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You don’t have to wait until you make more money or pay off debt to start saving.  All you need is a plan.  Once you start making small changes to your budget, you may be surprised by how quickly the savings add up.  Here are some simple things you can do save more money.

Set up automatic transfers

Saving money needs to be a priority, not an afterthought.  The easiest way to build your fortune is to set up automatic transfers from your checking to savings account.  Just choose the amount you want transferred along with the date and you’ll be off to the races.

Wait 24 hours before making a big purchase

It can be hard to resist a good deal, but buying things you didn’t plan to can hurt your wallet.  To kick your impulsive spending to the curb, implement a 24 hour rule.  In other words, give yourself a 24-hour waiting period before making a major purchase.  Chances are the item won’t be on your mind anymore once time is up. 

Delete saved debit/credit cards from your accounts

Many retailers allow you to store your payment information so you can make purchases without a second thought.  Do yourself a favor and remove your saved debit or credit cards from your favorite websites and browsers.  You’re less likely to buy anything if you have to go get your wallet to complete the transaction.  While you’re at it, unsubscribe from all marketing mailing lists since you don’t need to be shopping anyway.

Cancel services you rarely use

At one point or another, we’ve all wasted money on services we hardly use.  Go through your bank and credit card transactions and see which memberships or subscriptions you don’t mind eliminating.  Consider canceling gym memberships, dating apps, music services, meal delivery services, or beauty subscriptions.

Pay off your debt

Paying off debt as quickly as possible reduces the amount of interest you’ll pay over time.  Becoming debt-free can also improve your credit score, make you feel less stressed, and it will allow you to focus on other financial goals.  To pay off your debt you can pay more than the minimum, make extra payments, pay off the most expensive debt first or use the snowball method.

Trim your food budget

Having a shopping strategy can help you lower your grocery bill.  Most stores release a sneak peek of their weekly circular before the sale begins.  Check what items are on sale along with what you already have on hand, then create a meal plan based on those items.  By having a plan, you’ll be less likely to waste food or order take out.  Other ways to save money on food include clipping coupons, joining store loyalty programs, and using cash back apps to get rewarded for the items you planned to buy anyway.

Contribute to your 401k

Set yourself up to live comfortably in your golden age by saving for retirement now.  If your employer offers a 401k plan, be sure to enroll and contribute as much as you can.  Every dollar you contribute lowers your taxable income so you may pay less taxes when you file your annual return.  Plus, many employers offer to match a portion of your contributions.  That’s free money and you don’t want to leave it on the table.  For 2022, the 401k contribution limit is $20,500.

DIY

Before spending money on a service, go on YouTube and see if it’s something you can learn to do yourself.  They have videos that will show you how to change a tire, repair drywall, decorate cakes, cut hair, make wigs and tons of other stuff.  Keep in mind, there are certain projects that are too complicated or dangerous to do own your own and should be left to the professionals.  For example, roofing, electrical work or sanding your floors. 

Find fun, cheap or free things to do

Even if you’re on a budget, there are still plenty ways to have fun without spending a lot of cash.  You can go to the park, visit a community pool or splash pad, watch outdoor movies, take advantage of free museum days or attend a free summer concert.  For more ideas, check your community calendar for free or low-cost events in your area.