12 Simple Ways to Save Money...
Saving for a rainy day or for retirement is something we all do (or should be doing), but beyond pulling money from your paycheck and tossing your loose coins into a jar at the end of each day, what are you doing to increase the amount you have to save?
Every month we spend an extra $15 here, $5 there and while it doesn't seem like much, it can quickly add up. For example, I have two email accounts. One I pay for, and one I don't. I've been paying for the one account since you actually HAD to pay. At first it was $34.99 a month, and now its $7.99. Basically, $8 a month or $96 a year is wasted on a paid email account when I could just move everyone that contacts me there to the free account and drop the $8 a month. I realize I'm not retiring on $8 a month, but when you look at how many of those $8 a month you pay for without needing to, you quickly find a few hundred dollars going out of your pocket each month, which translates into thousands a year.
Here are a few ways you can make some of those hard earned dollars stay in your pocket instead of in the pockets of others...
1. TURN OFF THE WATER
How often do you turn on the kitchen sink, walk away to do something, or perhaps the shower before getting in? You are wasting water, and your money. Also, when brushing your teeth morning, noon and night, turn off the faucet while brushing. Only turn it on to rinse!
2. PAY WITH A CREDIT CARD
Run all of your day to day purchases through a credit card. First, you can see where your money is being spent, and what you might want to cut back on. Have you any idea how much money you are spending on coffee or lunch? At the end of each month your credit card shows you how much you are spending on luxuries and where you should cut back. Also, use a credit card that gives you cash back!
3. TRAVEL PURCHASES
Buy your airfare on Tuesday. Traditionally, rates are less on this day.
4. FILLER UP
We all grocery shop. Make your loyalty pay off by purchasing gas using points from your local grocery store to lower the per gallon price.
5. GROCERY SHOPPING
I hate going to the grocery store. If I go, I'm there in the middle of the day, or late at night and using the self checkout. Now, I'm shopping from home in my PJs using Instacart. Yes, they charge a delivery fee (well worth it) but it keeps me from buying things not on my list. Grocery stores and other retail shops (Target, CVS, etc) have end cap and cash register offerings called impulse buys. Why? Because we buy them on an impulse. With the app, I can't buy that tempting candy bar, new beverage or cute wall art that I really don't need.
6. SAVE ELECTRICITY
You already know to turn up the temperature when you are gone to work to keep the A/C from running all day, but did you know that chargers plugged into the wall that aren't charging anything are still drawing electricity? Unplug them when not in use.
7. FREE FUN
Your local museum sometimes offers more than great art to enjoy. Call to see what perks an annual membership gets you. Sometimes you can receive passes to local attractions for free.
8. BUYING IN BULK
Clipping coupons is something your grandmother did. Reward cards are great but shop with a friend at Sams Club or Costco. Buy in bulk and split the merchandise to reduce your monthly household costs.
9. BANK PERKS
Did you know your local bank partners with brands to offer their customers discounts? Log in to your bank account, and sign up to save at restaurants, retail shopping, and even Starbucks.
10. SMART TV
If you have an iPad or Smart TV, you can stream many of your favorite shows. Netflix runs about $12 a month, Amazon Prime another $10. Add your home cable charge with minimal channels is still $130-150 a month. Switch to internet service only, drop cable and save $30-50 a month.
11. SMART PHONE & APPS
It's easy to send a quick text with a cute photo, or spend time playing Candy Crush, reading and responding to email without opening your laptop, but are you keeping your eye on your data usage? Should you go over, the penalty can be costly. Furthermore, you might be using less than the large data package you subscribe to, and can take another $30+ dollars a month off your bill by choosing the smaller data package. Also, many of the apps you have downloaded automatically renew each month. You may no longer use them. Check your subscriptions to your credit card and delete the ones you no longer need.
12. SET BUDGETS
You know you are going to eat out during the week, have cocktails, buy coffee... Its easy to plunk down a credit card and go. That's how we lose track of how much we've spent. Give yourself a weekly allowance. Play money if you will. Put it in your wallet as cash. Once its gone, its gone. If you end up with leftover cash at the end of the week, deposit it into your savings account and start the next week off fresh again.
What are some of your favorite ways to save?