How To Save Money Fast – Forbes Advisor – Forbes

How To Save Money Fast – Forbes Advisor – Forbes

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If you’re having trouble saving money, you’re not alone. The U.S. personal savings rate has been falling for most of 2021 and 2022. In the face of rising inflation and interest rates, people are looking for more ways to save. Whether you’re facing an emergency or just want a financial cushion, here are some tips for saving money fast.

Why Should You Save Money?

It’s important to keep a nest egg for unexpected expenses, such as home repairs, car repairs or medical bills. Beyond that, having money in savings can positively impact your well-being. A recent study by Northwestern Mutual found that adults who work with a financial planner or are disciplined planners themselves experience lower levels of anxiety and improved sleep quality.

Saving money is likely a part of this. The more you have stashed away, the easier you can rest knowing that if you lose your job or find yourself in an emergency, you have the funds to get through it.

How To Save Money Fast

There are ways to slowly save money without sacrificing your lifestyle, and then there are ways to save money fast. If you need to build your savings account balance quickly, follow these steps.

1. Create a Budget

Budgeting is the first step to saving money. List your income and current expenses—print out your bank statements if needed. Categorize your purchases to see how much you spend in different areas.

2. Cut Spending

Next, comb through each spending category to determine where you can cut back the most. If you need to save money fast, you’ll probably want to target nonessential spending first—categories like shopping, dining, memberships, entertainment and gifts—as these expenses can be sacrificed more readily than fixed expenses like housing and car payments.

3. Earn More

If you can increase your income while cutting back on spending, even better. Negotiating a raise and picking up a side gig are two of the fastest ways to earn more money.

4. Change Your Lifestyle Habits

This can be tough to do but it’s highly effective—and rewarding. Eliminating expensive habits such as smoking, drinking, impulse shopping and gambling can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars per month.

5. Switch to a Better Savings Account

Check to see if your current account earns interest, and if so, how much. You may save more by switching to a high-yield savings account.

6. Curb Impulse Buying

Avoid going to malls and stores where you know you’ll be tempted to make purchases, and unsubscribe from your favorite brands’ promotional emails. If you start feeling too restricted, you can “shop” online without spending by creating vision boards on Pinterest and starting wish lists on your favorite retailers’ websites.

How To Save Money Fast on a Low Income

If you have a low or fixed income and making more money isn’t an option, there are still ways to save money fast.

  • Pay yourself first. After you’ve created a budget, decide how much you’re going to save from each paycheck and have it automatically deposited into your savings. Then comes the most important part: Don’t touch it.
  • Do a no-spend month. You can still pay your bills, but during a no-spend month, you’re not allowed to spend any money on nonessentials. Make a game of it to stay motivated.
  • Reduce utilities. Minimize your heating and cooling expenses by adding or removing layers of clothing. Take shorter, cooler showers. Unplug electrical items when not in use, and switch to LED bulbs. Seal any air leaks around drafty doors or windows.
  • Consolidate and eliminate debt. High interest rates on credit card debt makes it difficult to get ahead. Look into debt consolidation loans to see if you can qualify for a reduced interest rate or lower monthly debt payments.
  • Do-it-yourself. Instead of spending on oil changes, home repair projects or manicures, learn how to handle these tasks yourself. Look online for instructional videos and helpful DIY tips online showing you how to fix or make just about anything, often using items you already have around the house.
  • Ask for help. Depending on your income and living situation, you may qualify for government assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

How To Save a Lot of Money Fast

Budgeting and cutting expenses only gets you so far. If you need to save a lot of money, additional sources of income like the ones below speed up the process.

  • Obtain a higher-paying job. This could mean asking for a raise or promotion at your current job or applying for a new job. Now that it’s easier to find remote work, you may not have to worry about commuting or relocation expenses.
  • Start a side hustle. There’s never been a better time to start a side hustle. Gig economy apps, like those that offer rideshare and food delivery services, make it easy to pick up extra work on your schedule.
  • Sell unwanted belongings. Consider selling anything you don’t use regularly. You can sell just about anything online through sites such as eBay, Poshmark, ThredUp, OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace.
  • Rent out your space. Sites like Airbnb and Vrbo let you rent out a bed, while Hipcamp lets you rent out campsites on your land and RVshare lets you rent your RV. If you have an unused parking space in your driveway or side yard, you can earn passive income through SpotHero. And if you have a pool or hot tub, Swimply allows you to rent it out by the hour.

Ways To Save Money Fast

Saving money fast usually entails minimizing your spending. Here are some specific ways to cut costs that can make a big difference.

1. Drive less

Consider whether selling your car and switching to public transportation, ridesharing, biking or walking makes financial sense. If not, consider driving less to save money on gas and tolls—and possibly even car insurance. If you don’t drive much, switching to pay-per-mile car insurance can be more affordable.

2. Minimize housing costs

Can you downsize by selling your home or finding a less expensive place to rent? Depending on interest rates, refinancing your mortgage may also help you cut costs.

3. Cut recurring expenses

Consider eliminating subscriptions, streaming services and gym memberships from your budget. For entertainment, host home gatherings, look for free events in your area and hit up free museums and libraries. Stay fit by exploring the outdoors or doing in-home exercises. You can also look into to prepaid phone plans and more affordable internet service.

Bottom Line

There’s no one perfect way to save money. But with a combination of the above tools and practices, you may save more than you think.

Whether you’re facing a life-changing event or simply funding a new goal, saving money can be fun, rewarding and liberating. It helps reduce clutter, cognitive load and anxiety. Look at saving money not as a chore but as a way to gain control of your finances and your life.

Find The Best Online Savings Accounts Of 2022

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you create a budget?

There are several ways to make a budget, but the basics involve listing out your income and expenses and then creating spending and saving goals.

Can budgeting apps help me stay on track with spending?

Tracking your spending has become much easier thanks to budgeting apps. Some of the best budgeting apps include Mint, YNAB (You Need a Budget) and Personal Capital.

What DIY sites can help me save money?

You can find DIY tutorials for just about anything on websites like YouTube, Pinterest and Instructables. Companies such as Home Depot and Lowe’s have both online and in-person tutorials to help you with automotive, home and garden projects.

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