Are you ready to discover how to save money in 2016? The year’s not over yet!
Learn how to save money in 2016—or rather, how to save more. If the first half of the year didn’t generate enough for an emergency fund or if you want to start saving now for the holidays, pay attention to the following advice. You’ll discover the easiest ways to pad your savings account and gift yourself more breathing room—and more spending power—once the new year rolls around.
Put Your Smartphone to Work to Save Money for You
As long as you’re going to carry an expensive cell bill, make sure to put your mobile to work for your money. An endless number of apps make it simple to stay on top of your budget and to save money in many ways.
Mint is a favorite free budgeting solution because it makes tracking your expenditures automatic. Register your debit and credit cards, and the app keeps dibs on your purchases and sorts them into spending categories. You can create savings goals in the app too, but mainly, it’s an excellent way to determine where your money is really going and pinpoint where you can cut back.
Apps like Ibotta and Checkout51 offer cashback deals on many of your regular purchases. You can look for offers and tailor your purchases appropriately, but even just remembering to scan your receipts can result in extra funds. Offers can be as commonplace as “Purchase 1 gallon of milk for $3 cash back,” so it definitely pays to scan!
Of course, the selection of shopping apps is endless. From retailer-specific coupon applications, like Target’s Cartwheel, to the Gasbuddy app that makes it easy to pinpoint the lowest cost for regular purchases, and CamelCamelCamel that tracks the price of items on your wish list and alerts you once they fall within your designated budget.
Don’t have a smartphone? Want one? Don’t let the temptation of an expensive plan hurt your savings goals. Tracfone has smartphones with the latest version of Android for just $20 in stores, and their ultra-affordable value plan is just $10 a month.
Plan Your Trips, Save Money
Now that gas prices have fallen, people have forgotten the benefits of driving less. They still exist. The less gas you use, the less you have to buy. The fewer miles you put on your car, meaning fewer oil changes and less wear-and-tear on your car. You can also have your insurance rates adjusted based on the lower number of miles you’re putting on your auto. However, there are many ways to save by planning.
Travel and savings don’t often go hand-in-hand, but a variety of online and mobile-based tools make it easy to find the lowest-priced flights and hotel rooms. Mapping software allows you to determine the best routes for gas savings too. You can save a bundle on the road just by eating meals in your hotel room.
Food is a big source for savings for those who want to get serious about putting money away. Fast food, restaurants and trips to the corner store or coffee shop swiftly sap your budget. Worse, those expenses don’t give much back. The boost you get from a $5 coffee isn’t significantly different from a 50 cent cup of Joe. The comfort you feel comes from following a familiar routine. How much will you save by cutting those extra expenses?
Experts also suggest up to 60% of grocery purchases go to waste, so making a meal plan and a shopping list can save a bundle! Take a look at your weekly specials, and plan your meals around them. The savviest shoppers even plan their store routes to avoid unnecessary exposure to advertising.
Make Saving Money Automatic
If you haven’t already set up automatic depositions into your savings account, now is the perfect time. Your bank may allow you to do this online. Start with 10 percent of your regular paycheck, and have it transferred a day or two after you’re paid. If you’ve been saving 10 percent, bump it to 20 percent to see if you really feel the pinch. Use the above tips to increase your savings as much as possible. You’ll have the funds you need for your plans in no time.
It can take time and practice to learn how to save money in 2016. If you need a bit of wiggle room, a title pawn can help. Call or visit your nearest Title Tree store to find out whether you qualify.