5 Ways to Save Money Without Even Trying

Jordan Mendiola

Photo by Katie Harp on Unsplash

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If there’s one thing the Pandemic of 2020 has taught us, it’s that we need to have money available. Since I was seventeen-years-old, my mom told me to pay myself first by putting money into my savings account.

I didn’t listen to her for a whole year.

After seeing my savings account sitting at zero, I realized that if my car needed repairs or a medical emergency came up, I wasn’t ready. Thankfully, I started by using the Acorns app and passively putting in $100 every month plus “round-ups”.

Saving money in little ways here and there adds up. When you have extra money in your account, while living a quality lifestyle, you’ll have much more peace of mind.

Take control of your money. Don’t let money control you. Here are five ways to save money long-term.

1. Live Below Your Means

Money has the power to let us live lavish and luxurious lifestyles. At one point in time, I spent about $300 a month on new clothes, shoes, and technology.

The term “Keeping up with the Joneses” is the need to fill a void or the desire to simply impress, can drive people to irrationally overspend on material items. Just because your neighbor gets a brand new car does not mean you need to match them or get something better.

Living below your means can mean settling for less than you can afford in categories such as:

  • Your home — can live in a 2-bedroom versus a 5-bedroom
  • Your car — can buy a used car for $5k instead of a $450/month payment
  • Your food — can eat at home instead of eating out every night
Simply put, to live below your means, you must not spend more money than you earn.

2. Budget Your Money

Budgeting doesn’t take a whole lot of time. It pays off in the long-run to budget your income, expenses, savings, and investments.

By keeping track of your inflow of money and your outflow will give you the knowledge to avoid making any financially poor decisions.

If your income is $3,000 per month ($40,000/year). You can start right away by putting money into savings. You can dedicate money to your fixed expenses such as living, food, groceries, transportation, and utilities. Then you can pay any bills for your car, subscriptions, insurance, etc.

Setting your bills to an automated date where your money is removed every month is a great time-hack. Anything leftover is what you have to make last you the month.

Budgeting helps us avoid making rash and financially troubling decisions.

3. Set Financial Goals

Goal setting is often under-rated. But by setting financial goals, we create direction and purpose. If we don’t have goals with our money, it’s very easy to take shortcuts like buying luxuries we can’t afford.

Impulse-buying decisions can cause repercussions in the long-run.

How much do you want to have in your savings account by the end of the year? Are you able to reach your goal faster by cutting back on an unused subscription? Do you know someone who is really good with their money?

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These are all questions to help us become financially free. My personal goal is to have $20,000 in my savings account by the end of the year. By having a goal, I force myself to think reasonably and making money mistakes.

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

4. Make Fewer Purchases on Credit

Building good credit ensures that you’ll be able to get better loans from banks farther down the line especially if you want to make a big purchase like a home.

When using credit, only spend what you can afford to pay off by the end of the month and don’t miss any payments.

By making purchases with cash or debit forces you to spend only the money you actually have. People who have credit cards kill their credit score by spending more than they can afford to pay back for the given month.

When you get older, your credit score is more important than your GPA.

5. Increase Your Income

In order to save more money, you can take on more jobs. Not every job has to be salary. There are several benefits to freelancing and working around your own schedule.

Some of the most financially-free people have multiple streams of income.

There are plenty of jobs you can work part-time such as UberEats, dog walking, helping out a neighbor, sell used items, etc. If you’ve been putting in quality work at your job, it might be time to ask for that raise.

The more money you have, the more you can leverage your cashflow into your savings.

The Takeaway

Let’s recap the 5 ways to save money long-term:

1. Live Below Your Means

2. Budget Your Money

3. Set Financial Goals

4. Make Fewer Purchases on Credit

5. Increase Your Income

To save more money, it often comes down to working smarter, not harder. There are a large fraction of people who make six-figures, but don’t know how to manage their money.

On the flip side, there are people who make average annual incomes and are financially free.

No matter which part of your life you are at, there are always ways to increase your savings. A little bit of planning and financial education goes a long way.

You will be well on your way to having your money work for you, not the other way around.

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Creative entrepreneur, U.S. Army Engineer, and dedicated runner. Committed to sharing ideas that lead to more fulfillment in all areas of life. Email: mendiola1829@gmail.com 08.18.20 ?

Chicago, IL
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