Not everybody is an expert when it comes to handling finances, and it can be especially difficult in a falling economy, and while there is no one set method that tends to work for every person or budget, there are a few tips you can use to keep your spending on track. Whether you're putting money aside for a family vacation, the down payment on a house, or just to pay your bills on time, there are ways to get ahead and stay ahead.
1.) Designate A Place For Your Cash
Okay, so here is the deal – it can be truly hard to save money if you're storing it all in the same place as you do the cash you'll be paying your bills with later in the week. For this reason, you should invest in a specific area for your savings, whether this be a savings account, or an old fashioned piggy bank on your shelf, you need an area where you can put away dollars and cents, and know it won't be spent on things other than the end goal.
2.) Budget Like You Mean It
Most people budget in one way or another, but not everybody sticks to what is designate as spending allowance for the week. If you want to get better at saving your money then you have to get serious about your budget, which means writing it down each and every week, and monitoring not only what comes in but also what goes out. If you spend fifty dollars on a pair of jeans that has to go in your budget along with the money spent on gas, groceries, rent, and any extracurricular activities you indulge in. Having a budget doesn't mean that you can't do anything extra or have any fun, it just means that you monitor that fun so you know where your money is going.
3.) Get Your Coupons Ready
You probably remember your mom or dad sitting at home clipping coupons when you were a child. You might not find as many coupons in the daily paper as you used to, but this doesn't mean that they don't exist. Online retailers and brick and mortar businesses are all becoming pretty involved in the online coupon industry, which means that you can find a coupon for just about anything if you use the Internet. Some are printable, others can be scanned directly with your mobile device. You might be surprised to see how many local retailers put out coupons each week and how much you can save by actually using them.
4.) Start Checking Flyers
Along with your coupon collecting, you should start thinking about the amount of money that you spend on food and other necessities. A glance through the local flyers, either by hand or with one of the many flyer apps available for mobile devices will give you all of the ammunition that you need to find the best deals in town on food, toilet paper, and dish soap.
5.) Make It Known
When you decide to save don't just shuffle away some money secretively. Make it known to your household. It you put away fifty dollars for the family vacation, so tell your spouse and make yourself accountable for it. You're far less likely to go back and spend that money once you've made the announcement that it is secure in savings.