Planning for the future is a great way to stop living paycheck to paycheck. And what if there was a way that you could increase your savings by 3 times? Wouldn’t you bite on that? Of course, you would. Luckily, there’s an easy way to do just that and now I’ll show you how.
Here is a list of the best ways to save money for future
1. No spending days
One of the first and most effective ways to save money is by way of not spending it. This concept—known as a no-spending day—is exactly what the name suggests: a day where you don’t spend any money at all.
The concept of no-spending days may be simple, but in practice, they can be a challenge. To prevent yourself from breaking your fast, it’s important to plan for days where you won’t be spending anything.
No-spending days are an excellent way to cut expenses and save money. If you want to try this strategy out, start planning ahead now!
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2. Avoid impulse buys
Impulse buys are purchases you make without having planned ahead. Avoid impulse buys by avoiding shopping when you’re hungry, tired, stressed out, or bored.
Most people don’t plan ahead to buy a pulled pork sandwich on the way home from work because they’re hungry and tired. If they did plan ahead, they may have brought a snack to eat at their desk later and avoided paying $12 for the sandwich.
Similarly, most people avoid buying a new car after having too much caffeine because it makes them feel more energetic and impulsive than usual.
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3. Never shop without a list
The third way to save money for the future is to never shop without a list. Whether you’re going grocery shopping or doing some holiday shopping, make sure that you have a list of everything that you need to buy and stick with it.
If an item isn’t on the list, don’t consider buying it until your next trip. This will help prevent impulse buys and can help keep your budget in check.
As humans, we are naturally drawn to the familiar. So if you see the same items every time you go shopping, no matter how much or little you spend each time, they will seem more valuable and important than they actually are.
Some people think that by limiting their choices they will be missing out on great deals because they won’t be able to find what they want at their local store; this is not true!
What’s more: As human beings, we’re also prone to making irrational decisions when faced with a limited supply (which explains why so many people love last-minute sales).
The best way around this problem? Make sure there’s always something new added on your next trip or when it comes time for big purchases like Christmas gifts!
4. Pay yourself first
The idea of paying yourself first is similar to the automatic transfer method, but it’s a little more flexible.
For example, if you’re building up your savings every month and decide that you want to use some of it on a vacation, you can subtract that from the account and not feel bad about spending it.
Also, if you get an unexpected bonus at work or come into some extra cash (lucky!), you can deposit all of this money directly into your savings account and not feel like you need to budget for anything else.
Paying yourself first is also all about setting up good habits early on so that they become routine as time goes by and saving becomes easier.
In fact, many people who develop a habit of paying themselves first find that they actually don’t miss the money because they’ve become accustomed to living without it!
5. Find a friend who is good with money
Finding a friend who is good with money can help you keep yourself accountable. Determining what you’re going to spend your money on each month and how much, and then sticking to your budget, will help you save more of your money for the future.
Having a friend that can help you keep track of your spending and hold you accountable will prevent you from making unnecessary purchases.
Having a friend who is good with money can also help teach you how to manage and grow your savings in proper accounts or investments.
You might even make some new friends when finding someone to discuss financial matters with that is on the same level as yourself.
6. Cook more at home
Eating out is fun, convenient, and delicious—but it can also be expensive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend 5 percent of their annual income on food away from home.
If you want to save money for the future, you need to prepare more home-cooked meals instead of eating out.
Cooking at home might seem like a hassle, but it can actually be easier (and faster) than eating out. Here are some tips for how to cook at home more often:
- Make large batches of food (such as chili or stew) so you have leftovers for a few days
- Store your leftovers in plastic containers and heat them up when you’re ready to eat
- Keep frozen vegetables or fruit on hand so they don’t spoil
- Cook enough meals twice a week so you can freeze some and use that food later in the month
7. Share bigger costs with friends or family members
If you’ve got a friend or family member who is into the same activities as you, such as an affinity for gardening, cycling, or skiing, look into sharing the cost of items that are collectively used.
This could mean a woodworking bench for making your own furniture, a tandem bike for riding on weekends with your partner and friends, or tickets to a music festival instead of going solo.
Joining forces to share bigger costs allows everyone to save more money for the future and have more fun!
8. Create a shopping list and stick to it when grocery shopping
We’re both terrible at following through when it comes to shopping lists. This is probably because our weekends are usually taken up with errands and tasks, so we rarely have time to go shopping before we run out of milk or bread—and then the next time we see a store ad for groceries, there’s always something on sale that we feel like we have to buy or else there will be consequences.
We’ve both been guilty of impulsively buying things that aren’t on our list and forgetting them entirely in the refrigerator before they go bad.
But that doesn’t need to happen anymore! We’ve discovered a few tricks for staying on top of our grocery list and sticking with it throughout the week—even when you’re tempted by those tempting sale prices.
9. Spend your tax refund wisely
The government wants you to spend your tax refund on something safe, like a car or a house. But there are better things to do with it—like using it as an opportunity to build out your emergency fund. If your tax refund is large enough, you may be able to use it to completely fulfill three months of expenses (or more).
Not sure how much money you need for an emergency fund? Try the 50/30/20 rule: 50% of your income should go toward necessities (housing, food, utilities), 30% should go toward discretionary items (like entertainment and restaurants) and 20% should go toward savings. A study from GoBankingRates found that 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account — but if you can save more than that by putting your tax refund into your emergency fund, do so.
10. Consolidate your debts into one payment with a low-interest rate
Consolidating your debt could help you save money on interest, simplify your payment schedule and reduce the amount of time it takes to pay off your debt.
It’s important to understand how debt consolidation works before you jump in.
If you have multiple debts, such as credit card balances or loans for cars or other large purchases, and you feel overwhelmed with managing them all on their own, consolidating these debts into one monthly payment can bring some much-needed financial peace of mind.
11. Take advantage of free entertainment options
Here are some of the best entertainment options that you can have fun with, without having to break your bank account:
- Go to the museum, zoo, or aquarium.
- Take a hike in the park with friends.
- Have a picnic at home.
- Visit family members.
- Go to the beach and walk on it.
- Watch television and movies at home instead of going out to expensive parties.
- Go to your local free library and check out books, magazines, or videos for free.
12. Stop eating out and start meal prepping instead can help save money for the future
Eating out can be expensive… and time-consuming, especially when you don’t have time to cook.
So why not cook your meals in advance?
You can make enough food to last several days at a time, meaning that you won’t have to worry about what’s for dinner every night of the week—and you’ll save money because you’re not ordering takeout.
Plus, leftovers from one meal can often serve as the base for another: leftover chicken can be used to make soup for tomorrow’s lunch! And if you cook enough food for a week at once, it will take only an hour or two of your time each week.
That definitely beats having to spend hours in the kitchen every day after work!
13. Automate your savings so you don’t have to think about it
Life is just easier when you don’t have to remember everything, including saving enough money every month.
The great thing about automating your savings is that you won’t have to think about it. You can automate many things in your financial life, such as:
- Savings transfers
By setting up automatic savings transfers, you can save without even knowing it. If you set up a direct deposit to go into a savings account or set up an automatic transfer from checking to savings on payday, then the money being transferred will seem like invisible money, and not worth noticing since it never hits your checking account anyway.
This can help curb impulse spending and keep more cash for the future in the bank for emergencies or big purchases later on.
- Bill payments
If you automate your bill payments, then you won’t forget them and incur late fees
You can also automate how much gets invested in each paycheck if your company has an automatic investment plan.
This will also make sure that you are fully utilizing every dollar of employer matching if they offer one, which represents free money for retirement!
14. Learn to fix broken items before throwing them away
Even the most practical person tends to throw away broken items instead of trying to fix them. However, learning how to fix these items can be extremely rewarding and often costs less than buying a new item.
If you have a YouTube account or access to YouTube, there are thousands of videos that demonstrate how to repair different types of items.
Just recently, I learned how to fix my washing machine by watching a video on YouTube. I did not even have to order any parts as it was as simple as adjusting one valve in the machine.
This also costs just about zero dollars and takes about five minutes for anyone who knows what they’re doing (which you will when you watch these videos).
In addition, if you do want additional help with fixing your broken items, there are lots of handymen who can come out and do this work for you but don’t expect it to be cheap since they typically charge by the hour which could cost anywhere from $75-$100 an hour depending on where you live.
15. Attend free community events instead of paid ones
Instead of going to a paid event, consider attending a free one. If you’re on a budget, you may find that these events have more to offer in the end.
For example, if you are on the hunt for entertainment, consider browsing online or in your local newspaper for free concerts, shows, and other performances.
There are always art shows and plays being held by people who are willing to display their talents without charge.
Free community events can often be found online or in the newspaper.
16. Keep an ongoing list of gifts that you need to buy so you can combine trips to the store when making purchases for others
This is one of the best money-saving tactics I’ve come across in my research for this article!
If you’re like me, then despite your best efforts, sometimes you forget those birthday and anniversary dates until the day has passed. If that happens, don’t worry.
Gather all your receipts just before Christmas and exchange them for something more appropriate by using a retailer’s price-matching policy or return it and buy a gift card instead!
17. Store gifts at home until the appropriate occasion arises so you can avoid having to make last-minute purchases at higher prices for birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions that may occur during the year
If you plan, you can avoid having to make last-minute purchases at higher prices for birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions that may occur during the year.
This is a great way to save money for the future because it will help you avoid having to pay those extra costs.
You should also be aware of sales that tend to happen around some holidays so that you can take advantage of them.
18. Cut up your credit cards and pay with cash only so that you can keep your spending under control (if you worry about theft or losing cash, consider using a prepaid debit card instead)
Credit cards can be a dangerous tool, especially if you’re trying to save money for the future. That’s because they make it easy to spend money you don’t have.
They also make it harder to save money because they encourage impulse buys and overspending.
That’s why you should consider cutting up your credit cards. If you worry about theft or losing cash, consider using a prepaid debit card instead.
Either way, the most important thing is that you control your spending by paying with cash only.
Savings are best made by integrating savings with your normal spending. Only by implementing effective saving practices will you find yourself saving without even noticing some days.