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If money grew on trees, we would all be a lot happier. But we’d also probably be more irresponsible and impractical with our spending habits than we are now.
It’s time to face the truth of your finances and find practical ways to save money so you can be confident in your financial stability.
Download These Apps
Wasting time on your phone watching YouTube videos of puppies discovering snow for the first time is, honestly, essential. And we don’t want you to give that up—however, there are other apps out there that, if you spend a few minutes on them, could change your life. Specifically, there are plenty of financial apps whose sole purpose is to save you money. Here are a few with raving reviews from happy (and moderately wealthier) users:
Acorns: It calculates how much you’ve spent in a day, rounding the total up to the nearest whole number. The app then stows the difference away in your savings account, saving you a little bit every day. It also rounds up to the nearest dollar on all your credit card purchases and invests the remaining amount.
Digit: Digit tracks your spending history and tabulates how much money you can reasonably save given your income. It moves that money to a savings fund, making around 2-3 transfers a week. It also provides a 1% saving bonus every 3 months.
Intuit Mint: Track your bills and make sure you never waste money on a late payment again. In addition to that, this lifesaver manages your money by synthesizing all your bank account and credit card information. Input your savings goals and Intuit Mint will inform you of where you can cut back to save the most money.
Adopt These Habits
The following list will come in mighty handy if you’re concerned about covering all your expenses:
- If apps aren’t your style, create a budget yourself. First, calculate your monthly expenses and your total income each month. From there, you can set aside a savings goal each month and pay off debt. Remember to continuously record spending and monitor your progress.
- Setting short-term and long-term goals will focus your spending habits. Paying off loans and saving money to put a down-payment on a house should take priority over frivolous spending.
- Find free ways to have fun! Once you start tracking your spending habits, it’ll be hard to ignore just how much money a month you spend on activities. Consider inviting friends over for a card game or go out for a picnic.
- If you find yourself shopping in Target at 11 pm multiple times a month, you’re not alone. As exciting as the addition of a mahogany butter churner would be to your kitchen, this is likely an impulse buy. Thankfully, you don’t need to go without Target completely—but the less time you spend frolicking in their aisles, the more money you’ll save long-term. We know you cannot postpone the joy of being impulsive for long. Allow yourself a waiting period and budget in between impulse buys to lessen the frequency and negative impact on your savings.
- Get smart about groceries. Being a conscientious eater is a necessary and commendable task, but you can find ways around the steep prices at large grocery stores. Use up all the food you have on hand—you might need to get creative, but that’s the fun part. Always shop with a plan. If you pile everything that looks good into your cart, you might be surprised when you get home and only have pop-tarts and a giant watermelon to live off for the week. Plan for meals, rather than a random assortment of items that may not go together very well.