10 Practical Habits To Save Money Daily

Guest post by : - Ally Tobias

It's hard enough to make ends meet. Yet with the proper planning and a bit of adjustment to your lifestyle, it’s possible to set aside a small amount on a daily basis.

Living a frugal life is the key to helping you save your money. Being frugal doesn’t mean depriving yourself of the things you enjoy. Rather, you make yourself pick wiser choices, and pick alternatives that are cheaper and easily accessible. This helps you save money.

There’s no clear-cut formula to saving money. Financial experts can suggest different ways where you can cut down on your spending, but ultimately it will be up to you. Every little bit helps. Every extra penny you can set aside for your savings will contribute to a bigger amount as time goes by.

Here are ten practical habits you can start doing to help you save money.

1. Make a budget. A budget gives you a lump sum that you can work with for your daily expenses. Your budget is basically everything that you will spend, minus your savings and payment for utilities. To set a budget, take your gross earnings per month. Subtract what you spend for utilities (round it off to the nearest whole number) and your savings. Divide what’s left for various things: daily expenses, a “fun” fund (to use for outings or splurges). You can even set a daily budget, or how much can you spend in one day. Include things like food and gas.

2. At the end of the day, save your change. This may sound odd, but consider this: the loose change you have on a daily basis may total up to a couple of hundred dollars. Try this out. Set a daily budget for yourself. If, at the end of the day, you have some left over, put that in a jar or a bottle. That means you won’t be carrying over any money from the previous day to today. Do this for a month, and at the end of it, total amount you’ve saved and deposit it to your savings account. You’ll be a few hundred bucks richer, guaranteed.

3. Plan major expenses and safe up for it. Remember how when you were a kid you set aside every penny for something that you wanted? Nowadays, people have no qualms in swiping their credit cards to get the latest gadgets or pay for a trip. Along with the charges and the interest rates, this can cost you hundreds of dollars. By deciding what you want to get and saving up for it, you remove the extra expenses. Plus, you can even shop for discounts or better bargains.

4. Buy quality products. Brand names are often worth the purchase because of its guaranteed quality and durability. However, it doesn’t mean you have to always purchase brand names to get good quality products. Many great quality products cost even less than brand names. Get a product that you know you will continuously use, rather than buying an item on sale and not use it at all. Look at the craftsmanship; check the materials and ingredients used. Always pick quality and comfort over everything else and you’ll find that you’re able to stretch your buck far more than you can when buying cheap products.

5. Consider D.I.Y. Need some repairs done at home? Before you call the handyman, see if it’s something you can fix yourself. There are some things that would be best left to professionals, but little things like doing a small paint job or fixing a leaky faucet are things you can do. It’s easy enough to find the solution these days with the help of the Internet. When you’re confident with your skills, tackle these repairs and save yourself off a couple of dollars.

6. Prepare your own meals. Are you one of those people who do not prepare your own meals, but instead eat out every time? You are spending extra and you're not maximizing the health benefits of the food you are eating. Sure you can go to restaurants that serve healthy meals, but to cut back on your expenses, opt to buy your own organic goods at markets and prepare simple but healthy meals. With the increasing number of organic farmers, the prices for their produce are going down so it’s easier to buy. It’s also easy to search for recipes online or experiment on your own. As a bonus, you can pack the leftovers (well, if there would be any) and bring them for your lunch to work the next day.

7. Use the library. We all love to buy the latest bestseller for a good read, or go out for a movie to relax after a hectic day. Yet with the soaring prices of books and movie tickets, it doesn’t sound practical right? No worries, you can still enjoy these by visiting the library. Books and other reading material aren’t the only things you can be check out of the library. You can borrow DVDs as well. Most library memberships are free, and the rental costs of DVDs are smaller than the ticket price. Granted they may not be the latest releases, but it’s a very viable alternative, especially for a family night get-together.

8. Don’t chuck the luxury, but look for alternatives. As mentioned, living frugally doesn’t mean you have to give up the things you enjoy. Instead, you find alternatives for these things that cost less. For example, are you always getting a designer coffee every day before heading off to work? Try to locate a small, local cafĂ© where you can get your daily caffeine fix. It costs less, and you’re even contributing to the local economy. The money that you save can be set aside for your savings. Alternatively, you can use it to set up a fund for the real splurges, like maybe a trip out of the country or that gadget you always wanted to buy.

9. Take better care of your things. It’s easy enough to be careless about the things we buy because we know that it’s easy to purchase replacement items or get them repaired. Yet the costs, not to mention the amount of used items, can pile up. Taking better care of your belongings stretches its value.

10. Go green. The call to live green is getting stronger these days. People are more conscious of their choices and how it affects the environment. Manufacturers are finding ways to efficiently make their products eco-friendly by choosing resources that are easily renewable, as well as minimizing packaging. Even appliances are going green, as more and more gadgets are becoming less energy hogs. Changing your lifestyle to leave a smaller carbon footprint also helps.

Building the habit of saving money helps you in the long run. You become a better manager of your finances, and you’ll find that you are able to keep your debt down because you are spending less than what you earn. This allows you set aside enough for bigger purchases, and you become wiser with the choices that you make.

Ally is part of the team that manages Home Loan Finder, a free home equity loan and variable home loans comparison service in Australia. Before joining HLF, she was a Media Planner with McCann Worldgroup Philippines, Inc., with award-winning executions, including the Levi's 501 "Live Unbuttoned" global campaign.


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