Easy Ways to Save Money When You’re Just Getting Started
Saving money is one of the constant struggles in everyone’s lives. No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s most likely one of your constant thought processes- how can I save money on this? But when you’ve just graduated college and begun your professional career, here’s a universal truth- you’re broke. Between student loans and basic necessities, it’s quite probable that you’re strapped for cash. These are a few of our most helpful money saving tips. Let’s see what mistakes you might be making with your finances- and how to fix them.
- Pay Your Credit Card Bill On Time.
This one is a no brainer. A lot of young people tend to look at credit cards as a mechanism for a quick and easy loan- or worse, free money! The biggest mistake you can make is falling behind on your payments. That credit card debt adds up unbelievably quickly and ruins your credit in the bargain. If you don’t have the money to pay for it when you buy it, don’t splurge using your Visa. You’ll wind up paying more for it in the long run, and it’s a very slippery slope into debt.
- Look for Discounts
It’s common to purchase the brands you’re familiar with, rather than looking into other options. Stores like CVS and Rite Aid have store brands that are often much cheaper than name brands. Wal-Mart carries cost effective options for almost everything, and stores like Aldi offer highly discounted groceries that will cut your food bill dramatically. If just paying for necessities is stretching you thin, look into where you can cut costs. Those little savings will add up.
- Make Sure You’ve Claimed All of Your Assets
Believe it or not, every year the U.S. accumulates millions of dollars in unclaimed property, usually from inactive bank accounts, uncashed dividends, stocks, and payroll checks. Make sure you don’t put off depositing checks or dealing with your investments. You don’t want to lose out on money!
- Track Your Spending
Quicken.com has a great program for tracking your spending, complete with ways to track your income, debt, spending, and assets. It’s easy to use and a secure platform. Quicken connects directly to your bank account, so all you have to record by hand are cash transactions. You can also keep track of the tax that comes out of your paycheck so that come tax season, you know exactly how much you’ve already paid.
Your spending habits can turn from occasional splurges to major debt if you don’t keep them in check and develop good money habits from the beginning. Making smart money decisions when you’re young sets you up for financial success later in life. It’s a long term goal, but it’s worth it.