Budget about to explode? Here are 3 easy steps to save money fast

How ruthless you have to be depends on how much money you need – and how fast you need them

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Making big changes to save money quickly can be uncomfortable, even a little painful.

Nevertheless, the process can help you learn more about how you spend, what you really value, and what kind of slow, incremental changes you can make in the future to build good habits.

It all starts with learning exactly where your money is going. As you begin to track how you spend, stop and examine whether the things you need and value match where you spend the most.

If you spend more than you expected on things that do not add value to your life, cut them out. And if you have already reduced everything you can or want to cut, shift your focus to increasing your income and adding the money directly to your savings goals.

Track your expenses

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The first step to saving money this month is to look at how you spent it in previous months.

Many banks and credit card companies, including CIBC and Scotiabank, offer tracking tools that show you a breakdown of your expenses.

If you have bank accounts and credit cards from several companies, a service that collects everything is a better option. Popular free services include Mint and Goodbudget.

There are payment options that you need a budget that has more features – but if you are trying to save money fast, consider sticking to the free ones for now.

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If most of your income and expenses are paid in cash, you may need to do things the old-fashioned way: with a notebook or spreadsheet. Try to sit down and print out what your actual bills are, and then print out what you want your budget to be on discretionary expenses such as entertainment.

Some people who use cash – or need help with discipline – prefer to use the envelope method. You take an envelope for each expense category in your budget and top it up with cash equal to the amount you want to spend. If you plan to spend $ 40 on clothes this month, a pair of $ 20 bills will go into the “clothes” envelope. When the money runs out, that’s all.

Reduce your expenses

Now that you have a clear picture of your expenses, you may already see opportunities to reduce them. How ruthless you are depends on how much money you need to save and how fast you need them.

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Discretionary expenses

Discretionary expenses are often the easiest to cut but do not make yourself unhappy if you do not have to. The primary goal is to save money fast, but the secondary goal should be to build a sustainable saving habit so that you never have to make sudden sacrifices in the future.

Prioritize some small treats that will give you joy well worth the cost. If getting a $ 3 latte gives you much more joy than $ 3 spent elsewhere, get the latte.

But getting a coffee every day, plus a breakfast sandwich, plus lunch at work is $ 20 a day, $ 100 a week, $ 400 a month. Luxury should feel like luxury, and if you enjoy several every day, you do not indulge yourself – you only have expensive habits.

Consider taking cheaper alternatives to the goodies you give yourself. If you order takeaway food because you hate cooking, consider buying finer ready-made food at the grocery store. They can be expensive in themselves, but if that prevents you from ordering Chipotle from DoorDash and paying for delivery and tips, you’re still saving.

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Fixed expenses

Slimming down your fixed expenses can be easier than you think. It only takes a little research and a willingness to shake things up.

For example, if you use Telus for your mobile phone subscription, consider switching to their cheaper counterpart Koodo, which uses the same network.

In the same way, look around for your car and home insurance and see if you can find similar insurances at a better price. Different companies use different formulas to set their prices, so it is recommended that you check with at least three different companies before choosing one.

You should also call your ISP and say that you are planning to switch and see if you can get a retention offer.

And if you have a real balance on a credit card, consider signing up for a balance transfer card with a lower interest rate. You may pay a fee for the transfer, but you will receive interest for a while. You can also look at cards without annual fees.

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Increase your income

It is common for you to put all your efforts into reducing your expenses without ever considering the other half of the equation: getting more money.

With rising inflation, it may be necessary to increase your income to move forward.

Work overtime at your job, if that is an option. Try to negotiate a raise – you can not expect to get one if you do not ask. And if that does not work, try picking a side dish that suits your schedule and your talents.

Sell ​​extra items in your home on Facebook Marketplace or eBay. If you do not use them, you are just sitting on excess money.

And you can take that logic a step further if you have an extra room in your home. Consider furnishing it and posting it on Airbnb, renting it out, or even getting a long-term roommate.

This article was created by Wise Publishing. Wise is dedicated to providing information that helps readers navigate the complex landscape of personal finance. Wise only collaborates with brands that it trusts and believes can be helpful to the reader. This article is for information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

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