With interest rates rising and inflation showing up everywhere from the grocery store to the gas pump, it can be a challenging time to save for a down payment and break into the housing market. However, there are a variety of things both large and small that can immediately shave costs and grow your nest egg – perhaps even faster than you anticipated. Here are a few tips:
Begin by auditing all your expenses each month and know exactly where your money is going. This may sound obvious, but forgotten expenditures add up and can often be scaled back. This is where you’ll notice subscriptions and streaming services you may not use, or insurance policies that you are potentially overpaying on. Take the time to cancel items or renegotiate how much you’re paying for certain things, and you’ll soon tally up savings.
In the same vein, examine how much you’re dining out or grabbing coffee each week as these expenses can add up as well. If you’re still looking to enjoy an afternoon or evening out, check out sites like Groupon, or see if your favorite restaurant offers a deal night.
Pumping the Breaks at the Pump
With gas prices at an all-time high, watching your speed is paramount to conserve fuel. According to the Department of Energy, reducing your speed 5 to 10 mph, can save you 7% to 14%. If you’re filling up once a week, that could add up to $50 per month. Additionally, now that the weather is warmer, consider walking for short trips or taking a Divvy bike instead of a ride share.
How Efficient is Your House?
Next, take a look around your residence. Is it the most energy efficient it can be? As the saying goes, you could be throwing money out the window. Change your air filters and optimize your home for the season, for example drawing the shades in the summer and using storm coverings in the winter. Program your thermostat so you’re not heating or cooling your home as much when you’re away. That could save as much as 10% on your energy bill.
Clean Up and Cash In
Spring signals cleaning and that presents an opportunity to sell or consign unused items and clothing. Check out your garage, attic, and closets, and take old sporting equipment and bikes to a secondhand store or try selling them online. There are plenty of ways to squeeze extra cash out of things that are taking up your space but may be another person’s treasure.
If you’re really going the extra mile, consider clipping coupons or shopping sales for household items. Holiday weekends are often a great time to shop for furniture and other big-ticket items, while clothing prices are slashed at the end of each season. And don’t be afraid to ask a salesclerk if a particular item is anticipated to go on sale.
Whether you’re preparing to buy a home or simply looking to cut back on spending, these are just a few ways to ease the impact of inflation and contribute to a lifetime of smart spending.