Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular country or socio-economic context.
The main functions of money are distinguished as:
- a medium of exchange
- a unit of account
- a store of value and sometimes
- a standard of deferred payment.
Any item or verifiable record that fulfils these functions can be considered as money.
We all want to save money. Use these money-saving tips to generate ideas about the best ways to save money in your day-to-day life.
1. Record your expenses
Separate wants from needs. Do you really need that 42-inch flat screen television? When money is tight it should not be spent unless absolutely necessary.
2. Set Savings Goals
One of the best ways to save money is by visualizing what you are saving for. If you need motivation, set saving targets along with a timeline to make it easier to save. Want to buy a house in three years with a 20 percent down payment? Now you have a target and know what you will need to save each month to achieve your goal. Use Regions savings calculators to make your goal!
3. Find ways you can cut your spending
If your expenses are so high that you can’t save as much as you’d like, it might be time to cut back. Identify nonessentials that you can spend less on, such as entertainment and dining out. Look for ways to save on your fixed monthly expenses like television and your cell phone, too.
Here are some ideas for trimming everyday expenses:
i. Use resources such as community event listings to find free or low-cost events to reduce entertainment spending.
ii. Cancel subscriptions and memberships you don’t use—especially if they renew automatically.
iii. Commit to eating out only once a month and trying places that fall into the “cheap eats” category.
iv. Give yourself a “cooling off period”: When tempted by a nonessential purchase, wait a few days. You may be glad you passed—or ready to save up for it.
4. Budget for savings
Once you have an idea of what you spend in a month, you can begin to organize your recorded expenses into a workable budget. Your budget should outline how your expenses measure up to your income—so you can plan your spending and limit overspending. Be sure to factor in expenses that occur regularly but not every month, such as car maintenance.
Tip: aim to save 10 to 15 percent of your income.
5. Decide on your priorities
After your expenses and income, your goals are likely to have the biggest impact on how you allocate your savings. Be sure to remember long-term goals—it’s important that planning for retirement doesn’t take a back seat to shorter-term needs. For example, if you know you’re going to need to replace your car in the near future, you could start putting money away for one now.
6. Make saving automatic
Almost all banks offer automated transfers between your checking and savings accounts. You can choose when, how much and where to transfer money or even split your direct deposit so a portion of every paycheck goes directly into your savings account.
Tip: Splitting your direct deposit and setting up automated transfers are simple ways to save money since you don’t have to think about it, and it generally reduces the temptation to spend the money instead
7. Watch your savings grow
Review your budget and check your progress every month. Not only will this help you stick to your personal savings plan, but it also helps you identify and fix problems quickly. Understanding how to save money may even inspire you to find more ways to save and hit your goals faster.
8. Say goodbye to debt
Monthly debt payments are the biggest money suck when it comes to saving. Debt robs you of your income! So, it’s about time you get rid of that debt. The fastest way to pay off debt is with the debt snowball method. This is where you pay off your debts in order from smallest to largest. Sounds kind of intense, right? Don’t worry, it’s more about behavior change than numbers. Once your income is freed up, you can finally use it to make progress toward your savings goals.
9. Pack lunch (and eat at home)
An obvious money-saving tip is finding everyday savings. If buying lunch at work costs $7, but bringing lunch from home costs only $2, then over the course of a year, you can create a $1250 emergency fund or make a significant contribution to a college plan or retirement fund.
Buying lunch a few times a week may seem harmless in the moment (especially when your favorite restaurant is walking distance from your office), but you can save quite a bit of money just by packing a lunch.
Not only that but a lot of times you can buy a solid week’s worth of groceries for the same price as two dinner meals out. Instead, prepare your food at home and watch your savings pile up month after month.
10. Cancel automatic subscriptions and memberships.
It’s time to cancel any subscriptions you don’t use on the regular. And make sure that you turn off auto-renew when you make a purchase. If you cancel it and decide you can’t go without it, subscribe again—but only if it fits into your new and improved budget. Chances are, you’re paying for multiple subscriptions like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, gym memberships, trendy subscription boxes and Amazon Prime.
And for those subscriptions you do want to keep around, think about sharing memberships with some family or friends. A lot of streaming services, like Netflix and Hulu, let you watch your favorite shows from two or more screens (with an upgraded account). That way, everyone wins—and saves!
Generally, If you’re trying to save money through budgeting but still carrying a large debt burden, start with the debt. Not convinced? Add up how much you spend servicing your debt each month, and you’ll quickly see. Once you’re free from paying interest on your debt, that money can easily be put into savings. A personal line of credit is just one option for consolidating debt so you can better pay it off.
You can share your saving experience that helped you to reach your Goals