Investing your money and becoming financially independent begins with one simple step: saving money.
With a little bit of discipline and planning, you can easily save money on a daily basis. There’s no need to wait for your next paycheck or bonus. With these simple tips, you will be well on your way to financial freedom.
- Automate. The best way to start saving is to not think about it. Use an app or account that automatically transfers small amounts from your checking account to your savings account. Bank of America has a feature that transfers money to your savings every time you use your debit card. Other apps like Digit round up and add your spare change to your savings, while Acorns is an app that not only rounds up your spending but invests it into an ETF.
- Collect your spare change. How many pennies and dimes do you have lying around or in your pockets? Make an effort to empty out your pockets and take your collection to a bank to put it directly into your savings account.
- Use dollars instead of cards. If you have a difficult time keeping a budget, use cash instead of debit or credit cards. Set a weekly or daily budget and take out the cash you need for daily spendings, like groceries and miscellaneous items. Avoid shopping online and only buy things you need. It’s a lot harder to spend money when you see exactly how much you have left.
- Look for discounts or free entertainment. Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean your social life has to suffer. Look for any free exhibits at museums or art gallery openings. Some paid exhibits have certain days or times that are free. You can also opt to eat at home before heading out, which will save you on your restaurant bill.
- Make your own gifts or pool gifts with others. Birthdays, holidays and wedding gifts can add up. To save money, look at things you can make yourself or something you can do for the person that won’t cost you anything, like offering to babysit or clean. You can also pool gifts with others, by contributing a few dollars and buying one nice gift from all of you instead of getting smaller gifts.
- Plan out any major purchase. If you need to make a major purchase like a new appliance or computer, pan it out. Set aside a certain amount of money each month until you have enough saved instead of buying it in one go. Check for annual discounts and holiday sales to save money. You can also use things like cash awards on credit cards. Just make sure you pay off your credit card every month so you don’t end up in debt.
- Make coffee at home. One coffee a day can add up after a year. If you’re in the habit of buying a latte every day, try making your coffee at home. You can even buy a nice creamer if you don’t like plain coffee. Or look at other caffeine alternatives like tea.
- Buy second hand. Need a new shirt or shoes? Try looking for them second-hand first before you pay full price for them at the store. You can find second-hand items on apps like Vinted or through a Facebook market or Craigslist.