The Little Things Count
Little money changes can add up to some big bucks. A dollar here and a dollars here do really count, especially when you count the savings over a long period. A dollar a day is even an easy 400 dollars a year with compound interest and over 12,000 dollars after 20 years. If you are ready to make some small changes that really add up, here are some ideas.
- Take Your Lunch To Work
If you dine out every day for lunch, it can get really expensive, really quickly. Take your lunch to work just once a week and save $10 that day or over 500 dollars over the course of an average work year. That is for just one day a week, imagine if you did that several days? If you need money for your savings and investments, cutting food costs is one of the easiest ways to make a big difference.
- Shop Online For Groceries
Walmart makes it nice and easy for you to shop online for your groceries and then simply pick them up at the curb. How does this save you money? Easy, it helps you eliminate those tricky end-caps and crafty product positioning. Shop online and you will find it easier to avoid impulse buys, especially if you usually bring a kid along.
- Switch To Water
Water is so much cheaper than soda. Even if you just switch to plastic water bottles, it is about a third of the cost of soda. Even better than those not so environmentally friendly bottles is using a reusable water bottle. It will really ramp up those savings. If you are a regular soda drinker, your savings can easily top 500 dollars in a year.
- Make Some Laundry Changes
Do you know that most of the energy used in a washing machine is from heating the water? Stop using hot water and switch to cold. Your clothes will last longer and they will get just as clean.
While you are at it, consider cutting back on the dry times. Dry your clothes for a few minutes to get rid of the lint and then finish them on the line.
- Unplug Your Electronics
Many of the powered things that we own, use power whether they are in use or not. Unplug the things that you do not use often. Put all the everyday things on surge strips so that you can easily cut off the juice when not in use but still have them ready to use in a hurry. Will the energy savings be huge? No but every dollar counts and it is better for the environment.
- Cancel Your Gym Membership
The cold hard truth is that most people who join the gym, never use their membership. It is true and gym owners depend on it and make it rather difficult to cancel a membership. You can sign up online, but you always have to go in to cancel. I wonder why that is.
If you never use your membership, make the effort to cancel it and save the $40 a month that you are paying.
If you only use your gym to run the treadmill, also consider cancelling your membership and switch to exercising outside. You will probably find it more enjoyable and a whole lot cheaper.
- Shop Off Season
For some out of this world savings, shop three seasons in advance. If it is Fall right now, you should be shopping the Summer clearance for next year. Doing so requires some forethought but can save you up to 80% off the full retail price.
Shop off season for clothing, holiday decorations, sporting goods, lawn mowers and just about anything else that is seasonal.
- Take The Time To Argue A Fee
Politely of course. There are a lot of fees that can be argued or negotiated. If your bank charges you to use a non company ATM, call them and ask them to remove it. If you accidentally paid your car payment late, call them and ask for a one time free pass. Even that annual credit card fee can be eliminated if you are willing to threaten to cancel your card. You might be surprised at just how much leeway a customer service rep has.
- Use Your FSA Fully
Your Flexible Spending Account allows you to use pretax dollars to pay foe eligible health expenses. You already know that you can use it to pay your deductibles and doctors cost but you may be able to use it further. Other health expenses like over the counter drugs may qualify. Use your pretax income on these items instead of going out of pocket to maximize your savings.
- Go Prepay On Your Phone
You know what the main difference is between a prepay cell phone plan and a traditional one? You pay for the service at the beginning of the service month instead of at the end of it.
Most prepaid services still offer the same benefits of the big carriers and often use the exact same towers. You will no longer get a subsidized phone but your bill will be about a third of your current cost. More than enough of a savings to buy your own phone.
Wrapping Up Your Savings
There is almost no end to the savings when you just make a bunch of small changes. Easily save 1000, 3000 or even 5000 dollars in an average year by making several small changes. It really is as easy as that.