No one likes the feeling of looking in his or her checking account at the end of the week and seeing a negative balance. If this scenario describes your life on more than the odd occasion, it's time to take a renewed interest in how you spend — and save — your money. Regardless of how much you earn, your goal should be to see a healthy balance in your checking account after you've done your spending for the week. Here are some simple strategies that you can use to reach this goal.
Withdraw Cash For Basic Expenses
It's beneficial to shop for your groceries and other basic household expenses with cash instead of with your debit card. It's easy to let your spending get out of control when you're shopping with your card, because you don't get the same sense that you're spending your money as you do when you hand over cash at the checkout of a store. You can avoid this problem by getting out a set amount of cash before you shop. This way, you'll know exactly how much you "can" spend and will be more vigilant about shopping for deals and leaving enticing — but expensive — products on the shelves.
Use Cost-Saving Apps
If you have a smartphone, there are a multitude of free apps that can help you spend less money so that your checking account balance will look better at the end of the week. For example, download an app that tracks gas prices in your city. When it's time to fill up, consult the app to find the best deal; even saving a few cents per gallon can make a difference. Likewise, look for apps that offer digital coupons for groceries. When you shop at the supermarket, the cashier can scan your smartphone screen and, in doing so, lower the amount of your bill.
Pack Your Own Food For Lunch
While it's tempting to eat out for lunch and buy a coffee at your favorite coffee shop, doing so will add up quickly. For example, a $2 coffee daily will cost you $10 per week, and wouldn't you rather see an extra $10 in your checking account? Instead of dining out, visit the supermarket to buy the supplies to create lunches for the week. A submarine sandwich in a local shop can cost you $7 or $8, but for a little more money, you can buy a loaf of bread, a package of ham, and even some slices of cheese to make multiple sandwiches.
For more information, contact professionals like Rio Grande Credit Union.