What issues can trip up even the best money-saving experts?
Saving money isn't easy for the average American. There are so many factors that go into taking the proper approach and trying to save as much as possible, and for most people it's just not easy to stick to all of them, even if they are very committed to the idea of cutting their costs over the long term. This is even true of people who have earned a certain amount of fame for the ways in which they've been able to give good saving advice.
One of the biggest issues that people who have become so good at saving money they can advise others on the practice still run into even after years of experience is that they can sometimes be duped by heavily discounted items and the like, according to U.S. News and World Report. When items are put on sale, it's natural for shoppers to think they should stock up, but that's not always the case. In fact, they might want to carefully consider just how much they might be spending on an item just because it's on sale, versus whether they were planning on buying it in the first place, and what that change of plans will do to their bottom lines.
Getting on the same page
For many couples that are undertaking these efforts, one issue that crops up a lot is that one partner is better at sticking to these money-saving ideals than the other, the report said. For this reason, having regular discussions about financial goals and the like can often go a long way toward ensuring everyone is on-board with the plan, knows why they're doing things the way they are, and what they might be able to do to help achieve those goals.
Thinking the right way
Another issue that people often run into when trying to save money is that they don't do enough for themselves, or by themselves, the report said. For instance, when people go out to dinner a lot, the cost of doing so is going to be much greater than if they made comparable meals at home. This is also true of people who regularly go out with friends, because while it's all well and good to be that social, bar tabs or other entertainment expenses can add up more quickly than most people realize, especially if they're getting together more than once a week.
Therefore, it might be a good idea to rein in that kind of activity, at least a little bit, when trying to pursue a more frugal lifestyle, the report said. While saving $20 or $30 once a week may not seem like much, that adds up to more than $1,000 or $1,500 over the course of a year.
Following all these rules isn't always easy, but it can be vital to improving a household budget. By saving money in these ways, that's extra cash that can then be devoted to more important things like paying down outstanding debt, or building a savings account to help cover emergencies that might arise.