6 Ways to Free Up Money and Start Saving

We are at the frontline of Financial Literacy Month (#FLM2013) and the internet is humming with stories of people who whole-heartedly believe in a smarter and financially healthy America. For this week’s lesson I want to cover a topic that can provide value to many people looking to make and save more money.

Does your month’s budget dwindle before the month is over?  This may sound like common sense, but this is the number one reason why most people don’t get around to saving money. They simply don’t have enough. Here are six simple tips to re-examine your expenses and start saving more money:

  1. Have a plan: Ask yourself this question: “Do you just spend as expenses come up or do you plan it beforehand?  Everyone is guilty of this at some point but once we take the time to plan ahead, we then have more control of our budget and savings.
  2. Start a budget: I know, you hear this a thousand times over and over again, but truth of the matter is that many people go years without having a budget. With today’s technology, their are mobile apps that do that work for you (most banks have apps that you can use to maintain and track your spending). Download it! Whether you want to use the latest app, a standard spreadsheet or perhaps you like pen-to-paper, once you start tracking your expenditures, you’ll see what you can cut back on to help save more money.
  3. Put yourself or family first: We have a tendency to pay bills and other things before even putting an amount away for ourselves. This amount may start small but gradually increase.
  4. Be the captain of your financial ship: Sometimes you will have to adjust to what’s coming and, like a captain, you must make the decisions and sacrifices necessary to reaching your financial goals. This one can make you uneasy but it’s only for a period of time until you are stable and have a good grasp on your finances.
  5. Find a way to generate more money: In today’s economy  it is no longer uncommon to have a secondary source of income and with today’s technology it has never been easier. Find something you are good at or always wanted to try and see if you can’t generate extra income. Whether it’s learning a new trade, getting a professional license or certification, or creating jewelry, everyone has a side passion that they can capitalize on.
  6. Get more for your money: Look at your savings, insurance policies and individual retirement accounts — are you earning competitive interest? Sometimes by looking at your options there may be an area where you can free up money or earn more. But, be sure to seek professional advice.

Follow me on twitter and stay tuned for more lessons on the importance of Financial Literacy Month and how you can implement tips like these to your daily money matters.

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