2020 took a big toll on people and their bank accounts. Thanks to the economic downturn and high rates of unemployment, many people were unprepared for the loss of money as they tried to shop for everyday life. With the typical American having only $1,000 saved up, many people can be affected by overspent budgets no matter what year it is.
That’s why budget hacks to save money in 2021 should be your number one priority. Here are some budgeting hacks that you should use and take with you into the new year and beyond.
1. Use a Budgeting App on Your Phone
What’s better: waiting until you see your bank statement and being flabbergasted at the number of items you spent money on or tracking what you are allowed to spend on a category of your budget? If you answered “yes” to the latter, you are right.
Using a budgeting app can help you balance your income and expenses. Depending on the specific app you use, you can check how much cash you have in your accounts and see infographics displaying what you spend money on the most. With this, you can learn to manage your money, plan for the long-term and short-term future, and avoid common spending mistakes.
2. Cancel Any Unneeded Subscriptions
Many of us sign up for online services or apps, but if you stop using them for one reason or another, you may forget to cancel your subscription. This quickly adds up on your bills and you don’t want to be paying for a service you don’t want to use anymore.
Take a look at your bill, see which subscription you can live without, and cancel your payments. As soon as you do this, the amount of cash flowing out of your bank account each month will decrease and you can use the extra cash toward subscriptions you actually use.
3. Use Public Transport Instead of a Car
Do you live in an area with accessible public transportation? The next time you need to commute to work, consider using a public bus or subway instead of your car. Don’t have public transportation near you? Then you can walk or use your bike.
Not only can not using a car save you money that you might have used for gas or parking, but it could also help you get some mild exercise into your day. Of course, if doing it every day is unsustainable for you, then you can try to do it a couple of times a week.
4. Eat Meals at Home Instead of Eating Out
Eating out can be fun and convenient when you don’t feel like cooking, but doing it too often can make a big dent in your wallet.
Instead of eating out, try to eat home for most of the week and only go out to eat for two days a week at most. If you have trouble timing your meals for when you get home from work, try planning your meals ahead of time so you can plan on which food you actually want to eat. This saves you from throwing unwanted food away.
5. Set Up Automatic Savings on Your Account
It can be easy to spend money that you have direct access to on stuff you don’t need. If you put part of your money away in an automatic savings plan, that will keep you from being tempted to use it all up. With an automatic savings plan, part of your paycheck is automatically moved into your savings account.
When you do this, the money in your savings will go up and you won’t even notice that you can’t spend some of it right away. All in all, it helps save money for your future.
6. Search for Cheap Flights on Private Browsing
Here is one of those budget travel hacks that few people know about.
When trying to look for a cheap flight the next time you need to go on a plane, open up an incognito window on your computer. When looking for flights on a regular browser window, websites can track how often you visit their site and jack up their prices.
Going on an incognito browser means that the website can’t track you and you will be able to get some of the cheapest prices available for wherever you want to go.
7. Use a Coupon Browser Extension to Find Discounts
Who knew that shopping online could help you find discounts? Couponing extensions available on your internet browser can scour the internet, look at the shopping website you are on, and find big discounts through secret coupon codes while checking out. These extensions do this automatically with no hassle, so all you have to do is install the extension and it does all the work for you.
Popular free money-saving browser extensions in the Extensions store or your phone’s app store include Honey and Capital One Shopping.
Use These Budgeting Hacks Throughout the New Year
It’s more important than ever to take care of our finances and not spend beyond our means. Following the budget hacks listed above will help you keep a few extra dollars in your pocket and ensure that you don’t spend more than you need to.
We hope these budgeting hacks help you start on a good financial path for 2021. For more interesting tips on the latest deals and new ways to save money, check out other sections on our site like the Deal Finder section.