Everyone has a different financial situation. And with the economic inequity in the United States growing, many people find themselves in tough crunches when it comes to money. Unfortunately, it’s not just a one-time thing; it’s a constant, chronic struggle. Whether it’s struggling to pay the bills or not being able to afford college, many of us find ourselves in financial challenges that don’t have a straightforward way out.
I know there’s no one rule on how to save money. Everyone’s situation is different, and what works for one person doesn’t work for another. But what I hope you can gain from my tips are ideas about saving money or inspiration to come up with your own solutions.
1. Buy affordable, sustainable items.
A more significant focus has been placed on sustainability and protecting our environment. This is important and will always be important. But not everyone is financially capable to make the sustainable choices presented to them. It’s no secret that the mainstream sustainability movement is not accessible to low-income and minority groups.
So, instead of focusing on what you think you should spend money on to help the earth, focus on what you can afford that’s also sustainable. For instance, be sure to choose water bottles over plastic bottles and ceramic plates over paper plates. Other items can also be cheaper than their less eco-friendly alternatives. Again, weighing the pros and cons is crucial.
2. Put what you can into a savings account.
Many financial experts recommend putting a certain amount of your paycheck, whether monthly or weekly, into a savings account. I’ve come across articles recommending you save anywhere from 10 to 20% of your pay. But if you are living from paycheck to paycheck, this isn’t feasible, and depending on your situation, it may never be feasible. So, instead of basing your pay off of metrics, save as much as you comfortably can, even if it’s just a dollar a month. Any money saved will help you in the long run.
3. Use public transportation.
Depending on where you live, you may have access to public transportation. With the pandemic still going on, you have to take certain safety measures. But for many people, public transportation is their main, or only, way to get around.
4. Take free courses.
Education is an invaluable life tool that we keep on using until the day we die. However, college is not cheap, and lots of people are left with several years of student loan debt to pay off.
Suppose you’re looking to learn something new but don’t have a lot of disposable income. Consider looking into your local library, as those may offer free courses about topics ranging from creative writing to coding. In addition, companies like Coursera sometimes offer free courses, and YouTube can also be a great source of educational content.
I hope you get some insight into ideas on some things you can do to save money and make the most out of your resources.