Mother and daughter in grocery store looking at shopping list
Mother and daughter in grocery store looking at shopping list

Don't overlook these tips

We all look for ways to improve our financial stability, safety, and well-being. One of the best ways to improve your financial situation is saving more money. Extra saved money gives you some cushion for whatever life sends your way.

Saving money can feel like a daunting task, especially if you have bills piling up. Everyday expenses, debt, and loans can be overwhelming and make you think that you simply don't have the means to put anything aside.

But is it the truth?

A common misconception is you need to put aside a significant amount every month to make a real difference. And, when you have bills after bills that you need to pay, it can feel like an unattainable goal.

The reality is you can start saving with a few simple steps and build from there. At the end of the day, saving any amount of money will allow you to improve your financial situation.

When it comes to saving money, most people think they need to put aside a percentage of their paycheck every month. While this method certainly works, other, less traditional ways can help you save money too.

Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. Have you already set up a budget that works for you? Here are ways to boost your savings even more.

Tip 1: Don't Overlook Rebates and Buying in Bulk

You probably already know you can use coupons and sales to save money, but are you also taking advantage of rebates? Manufacturers frequently offer rebates as a way to boost product sales. Redeeming a rebate is simple, in most cases you need to mail in your receipt or upload an image of your receipt online.

Buying in bulk at warehouse stores lets you reduce the amount you pay per item. You’ll buy more than you need initially, but over time the reduced price adds up. Things like toothpaste, toilet paper, and non-perishable foods are great to buy in bulk. Plus, you’ll save yourself some trips to the store.

Tip 2: Try the 50-30-20 Rule

Here's how this rule works.

Take a close look at the amount of money you make per month and monthly expenses. Then divide your income so that 50% of it goes toward regular expenses, like rent, utilities, and groceries. 30% of your income goes toward personal expenses, such as gym membership, hairdresser appointments, etc. And the remaining 20% of your income goes into your savings account. You can use your savings account for long term goals, like buying a house or a new car. You’ll definitely want to build your emergency fund before you do anything else though.

Tip 3: Use Money Saving Apps

Nowadays, you can find an app for almost anything, including ways to save more money. Cashback apps, for example, offer cash back on purchases or gift cards. The great thing is that you can use these apps for almost any type of purchase, such as groceries, shopping, travel, gas, and so on. Using apps like these is easy. Just upload a picture of your receipt and the app will take care of the rest.

You can also use apps to help you budget. There are a ton of free and low-priced apps that will help categorize and track your spending. You can even link your bank account to most of them to automate the process.

Tip 4: Use a List for Grocery Shopping

Did this ever happen to you?

You go to the grocery store and can't remember what you need to buy. So you get a dozen eggs just to be sure. You get more fruit yogurt because your kids love it. And so on. Then you go home only to realize that you already had those items, but you didn't really buy what you needed. Not only do you have to go to the grocery store again, but you also ended up spending money on things you didn't really need.

You are more likely to overspend when you don't have a list (or when you go grocery shopping when you are hungry.) Make a list, stick to it, and avoid both overspending and overconsumption. Many grocery stores make their weekly ad available digitally so you can shop the sales. Most grocery stores also allow you to make your shopping list within their app.

Tip 5: Engage in Weekly Money Saving Challenges

Here's an idea that can turn money-saving into a fun game:

Try to save money each week of the year, starting with $1 the first week, $2 on the second week, and so on until you get to week 52 and you save $52. By the end of the challenge, you will have saved more than $1000. For a shorter-term savings challenge, check out our 26-week challenge. You’ll even save more money in a shorter amount of time.

Tip 6: Delay a Purchase

We live in an era of instant gratification. Whether it's from social media, watching Netflix, or playing a game, we often indulge in activities that make us feel good instantly.

The same can stay true when it comes to shopping.

But, often, we buy on a whim. We don't take the time to consider if we need the product or research other options.

One trick to help you save money is to delay the purchase. For example, if you are online shopping and see an outfit you just must have but know you already have lots of clothes in your closet, delay the purchase for one day and see how you feel about it afterward. Sometimes if you leave an item in your cart online for a few days you’ll receive a coupon or promo code from the seller. You can also typically sign up to receive marketing emails to get percentages off your purchase.

Tip 7: Review Your Insurance Plans

Insurance is great and can help you avoid some rather big expenses. But, if you want to save more money, then you should ask for insurance quotes on things like your car and home regularly so you can choose the one best fits your budget and needs.

These are just a few simple tricks you can start implementing today to save money. It's important to understand financial security and stability come not only from having a steady income but also from learning how to manage it in a way that works in your favor. Saving money is easier to do than you think, and it doesn’t require a ton of time on your end. The time and effort is an investment toward a more comfortable financial life.

If you want to build your wealth but don't know where to start, at First Financial Bank, we have a variety of bank accounts, helpful articles, and financial education resources to help you save money and grow your finances.

Get in touch with us for more information.