You’ve probably heard the common suggestions for saving money, or pinching pennies: skipping the café and preparing your coffee at home, carpooling, buying generic at the grocery store –the list goes on and on. Pinching pennies is useful but can only get you so far in your financial journey. To truly increase your savings, you’ll need to take other steps.

Here are a few ways to step up your money saving efforts:

1. Find a Budget Plan that Works for You

Many people start off with the all-cash/envelope budget strategy but another way to budget is to put your money needed for bills and necessities into a dedicated account for savings immediately. Then, you’re able to see what you really have left to spend, as you’d like. This easy no-budget budget makes it clear what you have to spend while keeping you on track financially.

2. Negotiate for More Pay

Negotiating for more pay, while uncomfortable for many is possibly the easiest way to make or save more money quickly. Many people lack experience negotiating or feel uncomfortable asking for more money. Not negotiating could be causing you to miss out on money your employer would be willing you pay you.

One strategy to try before you start the negotiation conversation is to keep records of your accomplishments and achievements over the past year. It is also important to research what others in your field are paid. Go into the negotiation confident and willing to defend your reasoning for an increased salary. You may be shot down but likely, you’ll find that employers are willing to work with you to find a comfortable salary increase.

3. Take Advantage of Rewards

Without adding obligations you can’t afford to pay back, take advantage of credit card rewards. Many cards offer cash back and rewards such as airline mileage. Do your research and find a card that fits best with your interests and goals. Keep track of when rewards expire and pay attention to changes in terms and conditions.

4. Realize that Your Money is Your Own to Spend

A good lesson to learn now is to stop feeling obligated to spend money. Can’t afford to attend every wedding during wedding season? Do you even want to attend every wedding? You’re allowed to say no. Spend where you’d most like to spend. It’s your hard earned money. This doesn’t mean not going out or avoiding social outings, it just means putting your money into the resources and connections you value most.

 

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