Almost all of us can stand to save more money. But unless you’re diligent about it, chances are, you aren’t saving as much as you’d like. Here are some things you should start doing to make sure you save more.
1. Create a Budget
The number one thing you must do to know where you stand financially is create a budget. By doing so, you’ll quickly realize which expenses are costing you the most, and where it might be easiest to trim expenses. There are many great programs that help you create a track a budget, with Quicken probably being the most popular and widely used one.
2. Use software instead of hiring services
If you hire a CPA to do your taxes, consider using free software or a cheap program like Turbotax instead. The same goes for accounting, legal forms, and many other services you may be paying money for. Using software is never a substitute for professional services, but you’ll be surprised at how much you can do on your own with a bit of research. If you use a free online version of Turbotax from FreeTrialSpot.com to file your taxes, for example, can easily save you $400 that you would otherwise spend on a tax preparation service.
3. Be smarter about how you spend money on food
Stop spending money on food just because it’s convenient. Instead of eating out and buying coffee at Starbucks, consider making your own lunch and coffee a few times a week. Also, buy generic when you shop at grocery stores, and buy canned goods in bulk from places like Sam’s Club, where you can get a substantial discount.
4. Cut back on Cable
Cable is probably one of the biggest entertainment expenses you have. It’s arguable if it’s worth the cost, since you can watch so much content online these days. Consider cancelling cable and signing up for Hulu or Netflix instead, which only costs $7.99.