The safety net of a healthy emergency fund makes day to day life less stressful. If there is money in your emergency fund you are not stuck putting car repairs or healthcare deductibles on a credit card and potentially paying interest. Investing early in your retirement account is the key to having enough money to retire comfortably. If you invest even a little each month from your twenties you gain the benefits of compounded interest and your money grows much faster than if you wait until later to begin investing.
Coming up with the money to put in your emergency savings and retirement accounts can be a challenge. If it seems like there is no money left after paying your expenses, consider reviewing your spending carefully. Odds are, there are several things you can do to cut expenses without making drastic lifestyle changes.
Meal Prep to Lower Your Grocery Bill and Eating Out Expenses
Visits to the grocery store are one of the easiest ways to save money, and all it takes is a little planning and time. Sit down before your grocery trip and plan your meals for the week. Be objective about how much time you have. If you have a late day at the office or after-work activities planned one day, plan on soup and a sandwich, breakfast for dinner, leftovers from a previous meal, or another quick option. When meal planning, don’t neglect lunch. Even a few dollars a day can mean $100 or more at the end of the month that could be deposited in your emergency or retirement fund.
Refinance Your Student Loans
Refinancing your student loans from this site here at a lower interest rate is another way to free up money each month. An advantage of refinancing your student loans is that you can consolidate all of your loans into one loan. Once you refinance, take the money you save on your monthly payment and deposit directly to savings.
Pay Off Your Credit Card Monthly
There are many reasons why paying off your credit cards each month makes sense, and not spending money on finance charges is a major one. Even carrying as little as $1500 in credit card debt can cost you over $20 a month in finance charges. If you have credit card debt, the first step to paying off that debt is to quit using the card. From there, pay extra each month until you have the card paid off. If you want to use it for cashback or other benefits after you have it paid off, that is fine, but never spend more than you can pay in full each month.
Record All Expenses
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It is easy to think you are doing everything right and still not ever seem to have any money left at the end of a pay period. Take the time each day to record your expenses. You can do this in a small notebook or an online app. The method doesn’t matter, just so you record every dollar you spend. When you do this, you are sure to find some areas where you can cut back.