Saving money on a tight budget is never easy. But since you served your nation, you have earned some benefits that can help. Here are five ways to save money.
Take advantage of the benefits you have earned.
Being in the armed forces allots you certain benefits. Make sure you are aware of those benefits and take advantage of them. For example, the GI Bill is an education benefit that the Department of Veteran Affairs offers to servicemen and women, veterans and their families to help cover the cost of education or training. The Post-9/11 GI Bill is the newest version and offers a housing allowance, book stipends and more. And since you wore the uniform, you also may qualify for a VA-guaranteed home loan, which requires no down payment and no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).
Keep track of your expenses.
To find out where all your money goes, and how to cut costs, keep track of your all purchases and spending for a month or longer. Seeing where your money goes will help you decide where you can cut costs. Do you really need that coffee from the coffee shop every morning? You can find free websites and apps to help you track your spending. Check out Moneytrackin’ or BudgetTracker to get you started.
Get rid of those high-interest credit cards.
Pay off high-interest credit card debt as soon as possible and avoid putting charges on those cards. Getting rid of debt on these credits cards can save you hundreds of dollars in interest charges a year.
Put money aside for emergencies.
This can be one of the harder things to do, but is a necessary element to getting your finances under control. Putting money aside each week or month will allow you to create an emergency fund. In the event of an emergency, such as an unexpected car or home repair, the fund will allow you pay off that debt immediately and avoid taking out a loan.
Consider out-of-the-box thinking.
Thinking outside of the box can lead to savings in unexpected places. Do you buy lots of books, movies or magazines? Consider going to your local library instead—free is always good when trying to save money! Also consider purchasing items second hand. Be aware of scams and make sure what you buy is in good shape, but buying items second hand can be a great way to save some cash. Check out Craigslist in your area for a good place to shop for second-hand items.
Being on a tight budget is rough, but these five tips should help you save some cash.