Here are 10 ways to save money:
1) Change your attitude. The only way you are going to start saving money is if you look at your budget and cut back. You have to realize that your lifestyle might need to change in order to get spending under control. It is obvious that Americans are used to our standard of living. My grandmother said that people can live on a whole lot less. She remembers times when people struggled to put food on the table, now we think we are struggling when we can’t buy the newest iphone, or technical gadget of your choice.
2) Have a savings account and make sure that your money is compounding. Making sure that your money is making money is one key way to saving money. Right before I went to college, I scourged up 1000.00 to put into a CD. I gained a lot of interest and over the four years in college I was able to save, compound my savings and turn that 1000.00 into 10,000. Talk to your bank and find out what the best way to invest your savings is for you.
3) Make goals for managing your money. Creating a budget was the best thing my husband and I did. We sat down and we created the worst case scenario budget and found out what he had to cut to make sure that even if I didn’t clip coupons, or buy things that were on sale we could afford to feed our family, have some fun money, and save for trips to visit family. Even short term goals can help you save up for long term. Save up for the new appliance you know you are going to need. Plan for car expenses. Make sure you are thinking about emergencies.
4) Understand that all the spending you do now affects your retirement. If you want to live the way you do now, you need to put aside enough to live off of when you retire. planning for retirement is smart. Track all of your expenses. Knowing where you money is going will help you cut and save. Use a spreadsheet.
5) Do not neglect the necessities or deprive yourself. Do not give up life insurance, car insurance, or insurance of any kind to save money. If you make a super budget and do not allow yourself to get treats every now and then you will fail. It’s just like with eating on a diet, cutting out all the things you like will make your gorge when you have the chance. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Putting enough aside for small luxuries is smart.
6) Downsizing your vehicles can help you to save money. The cost of gas is lower that it was, but it might go back up or reach an even newer high. By going down to one vehicle or getting a more fuel efficient car you can save money. We went down to one new vehicle, saving money on gas, and car insurance. My husband takes the bus to work every day saving us on car maintenance, gas, and the cost of insuring two vehicles.
7) I have read that by turning off all the lights if you aren’t using them really can help you save money. Keeping electricity off will lower your energy usage. Consider keeping the thermostat lower in the winter and higher in the summer. Also, replacing your appliance to be more energy efficient will save you money. You can usually find rebates for the purchase and it’s a tax write off (make sure to read all the details to see if you qualify for energy saving appliance purchases). There are also rebates around on new energy saving bulbs. Some electricity programs even handed out energy saving bulbs last year.
8) Cutting out fast food and coffee shops will save you a bundle. This one is so hard for me because when I’m out running around with the kids I just want to stop at those golden arches and feed the kids a quick meal. One, it’s not healthy and two it’s expensive. I’m also addicted to lattes and mochas.
9) Find ways to do things free. Instead of paying for a gym membership find an exercise partner and work out at home, at the mall, or at a park. There are ways to exercise no matter what the weather is that do not cost any money. Don’t pay for cable when you can get all the TV you want on the Internet. There are TV channels such as hulu, fancast, and the tv networks themselves allow you to watch from their websites. There are plenty of ways to find free entertainment as well. There are concerts at parks and lots of museums have days that you can come in for free. Sometimes it’s hard to find this information but it is out there.
10) Visualize how much your favorite snack or treat costs on a yearly basis. When you see how much something costs on a yearly basis it can be astounding. Take for example the weekly expense of 10.00 for coffee. That’s two a week, it becomes 2500 in a year. Another reason whey it’s important to track all of your expenses.
Now, if only I can always follow my own advice. 😉