus? Save More.
Many folks out there will agree with me that it’s quite hectic keeping up with the same standard of living after receiving a pay rise.
Again, for many guys, increased pay equals increased spending, so instead of socking the extras away into an emergency fund, retirement fund, paying off debts, many do find themselves on a spending spree, thus increasing their standard of living.
It would be very vital to maintain the same kind of lifestyle, whilst contributing more towards important funds like retirement, emergency and pay off debts.
More so, you can save the extras in accounts that yield some monthly or yearly returns, or even Sacco’s that can bring in some yearly dividends.
It will help you in the long run and you may even opt for early retirement if you embrace calculated steps well.
8. Do What You Can Do
As humans, we possess numerous skills that can be utilized to our advantage, part of them were either learned in schools or on the streets.
There are some tasks that can be completed effortlessly while some just need your common sense to be put to test. For instance, washing your clothes should be simple unless for the major stains which need a washing machine.
Laundry can be done at home.
Wash your vehicle if you can.
Learn about permaculture and plant your vegetables in sacks or backyard garden.
Permaculture is a great system indeed which comes with its myriad benefits like,
- Your vegetables are chemical-free.
- It helps boost the ecosystem.
- It’s easy on the environment.
- It’s healthy.
- Even during the dry spell, your plants won’t become dry and shriveled.
- And more so, your pocket won’t carve a big hole. You’ll save a lot.
Just conduct a little bit of research, come up with some remedies, see what you can do, and am sure you’ll save a lot of bucks.
9. Declutter Your Home and Sell To Earn Bucks
Well, technological advancement has made it facile to sell stuff online. There are multiple sites out there meant to sell what you don’t need. Similar ones are mushrooming every day, so you’ve got many alternatives in your hands.
Talk of the trendy social media sites like Facebook marketplace, groups, and now with the introduction of the Twitter marketplace, things couldn’t get any better.
Talk of Olx, eBay, Amazon are among the traditional sites that have existed for some time now. You can utilize these to your advantage by selling what you don’t need, make money, probably pay debts and save.
10. Moderate Online Shopping.
Online shopping is cool and offers some kind of convenience, like avoiding long queues to get served, as well avoiding pushy sales guys. You just shop from the comfort of your home.
But it should be approached carefully predominantly, if you’re an impulse shopper. You could be overspending without knowing.
To separate the chaff from the wheat, You can solve this by quitting shopping online for a while, and analyze where
your money is going. That way, you’ll be able to figure out how much you’re spending online.
Another trick is to wipe off your browsing history after shopping online. This way, companies won’t implement what we call retargeting.
Personally, l love laptops, vehicles and look for them when shopping online.
And when l forget to clear the browsing history upon exiting, l will keep on seeing the same laptops as ads on every site l visit.
Am always tempted to go back, take a look at which new models are available, l admit, it’s hard to resist but only shop for what you need.
11. Price Comparison
Do you take your time to compare the prices of different products when shopping physically or online?
If the answer is no, then you should greatly consider it. This will help you save a few bucks predominantly if you are into bulks.
For instance, my wife is a smart bulky shopper, we are into cereals and our favorite is a 25kg bag of rice which sustains us for at least 3 months.
For the rice, there are specific places that they’re being sold at a wholesale price. Different shops contain different price tags as well as supermarkets, but the quality isn’t compromised.
All the stuff that she gets is from different shops, l mean supermarkets and wholesale.
Again, the quality of the commodity is the same across all stores but with different price tags, so she simply goes for the cheapest.
12. Clear Debts
Getting rid of debt is a good strategy especially if you want to earn more and save more.
You will do away with the interests rate when paying off your debts, sit down, calculate how much you owe and interest rate incurred, you’ll eventually realize that you’re spending much to service debt.
The Interest rates on long-term loans may change as time goes by thanks to inflation. Just try your level best to minimize the loan you have if truly you wanna save more.
13. Make Good Use Of Coupons.
Coupons are quite common in the online world and am sure you’ve experienced them in one way or the other.
For instance, just recently, l purchased hosting half the regular price. Followed the laid down procedure, applied a certain coupon for the discount. I saved 50% of the total cost and that made a difference.
Next time, when shopping, make sure you take advantage of coupons available, it will do you good.
14. You Need To Adhere To Saving Goal.
Goals can be classified into two, short term and long-term.
Short goals may include Vacation, Debt clearance, and Creating an emergency fund. These can be achieved in less than 5 years.
Now, for the short-term goal, you can effortlessly achieve this by quitting part of expensive habits. Talk about smoking, if you’re spending $195 per month, $2,340 in a year. As you can see, $2,340 is enough to make a difference in your life.
It may be vital in a lot of things. as in it can help you in achieving short-term goals like you can channel $2,340 to your emergency fund, buying a car etc..
The right amount for the emergency fund is what experts recommend, that you should save at least 3 to 6 months of your living expenses.
For example, if your living expenses add up to $6,000 monthly, you should have between $18,000 to $36,000 saved up for your emergency fund.
This may include contributing to your retirement, Purchasing a house, and saving for education. These may take more than 5 years to achieve.
As for retirement, it can take up to more than 30 years., thus it should be approached very cautiously.
For instance, my retirement plan entails my employer contributing a certain percentage, while l contribute around 8% monthly. This is deducted from my paycheck every month till l hang my boots.
You can do the same by consulting your employer and bank.
Well, if buying or building a house is your plan, you can open an account with your bank and save towards that goal. Just don’t open any type of an account, it would be vital if you create an account that yields interest over time.
You see, most folks think that you only need to save first before investing, but you can also invest by saving. That’s why it’s important to save your bucks into the right account that will yield profits as time goes by, instead of just being dormant.
This also applies to your child’s education.
For my 2.7- year-old kid’s education, my strategy is quite different, as l have invested in what we call pensionable crops.
Am talking about grafted mangos that l planted this year, am glad they’ve begun flowering. They’ll start fruiting in 4 years, and am expecting at least $2,400 per year from the trees if everything goes as planned.
The return on investment is enough for meeting that goal, which will propel up to the tertiary level.
Some of my colleagues have opened a savings account, they save as they earn, meaning they receive their monthly paycheck which has already been slashed for savings.
Few of them have moved further to join insurance covers and it’s working just fine for them. You save for a certain period, you receive a lump sum after maturity. You then use the cash to pay for your child’s education.
Well, all this depends upon numerous factors like for instance your choice of school, inflation, type of coverage, timelines, living costs.
If you think this is the right kind of strategy for you, then approach it but with a lot of caginess or circumspection.
We have covered several tips on saving as you can see above, it should be easy to abide by them and it doesn’t take rocket science to achieve them. For some folks, it’s an easy set of skills that should be learned effortlessly but for some, it’s just a matter of being financially disciplined, spend less and live below your means.
How do you save or what’s your strategy? let me know in the comment section below. Stay Safe.