The very first tip that everyone at every income level should be doing is saving 10% of what you earn. It may mean eating oatmeal and mac ‘n cheese for weeks on end, but it will pay off in a big way later. When an emergency comes up you may need that money you saved to pay medical bills, car repair bills and more. So save, save; be a little saver!
Secondly, make sure that before you go grocery shopping you make a meal plan ahead of time and always, always have a shopping list. Include everything you’ll need to make the meals and a little extra for snacking. Cooking all the meals over the weekend, eating only what you need and freezing the rest can help cut back on food costs.
The third tip has to do with your electrical bill. Call your electrical supplier and ask them what you should cut down on to save money on your bill. Usually the biggest offenders on your electrical bill will be heat and air conditioning. Heat includes hot water, drying clothes, using your stove and oven, and heating your home. If you take the tip about grocery shopping and only cook two days a week, you’ll be using your microwave the rest of the week to reheat your meals. Big saver right there.
When you do laundry, always make sure it is as full as your washer’s instructions will allow you and use warm to cold water whenever possible. Let them sit in the washer for about 30 minutes and you’ll spend less time drying them which will cut down on your electrical bill. When winter comes, invest in sweats and blankets and try to keep your heat off at night. Same idea with air conditioning. Try to go without it until it really heats up. Invest in ceiling fans or electrical fans to cut back on the cost of using your air conditioner.
Fourth, start a clothing exchange in your neighborhood. Check out the Goodwill or other local second hand store. Make the clothes if you can and if it looks to be less expensive than buying them period.
The fifth tip I have for you deals with driving. Gas prices just aren’t what they use to be and parking is five times the price of a gallon of gas. Whenever you are traveling to a metropolitan area where parking must be paid for – take the bus instead. For about what you’ll spend in parking you can take the bus and save wear and tear on your car and not spend extra on gas. When you do drive, just roll the windows down in the summer, as using air conditioning can give you lower gas mileage. In the winter – bundle up!
Tip number six has to do with vacations. Check out local road trips in your area. Walt Disney world and other theme parks are great, but can really take a chunk of change out of your wallet just for admission alone! Try to go camping or to your local Motel 6 (cheapest in the country) and check out what your state has to offer before you look to travel out of state.
Tip number seven: All this money you’ve saved should go in savings until there is enough to invest it. Whether it’s an IRA, stocks, bonds, CDs and much more, invest the money you save in a place where it can grow. Aren’t sure where to invest? Look up online and study before you invest. Have questions? Ask a broker over the phone. Talk to a close friend or two about what they did and where they got their information. But, overall saving money is a must these days. With prices and interest rates climbing, you need to know where to cut corners to save money and invest it to let it grow for you!