11 Budget Hacks you Need to do Today!
Budgeting is hard! Who wants to manage their spending habits? In fact, 39% of Americans find it challenging to save $1,000 for an emergency fund. If you are looking for a way to stick to a budget and reach your savings goals, here are a few quick tips to get you on track.
1. Establish Auto Pay and Savings
Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to think about your bills or savings each month? Well, setting up auto-pay can do just that. By setting up auto-pay you also eliminate the chance of forgetting to pay your bills.
Setting up your auto savings is also a great way to help you keep on track. This will help ensure you always pay yourself first and make savings a priority.
2. Negotiate Services and Bills
Believe it or not, most of your bills may be negotiable. The majority of consumers may not get a discount because they don’t take the time to make the call. It may take a little bit more effort, but it is well worth the time.
Even if you could save an extra $100 a month, that’s $1,200 a year toward your savings or financial goals. So, take a little extra time and make a few calls.
3. Try Meal Prepping
In 2015 the Bureau of Labor Statics reported, the average American household spent $3,008 per year dining out. Imagine if you could save this money instead.
Meal prepping can help you not only save on cash but make you healthier in the process. Take a Sunday with your family and plan all the meals for the week. It makes it even better if you divide your meals into individuals containers. What’s better than saving time and money?
4. Make a Grocery List
Have you ever been to the grocery store and bought 10 items you didn’t need? Are you tired of pitching leftover food? If so, make a grocery list and stick to it.
Before you head to the grocery store, make a list of items you need. Do not derive from that list when you get to the market. This is another great way to stick to your budget while and save time when wandering through the store.
5. Take a Pantry Inventory
Do you even know what’s in your pantry? If not, it’s time to take inventory. See what you have and then make a recipe out of it. There are countless apps that help you figure out a meal with ingredients you already have.
Get creative and make something new. No need to waste unused items.
6. Take a Walk
You know that walking can be good for your health, but did you know it can help with your budget as well? If you live close to a convenience store, work, or your friend’s house, take a walk and save on gas.
Even if you can just save $10 a month on gas, that could be a big win for your budget.
7. Review Your Subscription Services
Many people have subscription services they don’t use. Even if it’s minimal, it can still add up. Review your bank statements and credit card bills and ditch any subscription you don’t use.
If you haven’t used it in a month, then it may be time to get rid of it. There is no sense in paying for something you don’t use.
8. Use Generic Brands
Even if you’re devoted to a brand, generic brands can be just as good. Shop around and try purchasing a generic product. You never know, you may even like it more. Brand loyalty is just fine, but when it affects your budget, it’s time to try something new.
9. Wait 48 Hours Before Making a Purchase
Impulse purchases can really break the bank. If your item was not budgeted for, you need to allow some time to contemplate the decision.
When you see something you want to buy, take at least 48 hours to think about it. You never know, you may decide it’s not worth it.
10. Ask for a Discount
It never hurts to ask. You never know when you may be able to get a discount on services or products. It may feel a little uncomfortable at first, but if it can save you some cash. Just give it a try, you never know what could happen.
11. Review Your Budget Weekly
Making adjustments to your budget is a part of the course. Your budget will fluctuate every month. That’s why it’s important to sit down every week and review your budget.
Determine where adjustments should be made, and change your budget accordingly.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of ways to stick to a budget. All it takes is a little consistency and persistence to make a budget successful. Try these few tips and you will be well on your way to budget progress!