By being conscious of every dime you spend, you can save money every day. Becoming aware of how much money leaves your wallet is essential if you want to keep more of it in there. Spending wisely is easier than you might think.
Track expenses and bargain hunt
Take note of consistent monthly bills and budget accordingly. Then look for the lowest prices available on quality appliances, services, groceries, and other essentials.
Replace old appliances
Replace old appliances when they are constantly breaking down and the cost of repairs is too high. Be sure to shop around, though, and get a good warranty. New appliances are more energy efficient, saving your money and the planet.
Get a newer car
In the long run, replacing an old car with a newer model will save money in several ways. One, you will probably have fewer repairs. Two, your car is less likely to break down or stall during a lengthy trip- saving the cost of a hotel room for the night. Three, a newer car is usually much more efficient on gas. However, be sure to distinguish between need and want. For example, you may “need” a larger vehicle for your growing family, but you really “want” a Porsche.
When used wisely, coupons can help trim the cost of everyday items. Keep them together in a special envelope and toss any expired ones. If you expect to be near your favorite stores today, slip the envelope into your purse or other obvious place along with you. That way, if you find toilet paper of that brand, you can buy it immediately with your coupon. This comes in very handy when you really need more of it immediately but don’t have much money.
Be a squirrel
Keep a change jar or bank in a prominent area in the house. The kind that automatically tallies your total is especially convenient. Every day, slip small change into the jar. This is a case of literally every penny counting. After a while, roll the coins into rollers and wait for when you really need some money. Kids especially may want to save towards a specific goal. Find savings accounts that let you save without heavy fees or taxes. Choose a chequing account without highly priced banking fees. When you’re charged heavily every time you use your bank card, it adds up fast.
Teach kids about money
Believe it or not, kids don’t need the latest My Little Pony or Lego creation to be content. Grown ups, let alone teenagers, should not have a credit card without self discipline. Credit card companies count on spend- happy consumers who want what they want when they want it, regardless of cost. Spend now pay later equals heavy interest and potential debt if the bill is not paid promptly. Set a spending limit on the card, or opt for cash and a checking account instead.
This can save you a tremendous amount on gas if you live any distance from major shopping centres. In addition, you can conveniently check out the latest sales at your favorite stores. Sometimes you can receive a discount for consistently supporting a business, especially one just starting up. Fragile or perishable items are much more likely to survive the trip home in bad weather if they do not have to travel far.
Comparison shop to find the best quality and prices. Consult weekly flyers from stores for specials on the items you need consistently or have been wanting for a while. Buying online saves gas. In addition to the gas dollars saved, many sites like eBay and Amazon sell quality gently used or overstock items at rock bottom prices. Unfortunately, shipping and handling costs can be hefty enough to potentially outweigh the cost savings. Be sure to read the fine print first.
Join rewards programs such as Air Miles, Aeroplan, and Chapters. These offer special coupons, points, and discounts to members. When you flip out your card at time of purchase, you rack up points or receive a discount. Air Miles and Aeroplan points are exchangeable towards the purchase of a variety of items. These programs can, however, become addictive to the point of leading you to unwise shopping decisions. Do not let these programs make you so loyal that you automatically buy something you could get cheaper elsewhere just for the sake of points.
Shopping on vacation
If you travel to or through another area on vacation, research great local stores in advance. A friend or relative might know of a great sale on quality footwear in their area. It can also be of benefit to know where the cheapest pharmacy is in case you forgot your toothpaste and need it right now.
Cook at home.
Learning how to cook, and not just in the microwave or fast meals, is a recipe for big savings amd improves health, too. For example, there is more nutritional and financial savings in a sack of potatoes than a bag of fries. Bake some oatmeal chocolate chip muffins and enjoy in place of expensive store bought cookies. A lean piece of steak will go farther and stretch your dollar with some chopped carrots and mushrooms. In addition, a healthy body won’t need expensive medications or force you to call in sick for work.
It really is ok to have a treat once in while- “while” being the operative word here. By indulging in that mocha chocolate fudge ice cream once a month instead of once a week, it seems like more of a treat. Just think of the money you’ll save not having to sign up for a crash aerobics course at the gym! Another trick is to learn to make your own treats. Coffee addicts will save a bundle by investing in their very own cappuccino maker instead of sh shelling out money at the coffee shop. Even on a budget, gourmet coffee beans do not have to be out of your reach if you buy them in bulk. Settle on a lower priced ground for every day and indulge in the good stuff while cuddling with your sweetie and watching Netflix.
Left to their own devices, animals such as cats and dogs can really wreck your home. While cats claw furniture, dogs bite big holes in your favorite couch. The good news is, you can protect your furniture. Invest in a scratching post for Kitty, trim his claws, and keep him entertained with windows, toys, and interactive play sessions. As for Fido, give him some chew toys, walks and lots of human attention. So, you just might not have to replace that expensive decor after all.
Learning a variety of strategies to save money, such as the ones listed above, will really help your bottom line. Little by little, those saved pennies add up to big dollars and a better life over time.