Saving money is hard in today’s world but here are 10 easy things you can do to keep more green in your pocket and hopefully they’ll help you save more money and fatten up you bank account.
- Track your debt.
- Buy used.
- Stick to the small screen.
- Review your credit report
- Give your checking account a checkup
- Discover savings right in your home
- Use credit cards wisely
- Be wise when grocery shopping
- Save around the holidays
- Economically Intelligent Gift Giving
One of the first ways to help you save more money is by documenting your debt. Document what you owe this month – utility bills, phone charges, rent, car payments, loan payments, and other expenses. Once numbers are on paper instead of in your head, they are a little easier to not to forget. If your list of expenses adds up to more than your income, you’ll need to look for ways to cut those expenses.
Whether its clothes, books, cell phones, or cars, you can usually save more money when you buy used. Now before you relinquish this idea, consider this: used isn’t what it used to be. These days you can go online and buy great stuff while saving money, alot of it. Just go to eBay.com or Google.com and search for “used cell phones”. You’ll be amazed at what you find.
Typically, a night for two at the movies can cost about $20 – $30. Throw in dinner and you can easily spend $50 or more for one night of entertainment. Rather than pay $50 – $100 for entertainment, try renting and see how much you save. Better yet, go to your local library. Many libraries carry DVDs that you can rent for nothing more than the cost of a library card. Put the money you save into a savings account. Or you could use the extra money to pay off loans, credit cards, or other debt.
Always obtain your latest and greatest credit report. Many people have old or incorrect information on their credit reports. Know exactly what is on yours to ensure you’re not being penalized for something someone else did or something that happened a long time ago. Get a copy of your credit report by simply contacting one of the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian.com, Equifax.com and TransUnion.com). Review it and contest anything that is outdated or just plain wrong. This will definitely help you save more money.
Get the best checking account deals by shopping around. Some banks offer free checks or no ATM fees which makes saving money easier. Other banks pay interest for keeping a minimum balance, which again, makes saving money easier. Financial analysts say that most customers can put an extra $100-$200 in their pockets annually by choosing the right checking account.
There are ways to save more money right from your home. For example, turn down the temperature on your water heater to save on the gas bill. When doing dishes or laundry, make sure you’re only washing full loads so you don’t waste water and electricity. Even fixing a leaky faucet will help. Add it all up, and you could see you bills go down 10%, 20%, 30% or even more!
Credit cards are not a bad thing. Actually, credit cards can be a good tool if used wisely. But if you rack up a lot of charges on a card, they can become a big financial burden. So make sure you pay more than the minimum to get your balance down. Always pay on time to avoid expensive late fees. And if you are charging too much, start using cash instead. You’ll find yourself spending a lot less.
Groceries can be one of your biggest expenses. The best way to keep your grocery bill down is to plan ahead. That means making a list and sticking to it. Emotional or impulsive shopping won’t lead to saving money. Also check out coupons and store specials to double or triple your savings. And remember you can score big by buying in bulk, especially on basic items you use a lot like coffee, bread, cereal, etc. Follow these tips and you can save $50 or more each month.
One thing that I look forward to when it comes to holidays is saving money. Stores need to get rid of all the things they stocked up on and this gives you the big opportunity to save more money. Example: know any kids who need presents after Halloween? Costumes can go on sale for 75% or more. If you’ve got a place to store them, pick up next year’s Thanksgiving decorations right after this year’s turkey day. And you can save a lot on other items (cards, gifts, etc.) during other holiday sales.
Instead of spending a lot on gifts for others, try to come up with something simple and personal (E.I.) to help save more money this year. For example, put together a photo album or scrapbook for a loved one. It might take a little more work, but they’ll appreciate the effort. And you won’t have to spend the next month paying it off.