Saving money sounds like it should be easy, but it often does not happen effortlessly and requires a plan.

Real life happens, and with rent/mortgage, food, insurance, and transportation, there often does not seem to be a lot left over for saving.

5 easy money-saving tips

In fact, according to Business Insider, Americans save an average of 3.5% of their take-home pays each month rather than the recommended 10-15%.

How can the average American increase savings while still living, eating and playing?

These necessities don’t need to cost you an arm and a leg; with a few money-saving tips, you can be well on your way to meeting your personal savings goals.

1. Compare prices

It’s definitely easier to just buy what you need, but comparing prices for goods and services can save you lots of your hard-earned money.

For example, have you researched care insurance lately? Take a few minutes to compare your current car insurance to a cheap car insurance company online.

You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find for the same amount of coverage.

Add a few more services such as cell phone providers, internet providers, and energy companies, and you may be saving quite a bit a month if you decide to switch providers.

2. Shop sale cycles

Televisions typically go on sale around Superbowl time, camping items in the spring and cars in December.

Also, did you know that your favorite supermarket staples typically rotate on sale every six weeks?

Stock up on non-perishable food items when they hit their lowest price, and you’ll be enjoying the savings for weeks.

Also, shopping the sales ads in the grocery store helps to keep your food costs lower.

3. Use coupons and gift cards

Online coupons and coupon codes abound.

Don’t get caught buying without one or you could find yourself paying much more than you need to.

Coupon search sites like Honey automatically add savings to your cart, effortlessly saving you money.

And don’t forget about those gift cards you may have around.

Combining coupons and gift cards is also a great way to get items you need at little to no cost to you.

4. Think overnight about medium and large purchases

When you are considering a medium purchase (new furniture, jewelry) or a large purchase (home, car, boat), take a night to sleep on the decision.

You may even want to ask some people that you respect and that give good financial advice what they think about your possible purchase.

may realize that it’s not the right time or right way to purchase that particular item.

5. Tell yourself “no” to extras so that you can say “yes” to savings

This tip is simple but not fun or easy. In today’s “get-it-now” culture, waiting to make a purchase is almost unheard of.

Necessities are one thing, but if your “necessities” are actually just things you want, you may be putting your financial health and future at risk.

Making purchases when you are not putting adequate money in savings can come back to bite you when you have an emergency such as job loss, health crisis or family emergency.

With these tips, you may be able to save a little more with a little less pain.

As billionaire and investing guru Warren Buffett says, “Well, I think the biggest mistake is not learning the habits of saving properly early.

Because saving is a habit. And then, trying to get rich quick. It’s pretty easy to get well-to-do slowly. But it’s not easy to get rich quick.”

What are your favorite savings tips?
Let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below!

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