Recommended title tag (50-60 characters): Here’s How to Cut Costs and Put More Money Toward Your Savings

Meta description (150-165 characters): Saving money isn’t always easy, we know. But there’s good news: You can start whenever you want. So here are a few of the simplest ways to save money:

If you’ve had trouble saving money in the past, you’re not alone. Studies show 20 percent of adults in the United States don’t save any of their annual income — and most of the rest aren’t saving the recommended 15 percent each year.

So, why bother saving? It’s simple: Cutting down your expenses and allocating money toward long-term and short-term savings will make your life less stressful and all-around more enjoyable.

Saving money isn’t always easy, but the good news is you can start whenever you want. Here are a few easy ways to save money:

Transfer debt to a lower-interest card

Debt can be a huge factor in draining your savings. Depending on your particular credit cards, high interest rates can grow to become sizeable card payments of their own. That’s when a balance transfer becomes your best option.

Consolidate as much of your credit card debt as possible, then find one with a lower or 0 percent APR for as long as possible to allow yourself time to pay off the debt before interest comes back into play.

Stop eating out and cut corners on groceries

Eating out multiple times per week is a quick way to cut into your monthly income, making it harder to save. Similarly, heading to the grocery store without a plan is another way to spend more money than necessary, often on food that will go bad. Evaluate how you can stretch your grocery budget by building meals of inexpensive items like rice, beans, pasta, and affordable produce, then make enough that leftovers can become lunch for the following day.

The markup on groceries at your local market can be pretty frightening, so why not take matters into your own hands? If you have the space, growing your own small garden can be a fun and easy way to save on monthly expenses. Certain foods, like zucchini, tomatoes and citrus-y fruits, can be grown in bulk and provide for a few different meals. Plus, you’ll get full bragging rights.

See how much you can cut your monthly food/grocery/coffee budget, then reallocate that money immediately to savings.

Switch to a gently used car

If public transportation just won’t work for you and your lifestyle, consider buying used. You can find plenty of newer models for a fraction of the price, and you can add on your own electronic accessories. Use a used car payment calculator that factors in the manufacturer’s rebate, your current vehicle’s trade-in value less any outstanding balance, your down payment, and your loan information to help determine an affordable monthly payment.

Cancel memberships you don’t use anymore

This one might feel difficult at first, but evaluating all your monthly subscriptions and memberships could be an eye-opener for those looking to take control of their finances. Run back through at least six bank statements and look at each recurring cost, then ask yourself: Am I really using this? If you work out at home more than the gym, go ahead and cancel your membership. If you’re watching one streaming service more than another one, cancel that subscription.

Your wallet will thank you for it.

Track your spending

The best way to cut costs and put more money toward your savings is to take a good, hard look at what you’re making and what your spending. Create a spreadsheet, or keep a simple list, of every source of income, as well as what you spend each month. Once you’ve done that, you’ll want to look at your overall financial picture — including what your later years will look like.

To help get your future in order, try a retirement income calculator to help you determine how well you have prepared and what you can do to improve your retirement outlook. It will allow you to re-evaluate your preparedness on an ongoing basis, look at changes in the economic climate, inflation, achievable returns and how your personal situation will affect your retirement planning.

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