Get started with budgeting
The first and most important step is to start tracking your expenses. Your bank account website may have some tools to help you with this. Tracking your expenses and doing some basic budgeting can be eye opening - you'll probably learn a lot that you didn't know.
For example, once you see how you're spending your money, you may be surprised to find how much money you spend at restaurants, gas stations, on diapers, etc. Once you know where your money is going, you can take action, like deciding to go out to eat less each month.
Simple changes that can add up
Here are some of the most common tricks people use to save money.
- Plan out your meals for the week. Go to the grocery store each weekend and buy food for the week. Dining out is one of the biggest expenses for most households. By making your own meals, you can save a lot of money.
- Make coffee at home. Over the course of a year, all of those $4 coffees add up!
- Save money on transportation. Transportation costs are one of Americans' biggest expenses. What are your big transportation costs? Are you taking taxis and/or Ubers instead of public transportation? Does your car get poor gas milage? Could you carpool more?
- Try to refinance your mortgage or get a lower interest rate on loans. The difference in payments can add up!
- Make sure you're using reward credit cards. You can get cash back and other bonuses if you're smart about using the best credit cards.
There are a ton of great resources out there - blogs, radio shows, websites, podcasts, apps, etc. -devoted to helping you save money. We recommend you start listening and tuning in... the more you immerse yourself in a lifestyle of financial planning and budgeting, the better.
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