We could all use a little extra money in 2023. Inflation has driven prices on items we use everyday to all time highs in recent months, and everyone is feeling the sting. Because of this, more people are looking for ways to save money without giving up the lifestyle they have become accustomed to during good economic times.
There are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to saving money, and it is important to utilize all the resources you can in order to maximize your results. So, here are some tips that can help any family put extra money back into their budget this year.
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The most important part of using your resources wisely is to budget them. Whether you are planning out how to use your paycheck, or determining how much gas you need to accomplish all your travel.
Tips To Help You Save Hundreds Of Dollars This Year
This is one area many people don’t focus on well enough to get the most out of their resources. So, let’s look at some tips for making a good budget that will help maximize your money this year.
The first step is to figure out how much your bills will average each month and also how much income you make during that period. You need to know what your rent/mortgage payment is, as well as all other monthly bills involving your home.
Chase has an excellent article concerning rent versus income that breaks down how to determine whether you are spending too much on your housing. The 30% rule is a fairly consistent yardstick used to measure housing costs versus income.
The rule is very simple. Never spend more than 30% of your gross income (income before taxes are taken out) on rent. A study conducted in 1981 found that families that break this rule are generally over budget and cost burdened by their housing expenses.
If you find that you are exceeding 30% of your monthly income in housing expenses, then you may want to consider moving to a less expensive home or finding a way to earn extra income to make up the shortfall. There are many ways to earn money from home in your spare time that can add cash to your budget.
While you are looking at your overall budget, make sure to look at food expenditures. Eating at restaurants and ordering from a food delivery service can be convenient, but it can also be one of your biggest expenditures each month.
By planning your meals on a weekly or monthly basis, and purposely buying whole ingredients to make your food at home, you can add more money back into your budget. According to Money Under 30 eating out costs an average of $9 per meal more for each person in your family. So, a family of 4 who eats out 3 nights per week will spend $108 more than a family that eats at home.
Aside from simply eating at home, shopping wisely at the grocery store can also help you add money back into your budget. Avoiding name brand items can save you hundreds of dollars per year. Items like milk, toilet paper, eggs and other things we need for daily life often cost up to 25% less in their generic form.
Ramsey Solutions writes that in spite of being a store brand, many of the items we buy on a regular basis come from the same factory and have the same ingredients as the name brand we are familiar with. Granted, there are some things that we will not be willing to sacrifice on. For instance, Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing has never been truly recreated by any other company.
Using coupons is also very effective. Most coupons are for name brand items and if you use the right ones you can often purchase name brands below the generic price. Couponing is not nearly as difficult as it was when our moms had to snip paper coupons out of the weekly shopper circular. Most stores now have an app that delivers them right to your phone.
By utilizing apps and online coupons shoppers have the potential to save big bucks in the supermarket. The amount of time it takes to search for and use these coupons is just a few minutes. I think we can all agree that a few minutes spent each week to put hundreds of dollars in our pockets throughout the year is well worth the effort.
Budgeting and shopping wisely are two very effective methods of making space in your budget. However it is not the only way to reduce your expenses in 2023.
Car insurance is an expense that we all pay, but hope we never have to cash in on. While none of us want to use the product we pay for, most of us have no idea we are paying too much.
Many of us have kept our car insurance through the same company for years. We are led to believe that being loyal to the company earns us savings over time. The fact is that this is not always true. In fact, sometimes the exact opposite thing occurs, and we end up paying more than we should.
According to Money Geek more than 2/3 of Americans never shop for cheaper car insurance. This means we simply renew our policies, and if the price ticks up a little bit we chalk that up to inflation.
This is a bad practice for those interested in saving money. For instance, just this past month I needed to purchase insurance for a used car I had purchased. It is an older vehicle which I intend to only keep liability insurance on.
When I contacted the insurance company I have used for several years to insure other vehicles, including my motorcycle, I was appalled at the rate they quoted me. So, I called 3 other insurance companies and was offered better rates by all 3 on the same coverage.
I then called my company back, and I told them “either you beat this offer, or I will be moving all of my policies to your competitor.” They not only beat the offer from the other company by $10 per month (which was a total of $55 per month lower than the original quote), they also cut my motorcycle policy by half its annual premium.
I was able to keep the same insurance company and the same coverage at a savings that totaled more than $700 per year. This is also a good tip for renters and homeowners insurance policy holders. Don’t assume your insurance company has your best interest at heart. Shop the rate and push for a better offer.
These are just two tips on how to save money in 2023. There are many more we could cover, as well as hundreds of ways to increase your earnings. Don’t think you have to lead a financially pressured life with no hope of being comfortable.
By implementing wise money spending strategies, cutting costs where it helps you, and using your buying power as leverage, you can maximize your money’s value.