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One of the largest barriers to creating a financial plan or any lifestyle change is not knowing where to start.  One of my favorite analogies is 'How do you eat an elephant? You eat it one bite at a time.'  I say this not because I advocate eating elephants, (because I actually think they're cute!), but because when you start a new journey or decide to tackle a project, you need to break it into bite-sized measurable steps to avoid confusion and feeling overwhelmed.

5 Money Saving Tips You Can Start Today #bsmart

This article gives you 5 easy to implement money saving tips that will put you on the path towards beginning and building upon your savings goals.

1. Track your spending

I used to have no clue how much I spent during the month.  When I first started tracking my spending, I realized I was spending $800/month in dining expenses.  Not only was I spending a ton of money, I was also gaining weight!

Many have the same problem I had.  Maybe their vice isn’t food, but the same money leak still exists.  To track your spending, I recommend using a tool like Mint.com.  Mint is a website and smart phone application that aggregates your financial information in one location for you to easily track your spending.  This app helps you understand where and how you’re spending your money and then develop a plan to align your spending closer to your values.

2. Audit your online banking statements and cancel recurring charges you don’t need

Many of us purchase subscriptions to services we end up never using.  Honestly, I have a gym membership I haven’t used in a very long time.  I pay $25/month, but the reason I keep this subscription is because the rate has gone up to $60/month.  But, when I did my bank statement audit, I cancelled my Hulu, Netflix, and Angie’s List subscriptions because I wasn’t using them enough to justify the cost.

3. Take your lunch to work

The average American spends about $2,000/year on lunch.  If you scale back your lunch purchases to only 3 days/week (assuming an $8/lunch cost), you will save $16/week reducing your weekly lunch expense from $40 to $24. This gives you an extra $800/year you can add to your emergency savings account!

4. Create your own 2 for 1 dinner special

Dinner is another common money leak in a budget.  After a hard day, it’s so easy to pick up take-out on the way home.  For me, the last thing I want to do is cook at the end of a day! However, this can get quite expensive.  The easiest way to avoid this temptation is to cook enough food on Sunday to pre-package multiple meals and stack them in the fridge.  If you're in a situation were you need to buy dinner, consider ordering a large serving and asking the server to box up the other half.  This will cut the meal’s cost in half, because you're now getting 2 meals for the price of one! Who said that you needed a formal 2 for 1 dinner special?

5. ATM fees

Banks love their fees, especially ATM fees.  Larger banks charge $2 for the out-of-network cost and $3 from the other bank as a non-customer cost.  The good news is that you can avoid that $5 fee if you plan ahead.  Know where your bank’s ATMs are located and if possible, try to only use your bank’s ATM.  If you know ahead of time you will need cash, make the trip to the ATM to pull out plenty of cash for the week!

Which strategies resonate the most with you? Which strategies do you use already?

Aisha Taylor is a #1 Amazon Best Selling Author of the book '5+5 FNPhenomenal Ways to Save $100 This Week Without Killing Your Lifestyle,' and the Founder of FNPhenomenal (Frugal –n- Phenomenal). FNPhenomenal helps women break the vicious cycle of making money, but not keeping it. FNPhenomenal provides education about money management, empowers women to take control of their lives, develop a healthier relationship with money, and pursue being phenomenal.

Visit Aisha online at www.FNPhenomenal.com
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Download your copy of our free audio series - 5 Simple Steps to Save Money and Get Phenomenal, and a subscription to our newsletter at FNPhenomenal.com

 

 

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