So you’ve got some big financial goals hey? That’s bloody awesome! But now what?
The fastest way to achieve your financial goals is to either earn more money, or save more money. It seems pretty simple in theory, but putting it into practice can be a different story. Especially if you’re not sure where you can even save money. But that’s okay! It doesn’t mean you’re not going to achieve your goals.
It’s not always easy for people to earn more money, so the first thing we should look at when working towards our financial goals are ways to save more money.
Regardless of how well you budget, there’s often some wiggle room in areas you may not have even considered. No matter how much I feel like I have a handle on things, I’m always finding new ways to save money I hadn’t thought of, so perhaps some of these will resonate with you too.
Here are some ideas for ways to save money if you’re serious about your financial goals and want to achieve them as fast as possible.
1 – Cut Your Living Expenses
Let’s go with the most obvious first. Cutting your living expenses can be daunting, but it is often the biggest area of savings.
Have you considered moving to a smaller/cheaper home for less rent? Moving closer to work for a cheaper commute? Riding to work instead of driving or taking the bus (sometimes this can even lead to you paying less for car insurance too because you’re not using it as much). Or maybe you could get a roommate to help cut the cost of housing.
One of the big things we did to save money when we were working towards our financial goals was selling our second car. While we were using it, we found that we didn’t actually need it and we could get by without it. Not only did the sale of it give us a big chunk of cash towards our goals, but it also cut down on our expenses as we weren’t paying car registration and insurance for it.
Have a look at all of your expenses. Write them all out and start thinking outside of the box for ways to save money.
One of my most favorite tools for managing and tracking my money is PocketSmith. It syncs all of our finances, including our loans and assets – which means it shows us our overall wealth. It’s also great for finding and tracking changes in our spending (so we can budget accordingly). I’ve tried so many different apps and this is the only one that I loved. PocketSmith is so easy to use and my husband loves how he can see how much we have left in our budget at anytime.
2 – Stop Buying New Clothes
A new top here and a new pair of jeans there may not seem like much but can quickly add up. If you’re really serious about achieving your financial goals, and you want to do it fast, then take a no spend challenge like the one I did.
I set myself a challenge to not buy any new clothes for a year and the benefits were so much more than just saving money. It meant I started to think differently about the way I shopped, the way I stored my items and the way I spent my money. AND I saved a ton of money to boot.
Maybe a year is a bit too much to commit to for you to start, so why not just start with a month? Or two? See how long you can go. If you’re like me and super competitive, it becomes more than just a challenge and ends up being something you’re determined to stick to.
3 – Declutter And Sell
Decluttering has fantastic benefits on your health and wellbeing, but it can also help you make a good chunk of cash too. I made an extra $2000 in a month just by selling my unwanted items on a Facebook Garage Sale group.
But how does this help you with ways to save money?
When you start decluttering your items and clearing space in your home, you start thinking differently about the way you spend your money. You think about the actual uses for an item, if you need it vs. if you want it, and if you absolutely have to have it.
Inadvertently, you end up spending way less money because you just cleared all that space and you don’t want to clutter it back up again. Winning.
4 – Reduce Your Grocery Budget
It is so easy to spend a small fortune on groceries. A quick dash down to the supermarket here and there can add up so fast and before you know it, you’ve spent double your budget without even realising.
One of the best ways to reduce your grocery budget is by meal planning. Gah… don’t roll your eyes. It’s not that bad, I promise.
Honestly, it only takes 10 minutes a week to do, and you can save even more time and money by writing out the list of grocery items you need for your meal plan and shopping online. That way you’re not tempted to buy whatever is on special as you cruise the aisles.
You don’t have to eat ramen and rice to reduce your grocery budget. You just have to be smart about how you shop.
5 – Cut The Frills
Oh the frills… the things you don’t even realise add up because they’re only a few dollars here and there. Every few months I do an ‘audit’ on my spending because I know I need to keep the ‘frills’ in check. They seriously add up so fast.
Things like Netflix, cable TV, online music accounts, YouTube Premium, online photo storage, Amazon Prime (if you don’t use it) and premium apps on your phone can cost upwards of $50+ a month. That’s an extra $600 a year you could be putting towards your financial goals!
Other frills include things like buying coffee on the way to work, dinners out with friends (have a dinner party at home instead for a fraction of the price), renting movies… all the little luxuries that are nice, but are also easy to cut when you’re looking for ways to save money.
6 – Make Every Cent Count (And Count Every Cent)
When we decided to get serious about our financial goals, we knew we would have to be pretty darn particular about our money. If we were going to spend money on anything, it would have to be with intention, with good cause and would serve us well.
We had to make our money count and we had to make sure we were counting every cent.
Once we started getting to know our finances more, we realised that we were losing money in ways we didn’t even know! We were spending way too much money on bank charges (account keeping fees, ATM withdrawals, etc) so switched to a bank that had zero fees.
We also were intentional about which debts we paid down first. We analysed which debts were costing us the most amount of money, taking into account things like yearly credit card fees and interest rates and made sure we paid off the most expensive first.
We also had our emergency account as our offset account for one of our loans so the money in there reduced the interest charged on our loan.
We wouldn’t have realised any of this if we didn’t start paying attention to where our money was going.
7 – Get A Side Hustle
Remember how we said the fastest way to achieve your financial goals is to save more money or earn more money? Well, this is the earn more money part.
Side hustles don’t necessarily mean you have to sign up to an MLM or get a second job. You could use your skills to earn some extra coin, you could sell items in your home you no longer want/need or you could take extra shifts at your current job or volunteer for overtime.
The point of the side hustle is not the job itself, more so the extra effort you make to earn more money to go towards your debt payments. If you need inspiration check out these ways you can earn an extra $1000 this month.
Getting serious about your financial goals can take some time, and that’s totally okay. You don’t have to use all of the above ways to save money, perhaps just start with one or two first until you get the momentum going. You’ll be achieving your financial goals in no time!!