Saving money and living better go hand in hand.
When you save money, you’re better able to “live” the way you want: buy a home, take that next big vacation, and pay for your child’s education.
Whatever it is, saving money helps make it happen.
On the flip side, when you live better (by creating healthy habits and setting yourself up for success), you end up saving more. Living well is one of the best ways to increase your ability to save.
So how do you save more and live better? It all comes down to developing good money habits and making wise choices. You can make big strides toward financial independence by implementing simple changes into your day-to-day life.
According to The Ascent, a new survey found that 43% of Americans want to save more money this year.
If you are one of them who want to save money, live comfortably on what you earn, and avoid the stress of debt, this article will help you save more and live a better life.
Why Can Saving Money Help You Live Better?
There are many reasons why saving money can help you live better. Here are a few good ones.
- A new survey shows that 64% of Americans are feeling anxious about their finances this year (source). Saving money means less financial stress as it gives you a safety net if something goes wrong. This can range from the small-scale (your car breaks down) to the large-scale (you lose your job).
- Your savings also helps control your spending so that you don’t end up in debt and have to rely on credit cards just to pay for groceries and gas.
- Having enough savings in your bank account can help you achieve long-term goals, both big and small—things like going back to school, starting a business, or traveling around the world.
Further reading: Why You Need To Save Money
Saving Money Is Easier Than You Think!
Some people think that saving money is a major feat that requires keeping track of our pennies, the sacrifice of coffee runs and Netflix binges, or maybe even learning how to hunt for food.
But the reality is, if you’re a little more proactive about your savings plan and aware of how you spend money each day, it’s possible to start saving without much effort. Saving doesn’t have to be a tedious process; it can actually be fun!
It all comes down to planning, being aware, and making smart choices. If you plan and are on the lookout for opportunities to make small savings each day, your bank balance will soon begin to show it.
For example, if you spend $4 every morning at Starbucks for coffee and pastries, that comes to $120 per month! However, if you’re willing to make coffee at home or have breakfast before leaving the house, you’ll save an easy $100+ every month.
It doesn’t have to be four dollars a day—even something small like buying gum on the way to work could turn into $10 extra in your pocket each week. Every little bit adds up!
Easy Ways To Get Free Starbucks Gift Cards (Drink Coffee For Free)
How Can I Save Money To Have A Better Life?
Here are some simple ways to save money and better manage your finances.
1. Build A Positive Money Mindset
Your money mindset is the foundation on which you build your financial habits, and it affects how you handle money more than anything else.
It is simply the way you think about money.
A positive money mindset will help you save money and live better, whereas a negative mindset can prevent you from reaching financial freedom.
For example, you want to abandon thoughts like “I don’t earn enough” or “There’s never any money left over at the end of the month.” Instead, try thinking things like “How can I earn more?” and “What small changes can I make to save money?”
Before saving any money, learn how to think positively about your money and develop a healthy relationship with it.
This might be hard at first if you’re in debt or feel like there isn’t enough cash coming in for you to make ends meet, but it’s vital to adopt a positive outlook and stay calm when making financial decisions.
After all, money is a tool to help you achieve your goals, not your enemy.
2. Live On One Income (Even If You Are Two-Income Couples)
While it’s not always possible, living on one income is a surefire way to save more money.
As the famous saying goes, “money saved is money earned”—in other words, living on one income and saving the other is like making twice as much as you do.
When you decide to live on less money, there might be a learning curve as you figure out how to best stretch your dollar. So I have prepared the following articles to help you get started.
By cutting out half of your household’s earnings, you can save money all day long!
With more disposable cash available each month, you’ll find it easier to sock away more money for future needs: maybe that trip you’ve always wanted to take or a down payment on a house.
You’ll also be able to invest more in retirement funds or other long-term projects! The earlier you start investing, the better off financially in retirement age it will put you later down life’s road.
3. Automate Your Savings
While most people think about paying bills automatically, you can also use this method to pay yourself first before other bills and expenses.
You can do this by setting up a direct deposit from your paycheck into a savings account or setting up automatic transfers from your checking account into a savings account.
If you don’t have one yet, consider opening a high-interest savings account with banks like the CIT Bank. It offers one of the highest interest rates. And there are no extra fees (e.g., no opening, monthly servicing, online transfer fees, etc.). It’s a great way to grow money with the ease of automatic deposits.
Even if you only commit to contributing a small amount, automating your savings will help you build wealth over time.
With some simple adjustments and planning ahead, saving money doesn’t have to be difficult. Plus, it’s worth it in the long run: saving will make you happier and more financially secure in the future!
4. Plan Large Purchases
When it comes to our spending habits, we could be guilty of being impulsive.
There are times when it’s worth splashing out on something you want, but that doesn’t mean you should spend money frivolously.
You can save up the money for bigger purchases instead of going into debt with credit cards or loans. And obviously, it’s best to avoid spending more than you can afford.
If you’re planning on making a big purchase, here are some steps you can take to avoid overspending:
1. First, ask yourself if you really need this item, what your budget is, and how soon it needs to be purchased. Then make a list of the features that are essential in your purchase. Consider energy efficiency (for appliances) and warranty (for electronics).
2. Doing some research and shopping around will help you find the best value for the price.
3. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with salespeople. They are there to make money off their products just as much as they are there to give you excellent customer service.
4. Shop second-hand if possible. It will help you save money while reducing waste at the same time!
Simple tips like these will add up over time and help avoid those “buyer’s remorse” moments when we realize we’ve made an expensive mistake.
5. Pay Off Your Debt
Living debt-free isn’t just about the freedom to spend your hard-earned money as you see fit. It’s also about being able to sleep at night and not lay awake in bed worrying about what will happen if a major emergency occurs.
When you are free of debt, it’s much easier to deal with unexpected occurrences because you have the means at your disposal.
Plus, getting out of debt will make you feel like a pay raise even if your income does not increase.
Since we spend so much time worrying about money and our finances, imagine how great it would be to have that weight lifted from your shoulders?
6. Plan Your Meals
After a long day at work, you are peckish and hurried. The last thing you want to do is stand over a stove and cook a meal. You quickly grab something unhealthy to munch on while surfing the net.
However, you can eat much better and healthier with some forethought and planning.
Take some time to think about what meals you like and what foods are currently in season (those will be cheaper). Then make a weekly shopping list based on the meals that fit into those two categories.
If you know what you’re going to eat during the week, there’s less chance of grabbing a quick, unhealthy snack and less chance of wasting food. Knowing your grocery list also makes it easier to look for deals and compare prices.
Also read: How To Save Money On Groceries (Save $230+ Per Month)
7. Take Advantage Of Free Entertainment
Many people are under the mistaken impression that if they cannot afford a ticket, they cannot afford fun.
This is simply not true! Entertainment doesn’t have to cost a dime. There are lots of free things that you can do to keep yourself occupied and happy.
For instance, you can go for a walk or invite a few friends over to chat. If you’re in the mood for something more highbrow, try visiting an art gallery or checking out free live concerts.
On top of free entertainment, there are also libraries in nearly every town and city that can provide access to thousands of books, movies, and music (especially if they have an inter-library loan program).
You can also save money on events by volunteering or working at them in exchange for free admission.
8. Get Fit Without Spending A Fortune
If you’re looking to shed a few pounds, gain some muscle mass or just stay in shape, there are plenty of ways you can get fit without spending a fortune. Here are six affordable ways to stay in shape:
- Exercise at home. Exercising at home is the most budget-friendly option available. There are tons of free YouTube videos and other fitness sites where you can learn how to perfect your form on almost any workout routine.
- Join a less expensive gym. Instead of paying $100 per month for your gym membership, look for a 24 Hour Fitness gym in your area where membership is a lot cheaper.
- Buy used exercise equipment. Why spend hundreds of dollars on brand new exercise equipment when you can find lightly used gear at a fraction of the cost? Check out Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for great deals near you! Whether it’s a treadmill or an elliptical machine, buying used will save you big bucks.
- Exercise outdoors. Working out outside is always free! Go for walks or runs along nature trails in the park or on greenways in your neighborhood; hike through mountains; swim in lakes; play pickup basketball with friends. The possibilities are endless.
- Use a fitness app. There’s an abundance of free fitness apps available online which allow users to work out at home.
Try some of these tips and see how quickly you can start saving money on fitness costs.
9. Save Money On Pet Costs
Pet owners can spend thousands of dollars on food, medicine, and supplies each year. Luckily, there are ways to save money without sacrificing your furry friend’s health and well-being.
- Get pet insurance. It helps you save money by covering your routine and emergency veterinary bills. You should also get your pet vaccinated at least once a year to prevent against common illnesses.
- Buy pet supplies (food, leashes, toys, etc.) in bulk. You’ll generally pay less per item by purchasing in large quantities instead of making multiple small transactions at the store. And you won’t run out of food unexpectedly (which is never convenient).
- Use a credit card that offers cashback on purchases at certain retailers where you buy pet supplies. Remember to pay off the balance every month so you don’t spend more than you’d get back as cash rewards because of interest charges each month!
- Consider adoption. Adopting from a shelter is a cost-effective way to find a furry friend who needs a home.
As you see, pet ownership doesn’t have to break the bank if you know how and where to look for savings.
10. Start A Money-Saving Challenge
If you want to save the most money possible, consider taking on a money-saving challenge. It is a great way to start putting your budget in place, and you’ll be surprised at how much extra cash you have available when you do it right!
Try doing the 52-week money challenge, in which you start by saving $1 in week one and increase your weekly savings amount by $1 each week until you reach $52 during week 52.
Or try to go an entire month without spending any extra money. You can also try a no-spend weekend or a no-spend week. You’ve got plenty of options.
11. Practice Saying No
The word no is a powerful tool to save your sanity and wallet from being overspent!
Saying no can help you stay on top of your finances, protect yourself from people taking advantage of you, and allow you to focus on what is really important.
But learning how to say no takes practice. Here are some strategies for saying no effectively:
- Don’t be afraid to say no. While it’s good to be accommodating, saying yes is not always in your best interest or the best interest of others.
- Try practicing saying no in front of a mirror. It might feel silly at first, but this will help you get comfortable with setting boundaries by saying no when necessary.
- Give a reason for your refusal. So the other person understands why you said “no” and doesn’t feel like they did something wrong.
“No” works best when paired with “I’m afraid/sorry/not able to.” For example: “I’m sorry, but I’ve already made plans (eaten dinner) and have another commitment this evening.” “No, thank you, but I’ve got something else going on tonight.” etc.
5 Common Myths About Saving Money Debunked
When it comes to saving money, there are many myths floating around the internet. Here I debunk the most common ones.
Myth #1: “I Can’t Save Much, So I Shouldn’t Bother.”
If you can’t put away a ton of money, you might think that your meager savings amount won’t make much of a difference in your financial situation. Why bother?
The problem with this thinking is that it ignores how saving works: By regularly putting aside small amounts, you’re letting compound interest do its thing over time to grow your savings—and compound interest is powerful!
Myth #2: You Need A Big Emergency Fund
It’s OK to have a small emergency fund. Sure, it would be nice to have a decent cushion, but if you’re just starting out and want to build your emergency savings, it’s OK to start with $500 and add money as your budget allows.
As long as you’re not using credit cards when an unexpected expense comes up, even having $100 in an emergency fund is better than nothing.
Myth #3: “When I Make More Money, I’ll Have More Money.”
This is one of the biggest lies people tell themselves, and it can hurt them financially.
As soon as you get a raise or start earning enough to support yourself completely, the natural inclination for most of us is to upgrade our lifestyles.
Get that nicer apartment or move into the area where your favorite restaurants and shops are all located. Buy a new car because you deserve it. Eat out more often because now you can afford it!
The problem with this approach is that it puts off saving money again and again until some future time when money will be easier to save (spoiler alert: that time never comes).
When your income goes up, try to keep your spending constant or scale back where possible so that you can save the extra income.
Myth #4: You Can’t Save Money When You Live Paycheck To Paycheck.
If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it’s even more critical to start saving money. No matter how dire your financial situation may seem, there are ways to save money, and many of them don’t take that much effort.
Even if you have very little room in your budget each month, you can drastically increase your disposable income by making small changes in your spending habits.
- Take advantage of coupons or sales when shopping for groceries
- Use FREE apps like Trim to lower your bills automatically (e.g., cable, internet, phone, etc.)
- Drive less to save on gas
- Find a flatmate to reduce your rent
The key is taking a critical look at what you spend each month and making small adjustments wherever possible (and trust me, it’s always possible).
Myth #5: Investing Is Really Complicated.
Investing doesn’t have to be complicated. You can familiarize yourself with the language and common types of investments first.
It’s better to make investing a lifelong pursuit, meaning you’ll continue learning as you go along.
The earlier you start investing, the more time your money has to grow. And the sooner you begin saving for retirement, the less money you’ll need to set aside each year.
For example, if you start saving in your early 20s, you can amass an impressive nest egg by age 65 with minimal effort, letting compound interest do most of the heavy lifting.
If you want a super-easy way to get started investing but don’t know how or where to begin, you can try investment apps like Acorns. It lets you easily invest spare change from purchases.
Every time you shop with your linked card, Acorns automatically rounds up the transaction to the nearest dollar and invests in a diversified portfolio.
Ready To Save More And Live Better?
I hope these tips will inspire you to save more money and live the life of your dreams.
Whether you’re living on a crazy-tight budget or just looking to improve your financial situation, saving money can greatly impact your life.
When you spend less and save more, you reduce debt and increase your net worth, which means there’s more money in your pocket when an unexpected expense comes up (and let’s face it: they always do).
But that’s not all—sitting on an emergency fund can take the edge off stressful situations like job loss or unexpected accidents, so you’re left feeling calm and confident even when life throws you curveballs.
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Create Earn Live is a personal finance blog that helps people make better financial decisions by showing them how to save more and earn more money while living a happier life.
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