This post seems like a no brainier but unfortunately, most people do not look at ways to save money when times are good. They also fail to have a simple budget. If paychecks are up and income seems to be never ending, the urge to save money decreases. This brings up the question, when is the best time to look at ways to save money?
The Time to save money is now!
When living paycheck to paycheck, most people look at ways to cut their expenses and ways to save every penny they can. Reality is, this should be the first thought even when the income is way more than the expenses. How many times have there been stories of people making six figure or higher income and they lose their jobs? When this happens, these people and their families often lose everything because they have never had to save or skimp when it comes to money. If people making good money live on less and start looking for ways to save money now, they can survive the up and downs of the economy.
Convenience versus Saving Money
We are all guilty of paying way to much for convenience. One example is that it is easier to buy lunch out than to pack a lunch. This one of the biggest expenses that most people making a decent living do not look at. If you insist on eating lunch out, use coupons, look for deals, and eat less.
Other things we often ignore is stuff like small portions sizes versus large packages and breaking them down your self in to portions sizes. If it is something you use on a regular basis, it is almost always cheaper to buy a larger quantity and break it down. This is a trap sometimes that my family falls into because we ignore the price in exchange for our convenience. This could be stuff like chips, oatmeal, coffee, candy packs, and many other products that can be broke down from larger portion sizes.
Eating out or Eating at Home
My family falls into this trap more often than we like to admit. Getting out sometimes outweighs the expense of eating out. However, nothing is better than a home cooked meal. The majority of times, the home meal is much much cheaper than the restaurant cooked meal for the same thing or better. Start looking for ways to eat out as a treat instead of a regular routine and you will start enjoying the meals out much more.
There are ways to encourage eating at home by looking up new recipes, experimenting with new foods, and cooking more than one meal at a time. Cooking ahead works great when you are short on time or just too tired to cook. The food is already cooked, you just have to reheat and eat.
Cutting Services to Reduce Cost
Another great way to save is compare the services you are paying for. Big ones to look at are cable or satellite, cell phones, internet providers, and car insurance. There are however, many other services that can be looked at as well.
When looking at these things, do not just compare prices, compare what you are paying for now. One example is cell phone plans. Often times people way over pay for services they never use. Data plans are often the worst thing people pay for that they don’t need; the words unlimited are thrown around like crazy. Do you need unlimited? What about prepaid versus a monthly bill?
Cell Phone Savings
My wife and I share 15 Gig of data and we have never even come close to going over. We use it a lot for surfing, social media, and emails. The most used so far in a single month was 4 Gig. Unless one person watches a bunch of videos, most people do not need the amount they pay for on their plans. As far as prepaid versus monthly. Prepaid, you pay what you are quoted, no hidden fees except for sales tax. With monthly, there are all kinds of fees and hidden charges that often time double what you were quoted as the original monthly fee.
Our family uses Total Wireless, For two lines, we pay $63.61 a month including taxes. The customer must buy the phone, but we have had our same iPhone 6 phones for 3 years and paid $99 each. For years we used Straight Talk; however, we found Total Wireless was the same company and used the same Verizon wireless service for $30 cheaper a month. It gets cheaper with more lines added. If you decide to sign up with Total Wireless, please use my referral code and we both get reward points GNPE-3203. It must be put in their rewards program with in a week of signing up for us both to get a bonus.
Start Saving Money NOW
I’ve given just a couple of ways to cut cost in order to save money. That savings can be put away in a savings account, a retirement, account, or saved for a bigger purchase. No matter what income you have, these methods work to free yourself from money stress. The more you learn to save, the more you become financially secure. No one can predict the future, but if you learn to save money and live on less now, the future will not scare you because you will be prepared.
Want to add your own money saving ideas? Please leave a comment with some ideas or questions you may have.