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There are times in our lives that saving money is a goal that individuals strive to achieve. Whether it is for cost-cutting purposes or you are trying to save for a big purchase, saving money requires a plan and follow through.

Considering that a lot of individuals have different lifestyles and circumstances, our list will try to focus on more universal suggestions that anyone can apply. Here are 5 ways to save money:

Make a List of Expenses and Cut off the Fat

Our first tip is to go through your monthly expenses to get a good snapshot of how much money you spend and where it goes. There are certain necessities that you won’t be able to cut off such as housing (rent, mortgage) but you might be surprised on extra expenditures like going out to eat or retail purchases that fall more into the category of “wants” vs “needs”. Short-term sacrifices will pay off in achieving your money-saving goal, so make the necessary cuts to your monthly “wants”.

Find the Best Deals

There are many apps and websites that give tips and hints on where to find coupons and deals. Moreover, there are specific grocery and big-box stores that will price match competitor pricing. The website, Clip and Save, wrote a similar article, 5 Simple Ways to Save Money, where they brought up a point about stockpiling on items that are on sale. This tactic is a good way to cut expenses long-term.

Leverage Competitive Switching

What do we mean by this? There are certain monthly expenses that are necessities like your cell phone, internet or insurance as examples. A lot of these services have a wide range of service providers that want your business. Doing some due diligence research may uncover either lower rates or even sign up incentives that can help with your money-saving goals.

Change Habits

By simply analyzing your day-to-day routines may uncover different money-saving ideas. For example, brewing your own coffee at home vs buying at a cafe can save quite a bit over a month. Reducing laundry loads or being mindful of light usage can save on utility bills. Are you a smoker? Quit!! Or at the very least, reduce the number of times you have a cigarette which in turn will reduce the number of times you buy cigarettes.

Open a Savings Account

It is crucial to set aside all of this money you are saving and to not mix it up with your regular pool of money. Not only will this give you a clear visual on where you are to achieving your money-saving goal, but it will also give you an opportunity to earn interest and grow your savings!