Are you looking for tips on how to save money and live a better life? If so, this blog post is for you.
If you’re like most people, you’ve been living paycheck to paycheck and wondering how to get out of this trap.
You might also be looking for ways to earn more so you get rid of your debt that is preventing you from saving money.
The answer is simple: all you need is a plan. And it’s not just any plan, it needs to be one that will work for your life and your goals so you can save money and live a better life.
You see, you must have been programmed unconsciously to believe that, you need to work hard for your money.
Truth be told, there are several smart and strategic ways to get more money and live comfortably.
Even if you don’t make a lot of money, you can still meet your goals and not be over-stressed.
The plan and action you take will greatly determine if you can save more and live a better life.
Listed below are some of the best action plans you can start today which will help you with your finances so you can live your definition of a better life.
1.Create a budget
You need to know where your money is going before you can start saving a portion of it. Make sure that every euro has an allotted place to avoid overspending.
Budgeting should not be something you worry about. It is all about you and how much you want to save at the end of the day.
There are no strict rules to it, as different people have different incomes. You know your financial goal, so create your budget to achieve that goal.
Keep track of everything with our free budget template! Get Your free 14 page Budget Template Here.
Or better skill you can use free budgeting apps to help you. Check out the best budgeting apps according to Investopedia.
Budgeting is not complicated, it should not be.
If you’ve been living on the edge financially for a long time, have no fear!
Start by creating a budget and tracking your expenses, and you’ll soon find yourself living better because you are intentionally saving and using your money wisely.
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2.Cut out small expenses
Think about the things that make up your day, like coffee or snacks at work. What if those were eliminated? Could be worth it?
Do you find yourself making random purchases? Are you telling yourself, it’s no big deal because these items are inexpensive?
If you answered yes to the above questions, think about that chocolate bar that costs 5 euros, you buy at work.
Buying 4 times a week, that’s 20 euros a week and that’s 80 euros in a month.
You would potentially save some money if you purchase a box of chocolate in bulk from the grocery shop for example and take one with you to work every day.
Better still you can replace this snack with something inexpensive which you make yourself at home. Homemade Granola bars are an example.
If you want to save money and live better you have to be willing to make some sacrifices.
3.Make your coffee at home
If you’re spending money on a daily latte or other types of pricey beverages, it may be time to start making them yourself.
It’s often much more cost-effective and takes just minutes.
Plus, there are plenty of delicious drink recipes you can find online for free from blogs and YouTube videos that are easy to make in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Get yourself a warm flask that you can use for storing the beverage, so it stays hot as you enjoy it on your drive or commute to work.
4.live on one income
Married couples have the potential to survive on one income. Even if both of you are working.
For you to live a better life and be able to save some of your money for future emergencies or for investment opportunities, you will have to make some initial sacrifices.
This may mean getting your partner as well as yourself to cut back on some wants.
Once you’ve got that extra money in the bank, it’s time to start investing!
Perhaps consider an IRA, which has a high potential for returns over a long period of time.
It’s a risk, but one that could pay off big time.
Or talk to your bank to see the other alternatives they have for retirement investment plans.
If you bank with OP, Finland, here is a direct link to the options they have.
If you’re single, this means finding ways to get by on just your income. Think about how many hours per week you work and see if there’s any room for negotiating.
Perhaps consider asking for a raise or even working another job part-time. Making more money is always better than less!
5.Use coupons when shopping
Coupons are everywhere these days, from magazines to grocery stores and online. Find and use it for all of your shopping needs.
Did you know that you can even have coupon browser extensions on your computer? It works such that, they suggest coupons for you to use when you shop online.
The honey browser extension, for example, works with over 30,000 shops online. It’s available worldwide.
Think about the little work you have to do installing the honey browser extension and getting free coupons when you shop online.
You save money by making this extra but little effort.
6. Reduce phone bills
Call your cell phone company to see if they have any special deals for new customers or customers who have been with them for a long time.
This is a good way you can save money.
These cell phone companies are in continuous competition with each other. They do not want to lose customers.
If you tell your current cell phone provider of the offer another cell phone company is offering, they will quickly think about giving you a better deal so you remain their customer.
I have done this on several occasions. It works.
7.Get rid of subscriptions you don't use
We’ve all been guilty of paying for things that we don’t actually use.
If you’re struggling to keep up with your expenses, start by canceling any extra subscriptions – like cable, Netflix, HBO Nordica, monthly beauty subscriptions etc.
You’ll save money and get rid of clutter. I am not saying do not entertain yourself. You need that.
From personal experience, I know how difficult it can be mentally if all I do is work and not entertain myself with movies and documentaries sometimes.
So what I am suggesting is that, instead of subscribing to multiple subscriptions. Why not pick your favorite and use only that instead.
One another thing is to remember to cancel free trails after they end. I have been guilty once.
I forgot to cancel my amazon prime account and I was billed two extra months before I noticed I needed to cancel.
8. Cook your own food
If you are like other people who think that cooking is too difficult or takes up too much time, it’s time to change your mind.
Cooking is actually not so bad. If you want to save money and live better, you should add cooking at home to your to-do list.
You can plan ahead and cook an entire week’s worth of meals on Saturday , then just freeze them in single-serving sizes.
Reheat them for lunch or dinner during the week, and you’re done.
You might consider it overwhelming cooking a whole week’s meals at once.
Take one day at a time, start with cooking your dinners. After a while try cooking and packing lunch for work.
Gradual, consistent cooking habits will be beneficial to you. After all, Rome was not built in one day.
If cooking isn’t your thing but it’s too expensive to eat out all of the time, consider buying ingredients in bulk.
This way, you can make a few different meals with those items, like tacos this week and pasta next week. Plus, you’ll get more bang for your buck!
I am not suggesting that you have to go completely without eating out or ordering in. Instead, just try to do it less frequently.
For example, maybe switch from going out on the weekends once a month and having a movie night at home instead.
But if you completely forgo eating out, that will be great in helping you save money and live better.
9. Avoid Using Credit Cards
This means that you should never go shopping with a credit card unless you’re certain that it’s something that could be paid off in just two weeks for example.
The same applies for shopping online, whatever you buy on credit, you should be able to pay back in full, in a couple of weeks or immediately you get your salary.
If not, consider putting the item back on the shelf so as not to rack up more debt.
You may have heard that credit cards can help you build a good credit score, but the truth is they’re only really useful for people with excellent credit.
For those who are struggling to pay off their debts, it’s best to avoid them altogether and focus on living within your means instead until you pay off the debt.
10. Consume less in general
This is another way of living with fewer expenses. For example, you can start by making coffee at home instead of buying one every day.
When it comes to clothes and other items, try to only get what’s on sale or use coupons where possible!
This also means being more thoughtful about your purchases.
Try not to buy things unless you really, truly need them.
For example, maybe instead of going out and buying a new dress every time, there’s an event, try looking around the house for something that could be worn again.
This is a good way to save money while also getting more use out of your clothes.
Try not to purchase new items unless you’re completely running out of the old ones. This is another good way to save money while still having enough stuff.
For example, if you buy a case for your iPhone, try keeping it until the back breaks off, then replace just the back, not the entire phone itself.
This way, you can save money and still have something that’s fully functional.
Of course, if it costs more to replace the back than get a new phone, getting a new phone makes sense.
11.Only buy things that you need and will use for a long time
Buy items on sale whenever possible, even if it is something you were not planning to purchase at the moment but you know you use and need.
In my case, toothpaste and washing detergents are things I know my household needs. So I make sure to buy a couple wherever there is a good deal.
Search online or in stores for discounts before buying anything new. So think about your situation and the things you need to buy.
12. start a side hustle
Starting a side hustle is one way to save money and live better.
You should consider this as it will help you bring in extra income at the end of the day.
There are lots of opportunities these days and you can take advantage of some of them.
Check out these examples of side hustles you can start today
Other ways to make extra money if you own a car include
Signing up to be an Uber driver
Signing up with lyft
The working hours are very flexible, if you happen to be free and want to make some extra money, you can drive people from point A to point B and make money for your services.
Another way to make money with your car is to place adverts on your car and get paid for it.
Here is a list of companies that pay to advertise on your car
13. Shop secondhand /thrift
This is one of my favorites. It’s like an adult candy shop. You never know what you will find
There are some good items you might purchase at very good deals. Please note that I wash and disinfect everything I buy when I arrive home.
I don’t want trouble in my quest for saving money to live better. You should consider doing the same if you decide to shop second-hand or thrift.
You must have heard about how human consumption is destroying the earth.
Check out this article by the BBC on how our continuous want for everything new is destroying the earth you and I habitat.
I am very much aware of the fact that some things can just not be reused such as intimate clothing or undergarments and these have to be bought new.
Kindly consider buying new when needed and buying reused when needed.
14. Plan your meals
This will be a lifesaver. Not only do you get to eat healthy because you planned your meals but also you get to save money and live better.
Meal planning is not complicated. I will explain to you how I go about meal planning. If you are new to this, these tips will be very helpful to you.
You start by deciding what you want to eat for a week.
You write down the names of the meals on paper. After that, you write down the ingredients you need to prepare them. You check your pantry to see what you have available.
You then cancel from your list every food ingredient you have at home. The food ingredients left on the list are what you purchase from the grocery shop.
Another method I use for meal planning is as follows. You check your pantry and fridge to see what food items you have available.
You decide what meals you can make with those.
If there are any ingredients you need to get from the grocery shop to add to your ingredients at home to complete the meal, you do so.
15. Rent books or use audio subscription services
Did you know that signing up for audio subscriptions actually helps you to save money? Let me explain
When you sign up for an audio subscription, you get the chance to listen to a selected number of books based on the subscription plan you signed up for.
Truth be told, the paper versions are more pricey than the audio versions. Think about the money equivalent if you had to use the same amount of money to purchase the paper version.
Plus you get to listen to it whiles doing other activities around the house for example or while commuting to work.
If you do not have time to sit down and read books, this alternative is the best.
You are acquiring knowledge for a better life and saving money at the same time.:)
However, if you have time to sit and read or you are the kind that enjoys holding a book when you read, consider borrowing books from your local library.
You will save tons of money by not purchasing them. You also save the planet by reusing a book from the library instead of getting a new one.
You can also read blog articles that discuss money saving tips . Just like the one you are reading now and several on the internet.
16.Plan free entertainment
There are lots of entertaining activities you can do for free. Saving money means that, sometimes you have to consider free entertainment.
Some examples of free entertainment include:
Yard games, hiking, visiting beaches or pools, picnics, bike rides, coloring for adults, board games, camping, skating, rollerblading and library visits,
17.Cancel gym memberships
I remember my excitement when I got a gym membership the first time. I was determined to exercise and look toned. But guess what happened after 4 months?
Yes, you guessed right. The determination died off. I couldn´t anymore and the reasons….oh boy…I am sure you won’t like to hear them.
Anyways, if you are like me, why not look into other ways to exercise such as walking or running or using free exercise resources from online?
If you know you will not get your money´s worth from your gym membership, you better off not getting one.
If however, you get one and things are not going as you expected, cancel it.
You will live better knowing that your mind is at peace because you are not fighting with your thoughts about not going to the gym. The best part, you save your money.
18.Save money with lower bank fees
Another smart way to save money is to look for opportunities to lower your bank fees.
If you happen to be a foreigner living in another country, chances are that you send money back home to your family and friends.
Using your bank to send money directly can be costly. You want to avoid that if you are really keen on saving money.
Use transfer services such as worldremit and Transferwise to conduct such transactions.
Have you ever traveled abroad and found yourself withdrawing money from an ATM machine?
Are you aware of the fees your bank charges for this withdrawal?
You might be surprised when you find out.
Transferwise has the option of giving customers free debit cards to use abroad. Its cheaper and safer to use.
19.Invest Your Money
Invest your money for returns after expenses are accounted for. Investing in the right places is essential to building wealth.
All the money you save should not just be sitting in the bank. Use that to make money for yourself.
Once you have a budget set up, it’s time to start thinking about where to invest your money.
Depending on how much risk you’re willing to take, you may want to start with a savings account and make your way up the risk scale.
Just remember to focus on long-term returns.
20.Try living on less than you make
Money may have been tight for the past few months for you and you want to live better while still saving money.
It may be time to start thinking about ways that you can live with even fewer expenses.
This means spending less on rent, utilities, and other monthly necessities. Start by cutting back in ways that you can live with.
Perhaps start making your coffee at home instead of buying one every day.
Do you see yourself avoiding clothing shopping for the next six months?
Life does not have to be complicated or stressful when it comes to the subject of money. You deserve to live a good life.
So how do you save money and live better? Be honest with yourself about what you can afford and what you cant afford.
Also, be disciplined about using the money you save to build wealth for yourself. I hope the points listed above will be helpful to you on your journey of saving money to live a better life.
Which of these tips are you already applying in your life?
Do you have other tips I have not mentioned in this blog post?
Comment them below. Best of luck to living better and saving money.