We all want to save more money and have financial freedom. So, when you decide to buckle down and get your finances under control, you need to follow the basic rule of budgeting: spend less than you earn and save the rest. Saying you want to save more money and secure a future for your family financially and actually doing it are two different things. Giving up your simple pleasures might feel like a major sacrifice, which leads to you throwing in the towel, even before you’ve really given saving a try. If this sounds all too familiar, have no fear. There are plenty of ways to save money without having to give up everything you enjoy. Here are five ways to save money without sacrificing your lifestyle.
Refinancing Your Debt
Paying on high-interest credit cards and loans eats up any residual you may have. In fact, you can pay on loans for years and still carry a high balance. When it comes to student loans in particular, you could end up paying more interest than what goes towards the principal. For this reason, you should consider refinancing. When possible, refinancing your student loans can lower your monthly payment and even the interest you have to pay. This can give your finances just enough wiggle room to either pay more towards the principal or use the extra money to pay off other forms of debt.
Apply for a Cashback Rewards Card
Even if you use credit cards wisely, it might not be enough. Cashback credit cards actually reward you for using them. Depending on the carrier, you can earn up to five percent back on your purchases. This comes in handy when the rewards are applied to dining out or filling up your gas tank. If you already have outstanding credit card debt, you might want to hold off until you pay off some of your cards. Alternatively, you could see if any of your current credit card providers offer these types of cards.
Order in Bulk
Everyone knows that grocery stores usually are the best places to buy staple items. More often than not, they raise the prices and make you think you’re saving. Unless you have time to clip coupons, you don’t really save that much. One way to save on staples is to order them in bulk. You can order from Amazon, Walmart, or even your local Costco.
Use Online Tools for Vacation Discounts
Vacation can drain your bank account. From eating out to paying for hotels, even the most well-planned trips can add up. If you’re planning your next getaway, you can use online resources to compares airfare, hotels, and car rental prices. Since most sites compete against each other, you can use this to your advantage.
Work Out at Home
If you’re determined to save money, you need to cut out unnecessary expenses. Gym memberships typically start at $40 a month or more. Unless you’re under contract, you can skip the gym and start working out at home. The money you save each month can then go towards other bills or be put in a high-interest savings account.