Trim Your Budget Online

If you want to save money for a new home or car it might seem impossible to start, let alone reach your goal. With that in mind, here are some quick tips to get that deposit goal started without sacrificing all of the things you love to do:

Check your utility bills online. See whether a payment plan would be beneficial to your savings goals, because you can pay the same amount every month instead of scrambling when a high heating or cooling bill arrives. While you’re there, see if your company offers an energy analysis service. Many utility companies will evaluate your home for free and show you where to concentrate your efforts to save the most energy.

Make a grocery list before you shop. See if your local store has an online list option in their ad, and save your list to your phone before you head out. Don’t shop hungry if you can help it, and avoid impulse buying and prepared food items. Try to only buy things when there’s a sale, and buy enough to last two or three weeks to match the store’s sale cycle.

Speaking of food, cut back or eliminate eating out. Restaurants, takeout, and pizza delivery can take a big chunk of your disposable income; just check your debit card for the past month and tally up what you’ve spent! Instead, cook twice as much when you make a meal and freeze the second portion. When you’re too tired to cook or rushed for time, pop the frozen meal in the oven for a fast meal fix.

Get thrifty on entertainment. Cut back on nights out, and look for discounts before you go to a movie or concert. An online site such as Groupon is a good strategy here, as you can order tickets online and get up to 50 percent off events.

By examining where your money is going you’ll easily be able to see how to make it stay. Once you have an understanding of how you spend make a habit of paying yourself first: automatically transfer a set amount of money to your savings account each pay period, and make the account untouchable. By paying yourself first you’ll reach your savings goal much faster than you ever dreamed possible!

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