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Money Matters

Simple Ways to Budget and Save Money

Simple Ways to Budget and Save Money

Budgeting and saving money go hand in hand. Once you complete a plan for budgeting, you will be able to start saving! Whether you’re a part-time or full-time traveler, saving money and budgeting is important so you don’t find yourself running out of money while on the road. From saving strategies to booking hacks, check out these tips and tricks for financial success:

Budgeting

  • Spend, save and splurge within your means by adopting the ‘50/20/30’ rule. A basic budgeting tool that is made to simplify your finances is the 50/20/30 rule. Spend only up to 50 percent of your after-tax income on essentials, such as housing; 20 percent on financial priorities, such as debt repayments and savings; and 30 percent on lifestyle choices, such as vacations. Prioritize expenses such as utilities, cable, furniture, and food costs. By following this rule, you will be able to better manage your finances without missing out on any essential living expenses.
  • Track your spending. Skip the spread sheets andtrack your spending electronically to better help you budget. The goal of budgeting is to keep you on track without any additional work. Use the single-card method for all your purchases and let technology do the tracking. Eliminate all cash expenses and only use debit or credit to help you manage your expenses!
  • Cut costs. Budgeting will help you identify your spending. Take a hard look at your expenses and see where you’re overspending so you can start to spend less and save more. Any money you “save” by cutting cost can go towards paying off debt or your savings account.
  • Do a monthly financial cleanse. Cut costs just by reviewing your bills and making sure you aren’t playing for utilities or subscriptions set on autopay that you don’t need. Many times, the convenience of setting bills on autopay are great to not miss any payments but can also cost us more if we forget about them. Every few months go over your payments and cut cost by elimination any subscriptions or services you don’t need.
  • Never go shopping upset or hungry. The best way to stick to your budget is by never shopping while hungry or upset. Many people find momentary comfort when upset by making impulse purchases they don’t budget for. Always carry a snack to avoid buying food when out. You can also limit impulse buying by only carrying necessary cash when going out!
  • Learn the difference between essential spending vs. non-essential spending. Then, slowly remove yourself from situations you identify as being when you flitter or hemorrhage money on non-essentials. Stop (literally) buying into what society, peer pressure andbusinesses tell you! For example, you might want a new handbag, but you don’t need it to be this season’s Gucci bag. You might need a car, but you don’t need it to be a $60,000 2018 BMW 5 series. You can buy something to suit the function for ten percent of what you would have initially liked to spend. The key to budgeting is controlling your spending triggers and internal spending barometer. Implement tricks that work best for your character or lifestyle, even if that means slightly adjusting your attitude and lifestyle to fit your financial situation.

Like Notorious B.I.G once said, “it’s like the more money we come across, the more problems we see.” What do you believe is the biggest reason why you can’t save as much as you’d like to? If your answer was “I don’t make enough money,” then stop yourself right there! It is time to become friends with money. It’s not your enemy, even though it might feel like it at times! Here are some tips on how maximize your income to save money:

Saving

  • Shop smart…Save money by bundling your savings and getting more for your money using rebate sites, coupons and promotions. Whether you’re buying holiday gifts, shopping for new clothes or booking a vacation, always compare prices. It is easier now more than ever to research and compare discounts and deals online to get the best price on any item. Once you’ve found the item you are looking for, double check for any additional coupons, sales and deals to lower the price.
  • …and use cashback sites. Shop through a cashback site such as topcashback.com to receive cashback on all your online purchases. They work with 4,000+ merchants to give consumers cashback on their purchases. It is free to sign up and members can also make money by referring friends! By bundling deals, you’ll save even more.
  • Eat strategically.The best way to save money is by tailoring your meals ahead of time to avoid overspending at restaurants, cafes or on groceries. Try packing a lunch everyday instead of eating out to save money. Make a shopping list and stick to it when grocery shopping to avoid spending more than you must. If you enjoy eating out and trying new restaurants, tailor where you go around promotions and deals.
  • From mortgages and rent to buying items at the market, you can receive an additional discount if you just ask! Just remember to remain polite.
  • Keep the change. The bottom line is you want to save enough money for an emergency fund and then some. If you are living paycheck to paycheck or tight on money, consider keeping the change you receive and putting that towards your savings. Whenever you break a big bill and receive coins back, drop them in a jar at home. The loose change will eventually add up and you can move it into your savings account.
  • Pay attention to your credit score. Your credit score is calculated each month and determines your credit worthiness. Typically ranging from 300 to 850, the lower the score, the more of a risk you’re deemed to be. When you have a low credit score, you’re more likely to be denied a line of credit. The higher the number, the more responsible a borrower you are and the better deals you can obtain; such as credit cards that provide cashback rebates or travel points each time you spend. The best interest rates for financing or a credit card are available for those who have excellent credit scores. By having a low APR, you’ll save money on your small and/or large purchases. Keep your credit score buoyant by ensuring you have a consistently low debt-to-credit utilization ratio, don’t miss any monthly repayments and don’t apply for multiple lines of credit in a short period of time.

Article written by:

Natasha Rachel Smith, Personal Finance Expert and Consumer Affairs Champion at TopCashback.com is based in Montclair, New Jersey. Her background is in retail, banking, personal finance and consumer empowerment; ranging from sales to journalism, marketing, public relations and spokesperson work during an 18-year career period. Natasha has great knowledge on all things money-related, including: squeezing the goodness out of credit cards before they do it to you (such as by maximizing their rewards to save $1,000s in hidden benefits); living a ‘champagne lifestyle’ on a lemonade budget by not paying full price for anything (such as by utilizing cashback programs, coupons and haggling); and how to get the most bang for your buck. Natasha’s money-saving tips have been featured on USA Today, MSN, Today.com, Newsday, CNET, the Daily Mail and many more media outlets.

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  1. Sunaina

    Good article.
    Keep writing with us.

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