Hello Hello F22 Crew!
If I see another news broadcast about the coming recession I just might scream. Talk about anxiety, am I right? When the bubble burst in 2008 I was only 13 so I didn’t really understand the scope of what was going on. But now that another potential recession is on the horizon, I’m trying to gather up as much information and resources as I can be to be prepared. And the common theme? Make more AND save more money…..uh thanks folks I could have figured that out on my own.
But being that readers (and the writer) here at F22 are living that #entrepreneur life making money really depends on hard work, since we’re not held down by a 9-5. So I figured we should focus on how to save more money today. Even if the recession doesn’t hit, it would be nice to lower your monthly bills a little right!?
Plan out your meals at the grocery store
One of the most efficient ways to save money everyday is planning your meals and utilizing your neighborhood grocery store. Going out to eat and drink can absolutely drain your bank account. If you plan your meals out for the week, go to a cheaper grocery store, and cook at home you will save hundreds of dollars monthly. I’m super guilty of stopping by a fast food chain on the way home, or worse, waiting until I get home and then using Postmates to get food! Not only does it take longer, but the fees add up and it’s way more expensive. Your bank account and your waistline will thank you if you plan out your meals and stick to it!
Keep your energy usage in check
I live in AZ, where it seems like it’s perpetual sunshine and 105+ degree weather for most of the year. When it’s summertime it’s easy to crank the A/C up and enjoy the cool breeze, We don’t think of utility bills until we get one in the mail that costs an arm and a leg. Try to use your A/C during nighttime, when it’s less hot. Turn off all the lights in your house when not in use and use shades or blinds to keep your home cool during those hot summer months. It’s easier to keep a home cool then to cool it down. You can also just try slowly acclimatizing yourself to a warmer home! I used to keep my thermostat at 75 during the day, but now I try and stay around 78-80 and it drastically cut my bill down!
Check subscriptions and get real with yourself
Do you really need Netflix, HBO, Hulu, National Geographic and Tune In radio all at the same time? You need to get real with yourself and cut some of the excess services. If you trim off $20 a month you can save big time over the course of a year. Or, if you really need those services (looking at you new Disney streaming) then consider going the college kid route and splitting the cost between a couple people. $4 monthly is a lot better than $10 and it will add up!
Refinance your car, student loans, or home
You can be spending thousands of dollars on interest for big purchases and it only gets worse over time. If your credit score has gone up, I would look to see if there’s a new lender that might have a lower APR. A quick phone call could drop your monthly payment significantly giving you extra wiggle room in your bank account.
Change or bundle your car, home, or renter’s insurance company
Most of us have insurance on at least our car, but some have it on everything! An easy way to save is to shop around for better rates. Once you find a better rate see if there are discounts for bringing all your insurance items to the same company, most offer incentives and discounts for bundling service. It never hurts to get a quote.
Look at your bank account often
Check your bank account every week, or even every day. Make a plan with your finances. You can elect to put a percentage of your paycheck into direct deposit. The idea is if you know what you’re spending money on so you can prevent recklessness. You can take this even a step further and categorize your habits to figure out where exactly your money is going. There are a thousand different ways to budget and manage your money, find what way works best for you and set aside time each week to plan it out.
Sell your car
If you live in a big city and are spending $500 a month on car payments and insurance, it might be a good idea to downgrade. Over the course of a year you’d save $6,000 by riding your bike or relying on public transportation. Now with Uber, electric scooters, and improved bike lanes in major cities it can be a cinch to get from place to place. If you still need a car you could buy something modest without the high monthly payment or insurance rate. My city is very spraling and hot so this doesn’t really work for us, but if you have better public transportation or a short commute this could save you a big chunk of change!
Move to a cheaper home or apartment
If you’re struggling to make ends meet or save money it can be hard to justify your living situation. It might be time to move somewhere a bit cheaper to save money on rent. Wait until your lease is up and investigate some cheaper options or move-in specials. More and more people are living with roommates as they get through their 20s or even into their 30s and 40s. The stigma is quickly dissipating and making room for more financially savvy communal living.
So what tactics have you tried, have they made a big difference? Are we glad I didn’t suggest you cut back on your morning joe? That could save you money, but I believe in balance and having those little moments of happiness. You don’t need to sacrifice every little thing!