Within every household economy, spending has a tendency to place demands on income. The more money you make, the faster it seems to go out the door covering financial commitments and discretionary purchases. Aside from earning more money, the only way to increase your spending power is through creative cost savings measures and prudent financial decision making. Fortunately, many have walked the same path before you, recognizing effective solutions to common financial quandaries. As you reconcile household spending with personal income, use every tool at your disposal to save money and make the most of your financial resources.
Regardless of your current financial condition, there is always room for positive change. Those struggling with past difficulties have time on their side and fresh-start opportunities to restore solid credit. Whether you are climbing back to fiscal health or simply setting the groundwork for sustainable personal finances, these simple money saving measures empower you to make the most of your assets.
Take Control for Improved Financial Outcomes
Each case is unique, so the best cost-cutting strategies for your household may not match-up with others’ efforts to trim spending. These particulars aside, the keys to consistent financial success are discipline and thinking outside the box. In addition to the following recommendations, evaluate your circumstances for other ways to stretch cash flow.
Save with Better Banking – Even if you don’t have substantial cash reserves, banks find ways to make money using your deposits. Each bank, lender and credit union sets its own terms, so it pays to comparison shop, for the best rates and conditions. If you need to borrow, for instance, compare loans from multiple providers online. Day to day banking also carries hidden costs, so compare your checking account charges to other available accounts. You may find a bank offering an interest-bearing account, which adds positive cash flow. And be sure your accounts match your usage needs, or you could face fees and penalties. Exceeding a limited number of checks written per month, for example, may illicit charges for some account holders. Your savings should also be allocated properly, to bring home the best interest rates. Rather than dismal returns offered by traditional savings accounts, you may able to do better with your money, investing instead in CDs.
Without being unnecessarily enticed to switch banks, always be aware of promotions offered by competitors. Sign-on bonuses and other aggressive perks may be worth pursuing, provided conditions are disclosed and agreeable, up-front.
You can also use an automated app like Trim to help negotiate lower interest rates (APRs) with your bank and get interest charges waived.
Become a Seller – Without applying ourselves as collectors, we nonetheless accumulate excessive possessions over time, which may no longer have the value we once saw. Hobbies come and go, for instance, so equipment and supplies become obsolete as interest fades. Likewise, sporting and recreational equipment serve kids of a certain age, until they move on and the gear goes unused. Musical instruments from the school band, outgrown bicycles, past-generation electronics – the list goes on and on. To rein in your growing store of material possessions and add money to your bank account, consider selling items you no longer need. For some, the experience grows to an ongoing second-income reselling items as a side business. But even for the less ambitious, online marketplaces and local selling sites are valuable resources for streamlining and earning money selling items on hand.
Fix Things – Do we live in a disposable society? There is a strong argument we’ve moved in that direction, but some things are still worth fixing. When money is no object, replacements are the fastest solution to broken and malfunctioning consumer goods. To stretch income, however, making repairs extends the life of household appliances, fixtures, tools, and installations, without investing in replacements. It doesn’t always pay to rebuild or reconstruct items around the house, but it makes sense to evaluate. In some cases, an inexpensive replacement part and basic mechanical aptitude are enough to put things back into service, without buying new.
These money saving measures are a good start for families committed to better financial outcomes. For the best results, add your own cost-cutting solutions and frugal philosophies. With discipline and creative thinking, you’ll make the most of your financial resources and raise your standard of living – even without getting a raise.
Even the best household money managers face challenges providing for children. As your family grows, use other parents’ experiences to sidestep expensive child-rearing mistakes. With the help of networking and discipline, you’ll have no problem keeping your kids housed, fed, clothed, and entertained.
This post was originally published on May 9, 2016 and updated on June 18, 2021.