At the beginning of the month, it's easy to tell yourself that you'll cut back on eating out or swear you'll forgo Ubers and take public transport instead. But then, a friend asks you to grab drinks or you get caught in the rain walking home, and all those good intentions go out the window. Luckily, there are lots of great ways to save money and still allow yourself those little luxuries that are just so hard to say no to. Aiming to save an extra $300 a month is a great place to start. While that amount may sound insignificant, by depositing $300 a month in an average savings account with an interest of .06%, those savings add up to $18,027.58 in 5 years. Just like most things worth doing, saving money is about building good habits over time.
Paypath has compiled a list of helpful tips to get you started on your journey to a healthier bank account.
Use A Cash Back Reward Credit Card For All Spending
A cash back credit card can be an easy way to make a little extra money each month. Cardholders can make a purchase knowing exactly how much they will earn back, and there's no complicated point systems to figure out either. By putting all your purchases on a rewards credit card, you save at least 2% of your monthly spending. If your average spending is $1,000 per month, you can save $20 per month with one of these cards.
It can be easy to spend unnecessarily when you can't find that extra jar of peanut butter you swear you had or can't quite remember if you paid the electric bill and end up with a late fee. An organized home can help you use what you already have, and an organized calendar or planner can help you pay bills on time. It's also important to come up with a system to help you keep track of your spending to help you avoid spending more than you planned to.
Buy Used, Sell What You Don't Need
Vintage style is trendy right now; plus, shopping used can help save you money. Need a new pair of work pants? Head to your local Goodwill. While finding something you love might take a little more effort, the price tag will make it worth it. Additionally, we all have those items in our closet we haven't worn in years, and selling them to a vintage shop or an online thrift store can help you save a little extra each month.
Be Conscious of Your Utility Use
A great place to start in ensuring that your electricity use isn't getting out of hand is by replacing all your light bulbs with LED light bulbs. This can provide substantial savings, since they use 90% less energy than standard light bulbs. Additionally, always remember to turn off your lights when you leave the room, and instead of using air conditioning when the weather starts to get warmer, try opening a window.
Be a Smarter Shopper
Take the time to compare prices before making a significant purchase, or even wait for annual sales. While convenience is great, waiting a little while to get the best price on something is worth it.
Give Up One Coffee per Week
If one or two Starbucks runs are a part of your daily routine, you may not notice just how quickly those $4 coffees add up. Even just making coffee at home one morning a week can add up to significant savings. This can also apply to cutting one drink a week if you usually drink two cocktails every time you head to your neighborhood bar.
While major savings may require drastic lifestyle changes, an extra $300 a month is within anyone's reach!
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While it's possible to be frugal with many aspects of your lifestyle, there are certain events and possessions that will require you to spend a substantial amount of money. Thus, a wise course of action is to begin saving well ahead of time while thinking about your goals for the future. This way, you'll be able to maintain a stable financial state even when faced with those large expenses. The following are a few major life purchases that you should plan for.
Marriage is a joyous occasion that many people look forward to. However, a wedding can be quite expensive, often costing thousands of dollars. Your family and your future spouse's family will often contribute to covering this, but you should still prepare to spend a good deal of your own money on the ceremony. If you're in a serious relationship and are considering marriage, you should plan where the funds for the wedding will come from and take the necessary actions to accumulate them. It's also crucial to discuss financial matters with your partner, since your property will merge once you get married.
A New Car
Automobiles remain one of the top modes of transportation. As a result, you may want to purchase a new car at some point in your life. Although you may be fine with an old or used vehicle at present, you may one day be motivated by a desire to acquire something nice for yourself or by the practical needs that arise as you raise children. Whatever the case, obtaining a new car is a major life purchase that you should plan for.
In addition to setting aside funds to eventually put towards a vehicle, you should also aim to build you credit score. This is because your credit score will determine your available car loan options. The higher your credit score, the more you may be able to lower your interest rates on your car.
Owning your own residential property is a worthy objective that you may hope to make a reality one day. Ideally, you should save about 20 percent of the total cost of a house before you buy it. This will allow you to make a larger down payment and thereafter face less interest on your mortgage.
As with acquiring a car, the mortgage options that you'll have can change based on how strong your credit score is. You'll want to increase your score as much as possible in the years leading up to buying a house so that you can get more favorable interest rates. In addition to contemplating down payments and mortgages, you must also remember that you'll need to deal with property taxes, insurance, maintenance and repair fees, and sometimes homeowners' association charges.
It's also necessary to hire a real estate agent to help you with the buying process. There are different types of real estate professionals. You should know how to distinguish between buyer's agents and seller's agents so that you can obtain favorable prices on homes as well.
Many people live together before getting married and have begun the process of combining accounts and sharing responsibilities. However, some people wait to do this only after marriage, and others wait until they're married to live together. Whichever path you've chosen, it's still crucial to know a few tips to manage money together as newlyweds to determine where you should begin and how you can remain on the same page.
Discussing Money Motivations
As we begin to share money with our significant other, we soon find out what one person may rank as a priority regarding money and the other may not. As such, sitting down and discussing money motivations is important. Two people who cannot agree on how to handle money may cause serious issues. This should include:
- How to deal with money following payday. Is a percentage put into savings? Is that the day to splurge on dinner, drinks, and more?
- The frequency and size of payments made to debts. Some people like to pay minimums, whereas others pay in full or make double payments.
- What do you each consider money well spent? Is it a new 70" 4K television? Is it an investment? Is it paying as much debt off as possible?
- How do you go about consulting each other before making purchases over a certain amount?
Establishing Financial Goals
After you evaluate the motivations behind your money and how it should be spent, you'll need to spend time together hashing out financial goals. As newlyweds, there are certain things on your list that you're going to want to save for. How do you go about that? How much of each paycheck will you dedicate to a particular fund?
Some things in the future worth making a financial plan for include savings and paying down debts. This is the time to be honest about your current financial standing. If you're looking to buy a home, you'll want to assemble a first-time homeowner financial checklist to begin to develop topics of conversation. Some of the things to consider setting goals for are:
- Student loans
- Car loans
- Future children
- A house
- Medical bills
- Delinquencies on credit reports
- Vacation and rainy-day funds
- Emergency funds
The more honest and open you can be with each other about the money you have and now the debts you share, the better. Implementing plans for the best ways to have the things that you both desire while still taking care of existing demands is important. These can be uncomfortable things to talk about; however, these conversations are necessary.
Following these tips to manage money together as newlyweds will allow you to have a starting point for conversations that can be tough to start. The sooner you and your partner get on the same page with finances and the responsibilities that come with them, the easier the transition will be and the sooner you'll find success.
It's the dream: money you can count on to keep rolling in, even while you sleep.
Passive income isn't entirely passive, of course. You'll put in work up-front to get the profits rolling, so don't relax in your recliner just yet. But with so many potential sources of passive income available to you, picking one or several will mean that the day you can finally kick back will draw steadily closer.
Real estate is a tried-and-true wealth builder for a simple reason: people will always need somewhere to live. Research the market in a growing community until you know a good deal when you see it. You can maximize rent by fixing up a deteriorating property or upgrading a mediocre one. The key is to hire a property manager to do all the day-to-day landlord duties for you—and you'll need a good one. Smart investors put their profits in another property and repeat the process until they have a diverse portfolio.
A YouTube Channel
You can start a blog if you're more comfortable hiding behind a computer, but consumers are more likely to prefer video content. Post a series of “how-to" videos to answer questions about whatever you're an expert in.
You can put up any content you want, but if you don't want to commit to regularly updating it, focus on “evergreen" topics that will draw clicks for eternity. Ads will create your income, especially if your channel grows in popularity. Better yet, sign up for affiliate marketing. If you recommend a product and provide a link to buy it, you'll get a small percentage of those transactions.
If you don't mind vinyl-wrapping your car with an ad for a company, you can get cash just driving around and running your errands. Make sure you contact a reputable company that doesn't ask for any money from you; if they're the real deal, they'll evaluate your car, your driving habits, your area, and more. Bonus: the brighter the ad, the easier it'll be to find your vehicle in the parking lot.
What's something that people will pay for but doesn't require shipping on your part? Finding that item is what can supplement your income indefinitely. Write an e-book, charge for your cross-stitching patterns, design prints that people can digitally download, invent an app, record a “masterclass," or whatever else you want. Every time someone new discovers it, the cash register rings. With a little more effort, this is a potential source of passive income for you that can continue to grow. Once you build up a customer base, they might want more products. The good part is that it's up to you whether you wish to give it to them.