One of the most profound differences between the rich and poor households in America is how money is managed. Contrary to what some might think, most of the rich people I come across are frugal. Forget what you see in the movies about rich people spending money like drunken sailors. Do people of affluence have the finer things in life, of cause they do? But most understand the principles of money and how it should be invested and spent.
The top ten ways to save money every month requires action on your part. You need to be mindful how much is coming into your pocket every month. Base your budget on the actual amount rather than the potential income.
Some of the Easiest Ways to Save Money on a Monthly Basis
1 – Know Your Income
The most important first step is to know your actual income. This should be based on how much you make every paycheck. This is not a time for guessing, for your numbers should reflect what amount is left for you to spend after taxes. Meaning, know your net income every pay period. If you get direct deposit of your pay, also ask for a paper pay stub to see how much the government is taking out of your hard earned money. Do not skip this part, for it is the most crucial.
2 – Set A Weekly or Monthly Budget
Every successful person I know has a budget plan that he or she adheres to. If you’re into spending whatever you like, most likely you’ll have no savings. You be the judge if a weekly or monthly budget will work for you. A good rule of thumb is to set your budget to match your pay period. There are many Apps you can use to set budgeting goals. On the other hand, a monthly budget is ideal, because that is when most of the major bills come due.
Your monthly budget should include:
Rent or Mortgage payment
Credit cards payment
This is just a sample of what Americans spend money on every month. Yours might be more or less, but do commit to creating a budget that is unique to you.
The above two steps in your desire to save more money are the foundation blocks. Now, let’s get to the actual habits that contribute to the faster depletion of your finances.
3 – Skip ATM Fees
We Americans waste billions of dollars on avoidable items. It baffles me why people still pay ATM fees despite all the other available options. A friend of mine used to spend almost one thousand dollars on fees to access her own money.
I recently helped her audit her actual income and spending, and she was able to save an additional ten grand on a yearly basis. All Bank ATM fees regardless of how much is wasteful and avoidable.
4 – Stay Away From Bank Account Fees
If you’re paying checking account fees you should stop right away. There are Banks that do not have a minimum balance requirement, neither do they charge other monthly fees. Do a Google search or ask your close friends for a recommendation of the no-fee banks in your area.
5 – Skip Credit Cards With Yearly Fees
I used to have an American Express Platinum card, and it came with $500 in yearly fee. My frugal husband did a cost analysis with me one day, and we ditched the card. It is just a status thing, and the savings offered by the card can be realized elsewhere. Ditch all your credit cards with yearly fees, and seek out other alternatives.
6 – Stop Shopping With Credit Cards
Shopping with a credit card can make you overspend. Do not use your credit card to buy the finer things in life, as the cost far out-way the benefits. Congress did away with interest rate limitations on credit cards a long time ago, which means the Bank can charge you whatever they want.
The average rate on credit cards is over 20%. Only charge what you can pay off at the end of the billing period. Credit card debt is one of the ways Americans waste money.
7 – Learn to Brew Your Own Beverage
Another wasteful spending habit is purchasing morning coffee or afternoon latte. I know people that visit Starbucks on a daily basis, and they’re the same folks that cry about little to no savings in the bank. By adding up the amount you spend on beverages on a daily basis the true cost will become apparent.
You can buy an automatic espresso maker for your home to reduce the cost of your coffee or tea habit. There are countless types of containers you can use to take your favorite beverage on the road with you. Here is a great article on the best thermos for coffee or tea. You might say it is just five dollars, but it becomes a significant amount when you multiply it by the number of visits.
8 – Buy Your Essentials in Bulk
You should be buying your house essentials in bulk, especially when they’re on sale. As a Costco member, I watch out for huge discounts on bar soaps, toilet tissues, paper towels, washing detergents, and other can-goods. I buy these non-perishable items once a year. It might seem trivial to you, but the savings from buying your home essentials in bulk can be significant.
9 – Cut Your Gym Membership Fee
It is a fact that the majority of Americans that pay monthly gym membership fees rarely visit the facility. There are other effective ways to lose those extra pounds. Keep in mind, that the depletion of your money happens because of the little things you buy. A better form of exercise is to walk around the block regularly, or go biking. The most profound way to lose weight is to start eating fewer calories on a daily basis.
10 – Other Spending Habits to Curtail
You should get into the habit of drinking water instead of those highly addictive packaged fruit juices. It is a wise move to get a good water filtration system for your sink faucet to cut the cost of buying bottled water.
The best meal, in my opinion, is the one you prepare. Eating takeout’s or restaurant meals is a sure way to get rid of your earned income. Dining out is expensive, and you’re not even sure the cooking staff has clean habits. My mother used to say, if you want clean and healthy food, learn to cook your own food.
If you drive, do your utmost best to patronize the cheapest gas station in town. The extra 10 or 15 cents per gallon that you save can go towards your retirement fund or savings account.
Turn off your thermostat when no one is home. Your local gas and electric company could care less about how you use your air-conditioning, heating and Stove systems, but they do want to be paid fully at the end of every month.
There are other ways you can save money on a monthly basis, but the above tips will get you moving in the right direction. Set a monthly budget and try your best to adhere to it. Put a certain percentage of your earnings into your savings and retirement account.
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