The good news is that you can save money across the board, by cutting back and by spending your money wisely. The following represent 15 tips to help you save money.
1. Pack your lunch. You may be spending upwards of $10 per day on lunch. If you work 50 weeks per year, then that is 250 meals that may set you back by as much as $2,500. If you pack your lunch you can enjoy a similar level of good food for less than $3 per meal. You’ll pay about $750 each year, saving you as much as $1,750 in one year alone.
2. Search for eat out coupons. You will be eating out from time to time no matter how much you plan to cut back. And eating out is fine, but make sure you use coupons to save money. Coupon books are sold by PTAs, scouts and other civic groups, costing about $30 per year. They contain hundreds of coupons that can save you a bundle on your meals. Clip and save your way to yummy eating!
3. Make your own coffee. That trip you make to Starbucks costs you about $3 for a mocha grand latte. For less than a buck a cup you can make your own coffee at home. Invest in a Keurig or similar coffee machine and buy delicious flavored coffee that rivals that what the shops sell.
4. Consider your generic or store brand options. Many of us are brand conscious preferring products from Proctor & Gamble, Kellogg’s, General Mills and other big food companies. There is nothing wrong with branded food, but you can get similar quality food items for both generic and store brand items. Save 10 to 30 percent on your items and your food budget will improve tremendously.
5. Work from home more often. If you commute to work daily, you pay for gas, wear and tear on your car, and parking. Even if you take mass transportation, you still must pay a fare. Ask your boss if you can start working from home one day per week. Imagine the savings benefit by not having to go into work every day.
6. Follow your car’s maintenance plan. Keep your car long enough and you will pay for maintenance and repairs. Those costs may not be avoidable, but then if you perform regular maintenance you can delay or contain the expense. Always follow your car’s owner’s manual to determine maintenance intervals.
7. Review your auto insurance. When was the last time you checked your auto insurance? It just might be that you no longer should pay collision insurance for your aged car. If so, get rid of the extra coverage. You can also save money by raising your deductible and by shopping around to see what a competitor is offering.
8. Get rid of the land line. You have been relying on your cell phone almost exclusively. If that is so, then why are you maintaining a land line too? Get rid of your home phone and you should save about $500 per year.
9. Never buy new books. Even if you buy your books from discount king Amazon, you still are shelling money out for new titles. Chances are your free public library has what you want and at no cost to you. If a title is not being carried ask the librarian to order it for you. Many libraries are eager to fill patron requests.
10. Wash your clothes in cold water. Did you know that your clothes get just as clean in cold water as they do in hot water? It isn’t the temperature of the water that gets your whites look white and your colored clothes bright. Reduce your gas bill by cleaning your clothes in cold water only.
11. Change your air filter. You know to have your HVAC system tuned up annually. But, what you might not be doing is replacing the air filters at least once per quarter. A clean air filter will help your HVAC run smoother, using less energy.
12. Keep track of your tax deductions. At tax time, do you find yourself searching far and wide for money saving deductions? Chances are you do. And chances are you miss quite a few. It is important to save your receipts throughout the year, so create a file for the current tax year and begin to track same. You will end up with more deductions and a lower tax bill to show for it.
13. Shop remaindered goods stores. You already know to shop the sales when you are buying anything. Still, sales are a big game that retailers play — you will pay huge mark ups no matter what. One big way to save is by shopping remaindered goods stores. You know, those stores that feature discontinued, but perfectly good new items.
14. Find free entertainment options in your area. It can cost you a pretty penny when your family wants to be entertained. That pretty penny is typically a whole lot of $20 bills, money you can save by finding free options in your area. Like the town pool. Or the state park. Even events sponsored by local or national businesses are often underwritten for free.
15. Stay in a hostel. If you travel by yourself you will pay top dollar at most hotels. Chances are you do not always need to stay at the pricey inn. Instead, a hostel may do. Sure, you will share a room with others, but your price will come in at a fraction of what you normally pay. Hostels can be an adventure. Are you willing to try one?
Saving money begins by taking small steps and by reviewing how you currently spend your money. You do not have to employ every option mentioned, but putting into place a cost cutting plan will save you money and help you control your finances.
See Also — How to Save Money Toward Your Next Car
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