10 Smart and Sensible Ways to Save Money
Money saving tips for everyone.
As the economy slowly recovers, you may find that you still cannot pay for all of your wants without affecting your many needs. This economic recovery is a slow one, but you can ensure a more robust improvement in your lifestyle by saving money here and there to provide money elsewhere. Read on for 10 smart and sensible ways to save money.
1. Make a shopping list and stick to it — Going grocery shopping without a list or not sticking to a list will cost you money. Before you leave your home, write down what you need and look for coupons to cut your costs. Avoid buying anything impulsively — you should be familiar with the weekly specials before you leave your home, therefore check the supermarket’s ad first.
2. Rent books, don’t buy them — You’re an avid reader and eagerly buy books as they become available. Hard copy books will set you back by at least $20, while e-books will cost you about $10 each. Instead of paying a cent for your books, you can rent books for two or three weeks at your free public library. If a title is not currently available, ask a librarian to order what you want. When it comes in, you’ll have first dibs on that book.
Are you going to college or planning to take an education course to advance your skills? Textbooks can be expensive. Note that you can rent books for the semester. It can be half the costs of purchasing textbooks from the college bookstore.
3. Avoid bottled water — Bottled water is clean and refreshing, but buying disposable bottles is expensive too. Invest in a water purification system, a Brita filter or other water cleaning device. You’ll save money and have fewer bottles to send to the landfill.
4. Make your own coffee — Coffee prices have never been higher, but the price you pay for a cup of coffee will start around $2 and go up to $4 for a special blend. Invest in a quality coffee maker and buy the type of coffee you love. You’ll pay 25 to 50 cents per cup with creamer and sugar included, saving you many dollars per week that previously were spent at Starbucks.
5. Avoid the movies — Movie ticket prices are topping $12 in some areas of the country. Add in food and drinks and you can easily pay more than $20 per person. Only take in movies on occasion, waiting until they’re released on cable or at your Redbox display for just $1.20 per night.
6. Get free checking — Free checking can still be had, but your bank would love it if you paid $12 to $15 per month in fees. Most banks, however, offer free checking to seniors, to college students or to anyone who has one other account at the bank or keeps a minimum balance. Don’t worry, your bank will find other ways of making money off of you — your checking account doesn’t have to be one of those ways.
7. Toss the land line — Do you still need a land line telephone? If you use your cell phone mostly or exclusively, then your land line is redundant. Save the cost of a landline, buy an extra charger for your cell phone and tell everyone you can be reached by your cell phone alone.
8. Pay down debt — Debt will eat away at your bottom line like no other expense. If you can’t pay off debt right away, then transfer your balances to a lower rate credit card. Debt alone can wreck your personal economic recovery, making it difficult for you to move ahead. Make a plan to erase your debt sooner, rather than later — those extra funds will help you to get ahead.
9. Bundle your bills — Wherever and whenever possible, bundle your bills. If you have homeowner’s and auto insurance, then using the same insurance company can save you money. If you have television service, Internet access and phone service, your cable company or phone company may be able to provide all three to you at a discounted cost. Look for plans that offer up front discounts and ask your long term providers for an introductory price for your bundled services.
10. Keep your car longer — You want a new car, but do you really need one? Payments of $300 per month equals $3,600 per year. That’s far more than the $2,000 in maintenance your current ride may cost you. Save money toward your down payment and when you’re ready to buy, consider a late model used car, one that has depreciated significantly, but is like new and still under warranty.
Economic recovery will come. However, you don’t have to be pulled down by a lagging recovery or miss out on savings now. Be judicious with your spending; enjoy savings now and the freedom that comes with it.