Want to get money into an interest-bearing account to take advantage of compounding interest, but don’t have any extra to get started? Here are 8 tips for starting your savings by reducing your expenses in easy ways that anyone can do – starting immediately and turn that into a long term lifestyle.
1) Run your highest electricity-consuming appliances at night, instead of during the day and save around 40% on your electric bill. The dishwasher, electric dryer, washing machine, etc – save money by using them later in the evenings when the rates are lower. If you’re typically spending $200 a month on your electric bill, a 40% reduction will drop that bill to $120. Put the extra $80 aside for your savings.
2) Raise your car insurance deductibles. If you’ve got them set at $250, raise them to $500. If they’re already at $500, raise them to $1,000. The result will be a lower monthly insurance premium. Take the difference in premium rates and set aside for your savings. (You can drop the deductibles again after you get your money into your savings of choice – a Certificate of Deposit, Money Market, online savings, etc).
3) Reduce your prescription payments. If you have a few prescriptions you pay for each month, you may be able to reduce the amount you pay by asking for 3 months at a time instead of one; using a mail-order service instead of the local pharmacy; or by going to Wal-mart for their $4 prescription plans. Take the amount you would have paid on your regular priced prescriptions and set aside for your savings for a few months.
4) Skip one vacation a year. If you go on vacation at least once per year, consider skipping just one vacation and putting the money you WOULD have spent on it into your savings fund. You can still take time off from work and spend it around home if you have to use your vacation time (or lose it), but there is no rule that says you have to go on a costly vacation just because you take time off from work. If the idea of skipping a vacation completely is too much to bear, just opt for a shorter, less expensive vacation over one that would cost more and save the difference.
5) Learn to buy and cook in bulk. Most products are cheaper when you buy them in bulk (and while on sale!) Learning to buy and cook in bulk can save you a lot of money on your monthly food bill. Set the savings aside for a month or two. You can always go back to your normal eating habits after you get enough money to fund your savings – or you may discover you enjoy this method of eating!