Saving Money in Hard Times

We’re all going through this tough economy together, and we’re finding it hard to save money now more than ever.  If you’re struggling and almost living paycheck to paycheck there are some ideas that can really help you out and get you back on the road to saving again.  It may seem tough, but really saving money in a bad economy can be just as easy as saving in a good economy.  How is that possible? Continue reading below to find out.

Pay less - When times are tough the costs of almost everything will be dropping.  Look back a year ago, gas prices were higher than we’ve ever seen them.  Now, they’re under$2.00!  Companies will lower there prices and have to take a loss in some of there profit.  When the prices of the things we want and need are dropping this is going to save us money, so take advantage of them!

Save more - Since we’re spending less money on the things we want and need, we are able to save more.  When we used to spend $50 a week on gas and now we only pay $25, that should be an extra $25 saved.  Don’t allow yourself to break even when times are tough and allow yourself to spend more, but to SAVE more and save that $25.

Limit yourself - You should always limit yourself to a certain amount of money that can be spent.  Lets say you make $2,000 a month.  Set a limit for yourself.  Figure out how much the bare minimum you can pay for bills is and then figure out how much you want to spend on leisure.  Stick to this budget every month.  When you have a budget and you only spend a certain amount, you can take that left over money and put it into your savings.

Coupons - Coupons are out there and yet hardly anyone is using them.  There could be a coupon that says, save $2 on that loaf of bread you’re going to buy but people are just too lazy to do the work.  Look for coupons for everything you buy.  I’ve been able to go from a $100 grocery bill to a $60 grocery bill all because of coupons and sale prices are the grocery store! 

Eliminate the unnecessary - Next, you’re going to want to eliminate the unnecessary.  This means, do you really need that phone that costs you $100 each month and $1,200 a year? Or how about that coffee that you get each morning before work at Starbucks that costs you $3.00?  Eliminate the unnecessary bills.  This can be from a simple coffee each morning to the extra HD channels on your cable bill.  Stick with what you can afford, and what you NEED instead of always what you WANT.

As you can see, there are several different ways that you can save money in hard times.  Saving money in hard times is just as easy as saving money in a good economy.  If you have self discipline and really consider these tips each month you can easily save your goal amount!

Saving Money With Coupons

If you didn’t know already, coupons can be very beneficial if you’re looking to save a couple bucks here and there.  Before you know it, saving those couple bucks here and there have saved you hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars.  Coupons are highly underestimated and aren’t used by as many people as they should be.  You can use coupons on almost anything and there is a coupon on almost everything!

Groceries - We all go grocery shopping every so often, and most likely we spend way too much on groceries.  Groceries add up very quickly if you don’t shop with coupons.  There are hundreds of different coupons you can use for buying those items you need every week.  Take a good look at what you buy and check to see if they are listed in the Sunday newspaper coupon book.

Bookstores - Are you a fan of reading?  Do you enjoy going to bookstores to buy books?  If so, you should really check out there coupons that they offer.  If you subscribe to their mailing list (e-mail) they can send you several different e-mails for deals on your purchases.  Many places like Borders or Barnes and Noble allow you to save up to 50% on books sometimes!  This is definitely something to check out if you buy books on a regular basis.

Travel - When the time comes for your next vacation, make sure you check out coupons.  The majority of us don’t go on vacations simply because we think they’re too expensive.  Yes, they aren’t cheap, but they can be a whole lot cheaper if you use coupons.  The next time you want to book your trip, type in “Coupon codes” in your search engine, and you’ll find several different coupons you may use towards your next vacation.

Retail - You should really subscribe to the Sunday paper, if you haven’t already.  When you do, you will receive all the ads and coupons for the week.  Also, when you subscribe, you will notice that there are several coupons for each ad.  This is a great way to see who is having sales, and a great way for collecting coupons!

Entertainment Book - Another great way of getting coupons is through Entertainment books!  Entertainment books have everything in your area for a fraction of the price!  They have everything from car rentals, hotels, restaurant coupons, and coupons to top attractions, etc!  Entertainment books are another thing that is highly underestimated.

If you’re looking to save even more money with your budget, using coupons is the way to do it!  Coupons can be used on anything, and are really a great way for saving money.  Most of the time coupons are double which adds even more to the savings!

Planning for Retirement

Although retirement may seem like it is far away, time flies by fast, and it is important to start planning for such a huge part in our life.  We work our jobs now so that one day we can enjoy no longer working for the man, and so that we can enjoy doing what we please from there on out.  Planning for retirement is very important, and saving money is key.  If you’re looking for ways on how you can start saving for your retirement, continue reading below for ideas.

Limit spending - As always, it is important to make smart purchases throughout your whole life.  This goes for reasonable priced vehicles, houses and other things that you’ll need in life.  It is also a good thing to find cheap ways to have fun instead of going out and spending too much.  Fun days at the park are much smarter when it comes to cost than going to the movies every week.  Find hobbies that are less expensive, yet still fun!

Open a CD - Instead of opening up a savings account at your bank, open up a CD.  Most saving accounts give you hardly any interest which makes it impossible to make money off your money.

Stocks & mutual funds - If you’re looking to make money over the years and NOT over night, test out stocks and mutual funds.  This is a great way to make money as long as you don’t put too much of your earnings into it and hold on to the majority of your money.  Find a company that is doing well and, one that you think has a lot of potential for the future.

401k - Check  if 401ks are available where you work.  This is a great way to save money for the future, and is also a very EASY way to save!

Down economy - If you can, and if you have some extra money saved up, take advantage of this down economy.  For example, if you’re great at fixing up houses, buy a foreclosed home, fix it up and make a huge profit on it in the future.

Planning for retirement is extremely important and should never be underestimated.  You want to enjoy life, never worry about money again and really focus on saving money so that you can make all your dreams happen!  Start as soon as possible, and look for simple ways to start planning.  For some guidance along the way, consider the ideas above!

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Disclaimer:This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

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