It’s possible to save money without giving up the niceties of life. In fact, if you have a regular job and earn an average income, you can save a significant amount of money by employing a few tried-and-true financial techniques. Consumer credit counselors are full of suggestions about how to save a little here and a little there. Many people ignore the most common sense ideas at their own peril.
One thing to keep in mind is that it takes discipline to save money. It also takes commitment. If you really want to build up that nest egg or mad-money fund, then consider the following methods that have worked for millions of people. They can work for you too.
Say Goodbye to Credit Cards
Paying interest on monthly credit card debt is one of the most inefficient uses of money, according to experts. Even if you want to keep one credit card for emergencies, make sure you pay off the balance in full every month and don’t carry it in your wallet. This technique is painful at first, especially for consumers who are used to whipping out the plastic to pay for everyday items, but is a reliable way to put some cash into your savings account instead of sending it to credit card companies.
Hone Your Budget and Set 10 Percent of Income Aside
Re-do your monthly budget and seek out expense items that can be cut down or eliminated completely. Common areas that can go under the scalpel include entertainment and groceries. The average working adult spends about 20 percent more on entertainment than they need to. One way to make a few cuts from a budget is to monitor your spending very closely for one month. Keep every receipt and categorize them all. You’ll be surprised how much money leaks out on entertainment and convenience store spending.
Refinance Student Loans
A fast and painless way to add muscle to your monthly budget is by refinancing student loans. In most cases, if you have decent credit and a job, you can usually obtain a better interest rate on a refinance package than you are currently paying. Working adults in their 20s and 30s often turn to this strategy because it doesn’t require any lifestyle changes and can really make a difference in the monthly bottom line. By lowering payments and garnering a favorable interest rate, you’ll be on your way to ramping up monthly savings.
Sell Junk You No Longer Need
With the advent of online selling, anything is possible. A teenage girl from Maine was in the headlines last year because she cleaned out her closet and sold all her belongings online for about $2,000. You can do the same but think in terms of large assets like used cars and appliances you can live without. They’re fast sellers via local online sites and global ones like eBay and Amazon. The average used car sold by individuals to non-dealers goes for around $10,000 if it’s in good working order. Major appliances bring in big money too, so do an inventory of your stuff and see what can be sold.