If you are like most people and live paycheck to paycheck you can relate to the stress of worrying about money when an unexpected event happens. Whether it is your car breaking down, a medical emergency, or helping out a family member, life has unexpected costs and it can be very hard to get ahead financially when life keeps giving you lemons. It is important to have savings for those rainy days. If you don’t have money in savings or have a hard time trying to find extra money to put into savings, here are a few tips to save up so you can financially deal with life’s unexpected costs.
Start Saving on Utility Bills
There is a huge potential for homeowners to save money on utility bills. All you need to do is change a few habits of yours. Perhaps you often leave the tap open while brushing your teeth. While you may have never realized this, it has a subsequent impact on your water bills. Likewise, you may have never really understood the relationship between dusty HVAC appliances and increased power consumption. When your air conditioner or your furnace works round the clock to make you feel comfy, they also deserve some care in the form of servicing — use a NATE certified technician for the same. This can enable your appliances to perform optimally without adding to your electricity bills. Similarly, you may have been unaware that inculcating fuel-efficient driving habits — avoiding rapid acceleration and hard braking and maintaining a steady speed — could also help in lowering your gas bills. By following these steps, you can effectively save a significant amount of money in your household.
Start Saving On Your Grocery Bill
Many of our bills are fixed each month (cell phone, electric, mortgage, etc.) but the one area that most people can start saving money on and putting those extra savings into a savings account is on their grocery bill. If you and your family tend to eat out a lot, opt to stay in and eat meals at home. Make a grocery list and stick to it. Buy groceries when they are on sale and also start using coupons. Kathleen Elkins, contributor for businessinsider.com, gives advice on how to cut your grocery bill in half with tips like bringing a calculator and only shopping with cash.
Start Selling Instead Of Spending
Take a month and just track where you spend your money. You may be shocked to see that you are spending $80.00 a month on your morning coffee or you are spending more on online shopping than you realized. Once you realize where you can stop spending you can start saving. Start going through closets, your basement, and your attic and start selling anything that you don’t use and start putting the profits in a savings account.
Start Using Your Local Library
A resource that often goes unused for a lot of families is the local library. Local libraries offer free internet access, books, music, DVDs, and even video games can be checked out. Stop spending money on this type of entertainment and start saving it by getting access to it for free.
If there is one certainty in life it is that there is always going to be some rainy days and it is good to have savings when those unexpected finances show up. You could be riding in style one week, then the next week your car breaks down leaving you with no transportation. One day, your kid in college could call you up saying they have a drinking problem and need to be enrolled in an alcohol addiction rehab. By using these tips to start saving, you will have access to funds the next time life throws you a curveball.