There are various paths toward the often maddening goal of saving money. Some experts advocate the slow-and-steady approach, while others emphasize that growing a savings fund needs to be done with a rapid-fire momentum.
Since there's no one-size-fits-all way to save, GOBankingRates uncovered a few of the most savvy savings tips from the financial space. Here's how well-known personal finance bloggers, experts and financial professionals are saving money today.
1. J. Money, Founder of Budgets Are Sexy
Keep Cash on Hand
"I have wads of cash both in my safe, and my currency album (naturally), but also outside in my car's console. It just makes me feel safe! And when I start saving up cold hard cash like that, it gets even harder for me to unload it later," J. Money wrote on his personal finance blog Budgets Are Sexy.
2. Donna Freedman, Writer for Get Rich Slowly and Money Talks News
Shopping Deals Are Only Deals If You Need the Product
"Coupons plus sales can easily tempt you to buy something you don't truly need," Freedman wrote in an article for MSN Money. The personal finance blogger once found a sale on Crest toothpaste for 99 cents with a coupon and store rebate, and almost went for the bait.
"Logic kicked in: We already have five tubes stashed, and toothpaste regularly goes on sale for 99 cents," Freedman said. "It was a good deal only if I needed dentifrice that day. I didn't."
Lesson learned: Saving money with coupons can be an effective way to cut back on grocery costs — but not if you buy something you ordinarily wouldn't have.
3. Robert Farrington, Founder of The College Investor
Lowering Your Credit Card Interest Rate Is Easier Than You Think
"If you are carrying a balance on your credit card, just call and see if [the credit card company] will lower your interest rate," Farrington wrote on the financial blog College Investor. "Nine times out of 10, they will offer you a discounted rate for a period of time. A quick and easy savings."
4. Farnoosh Torabi, Author of "When She Makes More"
You Can Save Money Even If You Missed a Sale
"Many stores will offer price adjustments on purchases if an item you bought goes on sale within 7 to 14 days," Torabi told AllYou.com. "For example, on Black Friday, I walked into J. Crew and noticed they were having a storewide 25 percent off sale. A couple weeks prior to this, I'd purchased a suit for my husband there and because I still had the receipt in my wallet, I was able earn 25 percent back on my credit card."
5. Donna Handwerger, Vice President of Marketing Operations at Mission Federal Credit Union
Direct Deposit Can Be Your Best Friend
Donna Handwerger of Mission Federal Credit Union advises depositors to start with the basics in order to gain a financial edge.
"Set up direct deposit so part of your paycheck goes into a savings account," Handwerger said. "It's an easy way to save and you won't miss it if you don't have to manually transfer it!"
6. Miranda Marquit, Founder of Planting Money Seeds
Just Because You Can Afford Something Doesn't Mean You Should Buy It
"One of the things I heard a lot when my husband and I were shopping around for a new house a few years ago was this: You can borrow this much!" Marquit wrote on the personal finance blog Free From Broke. "This much invariably turned out to be more than we were strictly comfortable spending. ... Just because someone tells you that you can do something doesn't mean that it's the best option for you or your finances."
7. Elle Martinez, Founder of Couple Money
Always Get Cash Back
When you're hard-pressed for cash, but don't have an in-network ATM anywhere nearby, Martinez recommends requesting cash back on a purchase.
"If you're already making a purchase for groceries, for example, ask for some cash back," Martinez wrote on the blog Couple Money. "You won't incur a fee and you'll get the cash you need."
8. Jeff Yeager, Author and Host of "The Cheap Life"
Be Careful When Buying Perishable Goods in Bulk
"If you do decide to join a membership warehouse store, be mindful of bulk perishable goods — whether its 10 pounds of broccoli or hundreds of batteries — it's not a good deal if it goes bad before you use it," Yeager advised on his YouTube series "The Cheap Life."
9. J.D. Roth, Founder of Get Rich Slowly
Don't Succumb to Clever Advertising
"One of the best ways to win the mental battle to save is to reduce your exposure to advertising," Roth told O'Reilly Answers. "We're marketed to and advertised to all of the time. And these corporate giants have spent millions of dollars learning the best ways to subtly influence our actions. Even if we don't think advertising affects us, it does. Fight this by ignoring ads, or by learning to question their premises."
10. Brian Blake, Vice President of Spring Bank
Choose a Local Bank or Credit Union
Brian Blake, vice president of Spring Bank, explained the value that local banks can offer.
"Bank local — aren't you more likely to save if you're happy with your bank?" Blake said. "We have so much choice in banking in America, but we seldom take advantage of it. Community banks and credit unions offer competitive rates, hire local people and care about being good neighbors. You'll feel better knowing that your deposits are turned into loans and services that can help your neighborhood. That's a great incentive to save."
11. Andrew Schrage, Cofounder of MoneyCrashers
Steer Clear of Unnecessary Purchases
"Before you spend money on anything, ask yourself if you truly need the item. If you look at things objectively, you'll find that, in many cases, the answer is no," Schrage said.
12. Luke Landes, Founder of Consumerism Commentary
Improve Your Personal Finances One Step at a Time
"Every individual is surrounded by a unique situation, and that should be reflected in personal finance advice," Landes wrote on the personal finance blog Consumerism Commentary. "If nothing else, saving 10 percent of your income is a good start if you're not saving anything, and saving 20 percent of your income is a good next step if you're saving 10 percent."
13. Len Penzo, Founder of Len Penzo dot Com
Eating Out Less Can Have a Huge Impact on Your Budget
"Eating breakfast at home, brown-bagging your lunches whenever possible, and reducing restaurant trips can free up lots of spare income," Penzo wrote on MSN Money. "Last year we saved more than $3,500 by simply choosing to eat dinner at a restaurant every other week instead of twice per week. And if you want to stretch your food budget even more, don't toss those leftovers. We save an additional $1,400 annually by eating leftovers at least once a week."
14. Tom Drake, Founder of Canadian Finance Blog
Find a Credit Card Without an Annual Fee
"Don't pay an annual credit card fee," Drake wrote on Canadian Finance Blog. "There are many cards that don't have fees and still include the extras like warranty extension and travel insurance. You can get great perks that can save you money overall, and you don't even need to pay an annual fee."
15. Peter Anderson, Founder of Bible Money Matters
Be on the Lookout for Mysterious Charges
"Make sure to keep track of your monthly bills and know what you're paying for," Anderson wrote on on his site, Bible Money Matters. "Often unknown charges can sneak into your statement if you're not paying attention. I recently discovered an erroneous increase of $5 per month on my satellite TV bill. After complaining to their support repeatedly, they reversed the charges."
16. Philip Taylor, Founder of PT Money
Transfer Savings to Another Account
"Set up a separate bank account with a bank other than your main bank," Taylor said. "Deposit extra money in the account whenever possible. This will create a nice barrier between you and your savings. Of all the ways to save money, this is probably my favorite."
17. David Ning, Founder of MoneyNing
Resist Using Your ATM Card
"ATM cards are ridiculously convenient," Ning wrote on WiseBread. "However, this also makes it tempting for you to spend that money wherever and whenever. There are many banks that allow you to operate on a no-card basis, so you can only deposit or withdraw money directly from a teller or, in the case of a high-yield online savings account, only via an online transfer. With these accounts you must physically go in to a bank to withdraw money, or wait a few days for the transfer to go through. This makes it more difficult to withdraw the funds, so it may prevent you from making impulse purchases."
These are just a few golden nuggets of advice offered by experts on personal finance. Using these, and other financial literacy resources, you can craft a comprehensive approach toward saving money every day.
This article originally appeared on GoBankingRates.com.
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