Shopping is so much more fun than saving. Unfortunately, this reality presents a financial dilemma. You can’t spend every day without putting something aside in case of an emergency or to prepare for the future. Saving needs to become a priority.
The good news is that you can grow your savings account as you shop. While this might sound too good to be true, it’s not as far-fetched as it seems. Follow this guide to savvier buying, and your savings account will grow even as you spend.
Round Up Your Purchases
Automated savings are a spender’s best friend. This ensures that you’re always putting money into savings even if your mindset is focused on spending first. Rounding up your purchases is one of the easiest ways to get started.
All you need is a debit card with a round-up saving feature. When swiped, the card will round up each transaction to the nearest dollar. That money is diverted into a savings account where it slowly accumulates. You will be saving without a second thought and soon have a tidy sum.
If you want to beef up your savings a little more, add a monthly amount to automatically contribute to your savings account. This won’t be tied to your spending directly, but in conjunction with your round-up purchases, it will make a considerable difference.
Spend for Rewards
With the right rewards program, your regular spending will rack up a significant amount of savings. For example, some credit card companies provide cash-back rewards on most purchases. Use a card for your regular spending, and you’ll increase your savings through the expenses you incur every day. Just be sure to pay off your card balance on time and don’t let debt grab a hold of you.
Some businesses offer spending rewards programs that are valuable for regular customers. If your local grocery store has a rewards program, consider signing up if you haven’t already. Because you already shop there regularly, you may as well tack on some bonus rewards along the way.
To capitalize on this spending, track your expenses faithfully. When you’re able to use rewards points or credits to lower your bill, divert the leftover cash into savings. If you’re not recording your spending accurately, that extra opportunity for saving can be easily overlooked.
Buy in Bulk
There are several products that you use every day and will constantly need to replace. This includes toiletries, paper products, and grocery staples. You know you’ll be using these items up, so buy them in bulk. The cost per unit is generally lower when you make a bulk purchase as opposed to buying smaller sizes or amounts repeatedly over time. You can squirrel away the difference in your savings account.
When choosing items to buy in bulk, think about shelf life and durability. Many food products will spoil after too long, which makes buying them in bulk a waste of money. So unless you have a freezer, don’t buy six loaves of your favorite bread just because it’s on sale. However, paper products, canned goods, and hygiene products can typically be stored for longer periods of time.
Businesses that are looking to get into bulk savings can join a group purchasing organization. A GPO takes the purchasing power of several organizations to earn bulk discounts on products. A single business normally won’t buy enough to qualify for a discount, but it can do so with the help of other organizations.
Split Your Costs
Sharing is caring, and your wallet will agree. There are several purchases you can make where two is better than one, cutting your personal costs in favor of extra savings. Working with a friend or family member to make purchases lightens the financial burden for both parties.
This goes much further than the 2 for $20 menu at Applebee’s. You can split costs on items such as lawn equipment with a neighbor. Sharing a lawnmower drastically reduces the price of an expensive piece of equipment while still retaining — almost — its full use. Find someone you trust, and you’ll be able to split the cost of everything from weed whackers to bicycles.
One of the most popular things to share is streaming service passwords. Monthly subscriptions to various services are easily shared with close friends and family members. Have everyone pitch in, and you’ll get all the entertainment you want at a fraction of the price.
Make Spending Adjustments
Take a look at your monthly budget and some of the recurring purchases you make. Do you go out to eat once a week or have a number of online services you pay for each month? There’s nothing wrong with these luxuries being included in your budget, but they present a saving opportunity for you.
By adjusting your spending, you can lower your monthly expenses. That found money can be added to the savings column instead of being frittered away. For example, opting to eat out every other week instead of weekly can increase your monthly savings by a modest yet impactful amount.
Constantly looking for deals when spending will leave the wiggle room you need in your budget to save comfortably. So go for the Early Bird Special and seek out two-for-one offers. The money you’re not spending on your entrées or theater tickets can be repurposed into savings.
Monitor Your Online Shopping
E-commerce is a massive industry, and online shopping can be dangerously fun. There’s no need to deactivate your Amazon account just yet, but you do need to shop smart to keep your costs in check.
Start by downloading a browser extension that automatically applies coupon codes to your online shopping cart. You’ll get some surprise savings that you can funnel into your savings account. You’ll feel a lot less guilty about your online shopping sprees when you’re able to slash those prices.
Check out rebate sites with some frequency to check out deals there as well. Some websites offer temporary deals with cash-back bonuses and sales that you can take advantage of.
Ready to save while you spend? There’s no better way to live (somewhat) high on the hog. Be smart with your spending, and you’ll be amazed how much you can save while shopping to your heart’s content.