This is a sponsored post from Zions Bank as part of Forward Influence, but all opinions and experiences are my own. #ad #BudgetShareManageEnjoy #OnCard
Getting finances in order is something that is a constant in most people’s lives. Things come up, like doctor bills, unexpected expenses, car repairs and more. These things can really throw you off if you are not prepared. These simple ways to cut monthly spending can help you find that much-needed extra cash.
These ideas will help your budgeting by allowing you to pay things off faster, build up your savings or just have that extra padding in your checking account. Most people, no matter how much they are making, can find room in their budget to save money. It is easier than you think!
Create a budget
If you want to be able to know how much money you have to spend, you need to know how much you make. This also means you are going to have to make a list of all of your expenses (like your rent/mortgage, utilities, etc.) so you know what you have left over.
Doing all of this means you are going to have to create a budget. This is will also help you understand where your money is going each month. It can be hard to keep track of everything, and most people (including myself) find it hard to remember to record everything on a spreadsheet or in a register. That is what I love about Zions Bank’s new prepaid reloadable debit card, OnCard®.
Budgeting a certain amount for each category and trying to stay within that amount is the best way to stop overspending. Tracking these expenses as you go will ultimately help you reach your goal. But this can be time-consuming and hard.
Thankfully, the OnCard money management app helps establish a budget based on your spending. And because you pre-load the card, you can’t OVERspend. Just use the card for all your expenses, and the app will automatically create your budget after 30 days. Once it is all set, you can adjust it, based on how you want to spend.
This will save you a lot of time, and it will also give you a great idea of where your money is going.
Cut down on eating out
Most people don’t realize how much money they truly spend on eating out and getting convenience foods/snacks. If your budget is really limited you need to watch what you are spending and where.
You might spend $20 eating out and that could have provided your family with a couple of really good home-cooked meals, plus leftovers. If you don’t have much time for cooking, break out your slow cooker and take advantage of Crock-Pot freezer meals.
Setting a budget for eating out helps a lot; that way you realize how much you are spending and don’t overspend or dip into your monthly food budget.
Plan a menu
This is really going to save you time and money, no matter how you look at it. Not only does planning a menu give you a grocery shopping list but it also cuts down on the “what are we eating tonight?” dilemma.
Having a menu allows you to buy everything you will need for that week (or couple of weeks), and then you can prepare it and have a great family home-cooked meal. This is also a great way to get your family involved in the process. Have them help plan, shop for and cook the meals.
Shop the sales and use coupons
This is not for everyone, but it is not as daunting as it seems either. With very little effort, you can easily save 50% or more on groceries and household items as opposed to what you are spending now.
If you have the choice, look at other stores’ ads BEFORE heading out. Also, many stores now have apps or online accounts where you can load digital coupons, so it makes it even easier to save money!
It is also very helpful to set a spending limit before you head out, and that is why OnCard is so helpful. It is like using cash, only having the convenience of a card. With a set amount on the card, you can’t overspend what you’ve budgeted.
Cut out unnecessary expenses
A simple and effective way to cut your monthly spending is to evaluate where your money is going. Do you really NEED to spend $100 a month on cable? I will tell you a secret, we don’t even have cable. We get dozens of channels for free through our HDTV antenna, and the rest we get from streaming services.
If we can’t find what we want from either of those, we head to our local library to rent it for FREE! We set up our phone plans so they are no contract and month to month, with a cheap unlimited plan. We haven’t regretted it once. It’s cheaper and has better features than what we had before.
The point is—regardless of what you are paying now, call your phone provider and see if they have something better to offer. Cut down where you can, and put all that money into savings or toward paying off debt.
About Zions Bank OnCard
I want to share a little more about Zions Bank OnCard because it has been such a game changer for us. To get an OnCard, you have to have a Zions Bank checking account. This is easy to setup. I went in and had my account set up and everything settled in, like, 30 minutes.
The OnCard is separate from your checking, although you can transfer money to it easily through the app or by logging into your account online. It is similar to a prepaid card, but without all the fees. You just put money in your OnCard account and then you can use your OnCard like you would your credit card—but you can’t overspend because it has a set amount on it.
This has helped us to not overspend, especially when we go grocery shopping or for a night out; we know we only have so much on the card, and so that is all we spend.
We love our OnCard so much that we went and got one for our oldest daughter. She is almost 15, and I am excited to start working with her on budgeting and saving. With OnCard, she doesn’t have to carry cash around. We just put money on the card instead of giving her a cash allowance.
Take control of your finances today and start by going in and getting set up with a Zions Bank OnCard! After my experience over the last couple of months of using it, I can’t recommend it enough. Learn more about OnCard here.
Zions Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC.