Saving money is the only way to increase your money supply without investing or increasing the amount of money you earn. Most people accomplish this by living a frugal lifestyle that frees up most of their cash flow.
If saving money seems difficult or impossible, establishing a proactive relationship with your finances will help. Being proactive about your finances will add money to your savings account and you won’t need to raise your rates. Here’s how to do it:
Be fiercely protective of your budget
You might scoff at people who argue when a cashier accidentally overcharges them by fifty cents. It’s frustrating having to wait for a manager to come over to resolve the issue. You may even want to reach into your pocket and give then five bucks just to move them along. Although it’s frustrating, those people probably have a well-organized financial life. They’re in the habit of fiercely protecting their budget, even if it means arguing over fifty cents.
Plug all holes that bleed money
The most important thing to do when you want to save money is look for ways money is being wasted and don’t let anything slip through the cracks. There’s always something you can cancel, downgrade, or change.
For instance, allowing a few monthly subscriptions to continue because you may need them in the future seems like a non-issue, but this small mistake adds up fast. It may only cost you $100 per month, but that’s $1,200 per year. Multiply that by every unnecessary expense that goes unchecked.
To be proactive, verify all your receipts for every purchase you make. Then, make sure those receipts match your bank statement. Remember to wait several days for tips to show up as part of a charge.
Be willing to negotiate and call out mistakes
A proactive relationship with your finances includes prioritizing accurate accounting and not being afraid to negotiate what’s fair.
Everything from your restaurant bill to your hospital bill can be inaccurate. While it’s easy to have your waitress remove a phantom dessert from your bill, it’s not so easy with hospital bills. Written in code most people don’t understand, it takes time and effort to verify a hospital bill’s accuracy. However, the stakes are higher, so it’s always worth the effort.
In an expert guide for negotiating medical bills, RISE explains that 26% of US adults say they or someone in their household had trouble paying their medical bills last year. That number includes people with insurance. Sharing advice from six medical, financial, and legal experts, their guide explains how to be proactive with one of the most notoriously inaccurate bills on the planet.
Since medical bills are astronomically high, people commonly negotiate their medical bills, and negotiation begins with verifying line-by-line that your bill is accurate.
The most common errors are duplicate charges, canceled tests and procedures, and incorrect quantities. The overcharges aren’t necessarily intentional; communication on the administrative side is often disjointed. You probably can’t avoid paying $30 for an over-the-counter painkiller, but you can contest being billed for an ultrasound that was never administered.
Identifying and resolving these mistakes can literally save you thousands of dollars.
Make your returns right away
It’s best to avoid impulse purchases, but sometimes even planned purchases don’t work out. If you need to return an item to the store, do it immediately. Accumulating items you don’t need ties up money that could be growing your savings account.
Unless you run a side business selling products on eBay, Craigslist, or Amazon, don’t convince yourself you’ll just sell it later on. You probably won’t. You can’t rely on lax return policies, either; they’re being eradicated from the face of retail.
Negotiate fees and other charges
No matter who you’re doing business with, they’re probably going to quote you a high price expecting you to negotiate. That’s how most people operate. If you’re not a negotiator and you always pay what people request, you’re missing out on an opportunity to save money.
Negotiating is a natural part of the business world. You can negotiate almost anything, and even if it’s only a little bit, it will add up. For example, you could negotiate $50 off your rent, $200 off your used car, $100 off your website design, etc. It doesn’t seem like much, but when negotiating becomes a habit, you’ll watch your savings account grow effortlessly over time. Before you know it, you’ll have enough saved up for something you thought you could never afford.
Author: Oliver Curtis
Hi there. I’m Oliver. I’m just a young boy from the outskirts of… Okay, that’s a lie, I’m not a young boy anymore, although I certainly feel that way at heart.