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The thought of saving money can be anxiety-inducing. If you find that you’re not saving money as fast as you’d like, it can be challenging to pinpoint how to reach your savings goal at a rate that you’re satisfied with. Here are some ideas that may help you with your goals.

Savings jar

Track your monthly expenses

Tracking your expenses can help to give you an idea of where exactly your money is going. Once you’ve done it for about a month, you will be empowered with the knowledge of how much money you’re spending in which area.

Maybe you’re spending too much money going out, even if it’s just for a McDonald’s sandwich here and there. It might be a small amount of money each individual time you spend, but over the course of a month, you get a much better picture of how much money you’re losing to McDonald’s.

Once you’ve tracked your expenses for a month, you can then start a small budget and see if you can limit the amount of money you spend in the area you want to reduce.

Switch energy suppliers

After you work out how much money you’re spending on utilities such as energy, double check if the competitor to your energy company charges more or less. If you find that your current energy supplier is overcharging you, switch suppliers.

You can use Money Expert to compare prices and to find easy-to-follow instructions on how to switch suppliers.

Check your bank statements for old automatic subscriptions

This is another one that seems obvious but perhaps isn’t so. There are so many subscription services nowadays that it’s difficult to track exactly which ones you’re using and which ones you aren’t. Make a habit of checking your bank and credit card statements to see that there are no recurring charges for services that you don’t use or that don’t end up being worth it.

For instance, if you don’t end up going to the gym as often as you’d like, perhaps instead invest in a few free weights and work out with YouTube videos. The weights might cost you some money up front, but overall, you won’t end up spending each month on a gym that you don’t go to.

Consolidate your loans

If you find that you have multiple loans you’re paying off or you have multiple lines of credit open, consider consolidating all of that debt into one sum. This way, you won’t have to keep track of different payment times and interest rates since everything will now be paid at once at the same time every month.

Make lists of things you need – and perhaps buy them online

Instead of going out to buy food and groceries whenever you feel like it, consider doing it just once a week. Over the course of the previous week, write up a list of things you need and stick to the list as much as you can.

If you have a task to focus on such as your list, the other temptations in the store will not be so difficult to resist. Also, if you can, perhaps buy groceries and other necessities online which will also help to control the tempting items you may see in-person.

Unsubscribe from marketing emails

While marketing emails from your favorite brands might look like they’re on your side, trying to get you “the best deals,” they’re actually only trying to make money off of you. If something is on sale, it likely means that it had a hard time selling out at its original cost. The sale is meant to entice you to buy something that you wouldn’t otherwise buy.

Also, do you really need an extra shirt? Even if it’s not a lot of money, all of those extras will add up over the course of a few months and end up making a dent in your wallet. It’s best to avoid temptation and unsubscribe.

This is a collaborative post.