There are many simple ways to save money. It doesn’t matter whether you earn $10,000 a year or $100,000, by following a few simple strategies you can make saving a part of your lifestyle.
The first and most important thing that you need to do is to make a budget. With a budget you will know how much you are spending on everything. In order to save, you need to spend less than you are now spending on everything in your life.
Where should you begin? Start at the grocery store. Take your eyes off of those eye level shelves and look up and down, you will find bargains there. Companies pay top dollar to have the eye level shelves, don’t let them be the winner. Switch to the store brands and save up to 50% off of the name brands. Clip coupons from the Sunday newspaper, magazines and go online with the names of items you plan to buy and see if there is a manufacturer’s coupon available. Consider shopping at a store like Aldi where there are no brand name items. Also look at all the weekly fliers, specials at pharmacies and big box stores can also save you a bundle. With the money that you have left from your food money start a saving account. Even if it is $10 a week, it is a start and after 10 weeks you will have $100.
If your weekly food budget is $150 and you can save 33%, you will have $50 a week to save and that is $500 in 10 weeks. Once you have $1000 you can put your money in a CD and earn a little more interest. You are now on your way to creating a nest egg.
The next step is to look at everything you spend money on. Let’s look at your electric bill. Walk around your house or apartment and unplug anything you can. The fridge needs to stay plugged in but few other things do. Many of these are what are known as vampires and they use electricity just by being plugged in. It is worth spending an extra minute to plug things in if it saves money. When buying new items make sure they are energy star rated. See who is supplying your electricity, these days consumers have choices. There are suppliers who will charge a lot less than others, make sure you have one of the less expensive ones, it can save you $10 or more a month.
Take a look at your insurance policies. What is your deducible on your auto and homeowners? By raising it from $250 to $500 or from $500 to $1000 you can save several hundred dollars a year.
Take a good look at your telephone bill; there are many ways that you may be overpaying. Only keep the services that you really need. If you have a cell phone you may even be able to get rid of your land line altogether.
Try to avoid impulse buying of any kind. Plan for anything that you need. If you are going to need some new spring clothes, check the sales fliers, look for coupons and special sales. Check the local consignment store and consider just getting some new accessories to make the clothes that you have look new.
Cut down on your driving as much as possible. Combine trips, car pool, take public transportation and walk. Shop at stores closer to home and try to do as many errands on any given trip as possible.
You can save on your heating bill by turning your thermostat down 5 degrees and by looking for any way you may be losing heat. Make sure all windows and doors seal tightly. The same goes for air conditioning, raise your temperature for big savings.
Use a little less of everything. Instead of putting a full cap full of laundry detergent, put in three quarters of a cap full. Tear your dyer sheets in half. Make your own cleaning spray with a large bottle of cleaner and some water; you can use one of your own used spray bottles.
In these uncertain financial times, it is more important than ever to have a financial cushion to fall back on. These are just a few simple ways to save. Do one of them or do all of them, just do something. It won’t seem like much the first month but six months down the road you will have a nice little nest egg and will have developed some money saving habits. You will reap the benefit of a little cost cutting now for years to come.