10 Simple Ways to Save Money
We all overspend occasionally. When we reach the point of throwing money away on a daily basis, we need to take a close look at where it’s going. Eating out every night? Fancy coffees? Expensive lunches? All this indulgence adds up to a hefty chunk of change. Excessive spending can wreck your home budget.
If you’re interested in saving money, look at your lifestyle. Can you cut out unnecessary spending? Have you really checked to make sure your home is energy efficient? What, for that matter, is energy efficiency? The object is to spend less than you earn and stash away the savings!
1. Set up a budget.
Ugh, you say. Who needs it? There’s a really good reason. How are you going to know where your money has gone unless you have some way to track your spending? Set up a simple budget or even itemize your current spending habits. You’ll then be able to find areas where changes can be made.
2. Make your home more energy efficient.
Many dollars are flushed down your toilets and drains every day. Every light left on in an unoccupied room increases the amount of your monthly electrical bill. Here are some ways to cheaply increase your home’s energy efficient and reduce utility bills.
– Shut off the lights. Better yet, buy some high efficiency compact fluorescent light bulbs. These bulbs are up to 4 times as efficient and last 10 times longer than a regular light bulb.
– Unplug unused appliances and make sure major appliances are running efficiently (set your refrigerator to 37-40 degrees F and freezer to 5 degrees F.)
– Caulk and weather strip windows and doors.
– Replace shower heads and faucets with reduced flow fixtures.
– Check that toilet for leaks.
– Take shorter showers and don’t run the water when brushing teeth or shaving.
– Wash only full loads of clothes and dishes.
3. Skip Starbucks.
That daily latte might be instrumental to your mental wellness but is it really necessary every single day? Some fancy coffee shops charge up to $5 for a latte and a muffin. That’s $35 a week. Revisit whether this is an absolute necessary expense. Try making your coffee shop visit a once a week treat instead.
4. Visit the library for books and videos.
Why purchase books when you can borrow them from the library for 3 weeks at not cost at all? Why rent movies when you can view them for free?
5. Eat in.
Dining out is a treat. A once-a-week or once-a-month treat. It makes no sense to visit the grocery store, spend $100, and then eat out every night. You’ll end up tossing most of your perishable grocery purchases right into the trashcan.
6. Take your lunch.
Yes, it’s really that simple. Eateries near offices crank up fast food prices, often resulting in a $8-10 per day lunch bill. That adds up week after week. You’re already spending money on weekly groceries and very likely, packing a lunch every day for your children. So why not just pack your own lunch too? It’s bound to be healthier and you could be saving $200 per month.
7. Use Cash.
We’re less likely to overspend if we’ve got cash in hand. Once it’s gone, the spending has to stop. Well, you say, what’s preventing me from using my debit or credit card? Read on to #8!
8. Leave your credit card at home.
Don’t carry your credit card in your wallet if you’re too tempted to use it. Just stash it at home. You’ll limit your spending. The added bonus is that you won’t be racking up interest charges on your credit card balance! Use cash for everything but the largest purchases.
9. Use coupons for grocery and on line shopping.
Clip and use the coupons in your Sunday paper when visiting the grocery. Or better yet, tailor shopping purchases to the coupons that your clip. Don’t ever make an on-line purchase without visiting an on-line coupon site such as www.retailmenot.com. Just type in the shopping website name and a list of on-line coupon codes pops up. Select a code and apply it a checkout. The savings usually start at 10 percent!
10. Save on gasoline.
Gas costs are creeping upward at an alarming rate. Combine your errand trips to save on fuel. Check your tire pressure weekly. If your tire is 1 pound under pressure, it can amount to a 6 percent loss in gas mileage. Don’t run your car to warm it up on cold days. It warms up much faster when you are driving and you’ll save yourself a wasted quart of gas. Toss a blanket over your kids to keep them warm until the heater kicks in.