5 easy ways you can start saving money right now

Why wait for a rainy day? There are many easy ways you can start saving money right now. Here are five that will keep more of your moolah where it belongs: in your pocket.

5 easy ways you can start saving money right now

Saving money can be difficult, especially if you have trouble sticking to a budget. There are many reasons why people struggle to put money away, including low income, loss of job hours and an expensive lifestyle. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do right away to keep more money in your pocket and your savings account.

1. Make a weekly meal plan

Planning your weekly meals can take a huge strain off your budget, and learning to cook can double that positive impact. Breakfasts and lunches can be fairly simple to plan: peanut butter and banana sandwiches; vegetable soup and tuna sandwiches; cereal and milk; scrambled eggs and toast. Dinner may need a little more forethought, but it's worth the effort. Find a comfortable budget to accompany your meal plan, and stick to it.

2. Game night vs. pub night

Going out with friends is one of the most common causes of overspending. Not only do you need to spend money to get to the club, bar or restaurant, but you have to spend on drinks, food, entertainment and getting back home again. Instead of paying top prices to socialize, why not organize your own game night? Everyone can come to your house, bring their own snacks and drinks, and have fun without overspending.

3. Potluck for the holidays

Hosting Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner, or any holiday meal, is a source of real pride for many people. Of course, the cost of a turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, bread, dessert ingredients and everything else for several people can really add up. Instead of taking all the stress on yourself, why not have a potluck? Each guest is responsible for preparing a certain dish, meaning that the host saves money and time, and it's lots of fun for everyone.

4. Switch bank accounts

Not every bank has your best interests at heart. Do some research into your various banking options to find the best deal for you. It's likely that by switching banks, or simply by switching the type of account you hold, you can save yourself transaction and monthly fees.

5. Make repairs instead of purchases

Everything breaks or wears down over time, but that doesn't mean you need to throw them out. Next time a seam opens on one of your shirts, stitch it back up instead of throwing it into the back of the closet for the next several years. Have a broken fan, a DVD player that won't play or a rice cooker that can't heat up? These things can all be repaired easily and inexpensively.

Once you start following your own budget, it gets easier and easier to keep making good financial decisions.

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