Easy Ways To Start Saving Today
If your income has taken a beating lately, saving money is no longer an option but a necessity. Unfortunately for most people, it does not come naturally. We can help with some easy to implement saving tricks. Enjoy.
- Keep A Spending Journal
You might be surprised at just how much money you are wasting and how it adds up. Get a notebook and keep track of every penny that you spend for one or two weeks. Then, sit down and review it. The results might be shocking when you do the long term math.
Coffee, for example seems like a trivial expense but can add up greatly over time. One cup a day during the work week can add up to 100 dollars a month or over $1200 cash in a year. Think about how much 1200 dollars could help you right now.
Besides coffee, there are a number of other small expenses that can add up in a hurry. From that afternoon vending machine trip to the toll you pay to save 30 seconds of driving. The little stuff can add up in a big way.
- Get A Change Jar
Saving change is not as popular as it used to be, but maybe it is time for a resurgence.
Sure a few dime and a couple nickles is not worth much now, but over time it can accumulate quite a bit. Over 6 months, 30 cents a day is 54 dollars. In a tough economy, that is enough to pay your internet bill.
Cashing in this change is also incredibly easy these days. Most grocery stores and some banks will have change counting machines that you can use, sometimes for free and sometimes for a small charge.
- Erase Your Credit Cards From Websites
Online websites love to offer you the convenience of one click purchasing. That is why they are so quick to offer to store your credit information for later use. Trust me, it is not for your convenience.
Once click purchasing allows you to commit to the purchase before you have really thought about it. You might be amazed at just how many purchases you would change your mind on if you had to hunt down a credit card and manually enter the information.
Have your credit card number memorized you say? Perhaps it is time to report it lost and get a new one.
- Start Meal Planning
Americans waste a tremendous amount of the food that buy. The number one reason for this is that they do not meal plan, they simply buy what they think that they need. That is a good way to waste 10 to 20 percent of your food budget.
Meal planning involves planning out your meals for a period, usually a week, and then buying just what you need to make those meals. It can tremendously cut down on wasted food and can ease stress since you will have everything you need to prepare your meals. No more last minute and very costly trips to the market to grab a few items.
Start meal planning now and save an easy $250 a month if you have a large family.
- Choose Free Entertainment
If you are still paying for a cable or satellite subscription, now is the time to cut it out. A cable bill can easily come in at 100 to 200 dollars a month. That is money that you simply can not waste during these times.
Cancel your cable and then turn to free services like Crackle or IMDB television. You might be surprised at just how much entertainment is available for free.
Another free entertainment option, if your library is still open, is to check out free books. Forget the e-books costing 5 to 10 dollars a piece and go the old fashioned route and save money.
- Shop Loss Leaders
If you do all of your shopping at one store, you may be making a mistake. Stores like to lure you in with what is called a “loss leader”, an item or items that are marked down dramatically to get you in the doors. Shop just the loss leaders at stores and save big.
Doing so, will of course, call on you to shop around a bit. You might be buying pasta at one store and ground beef at another. Study the circulars every work and use them in conjunction with meal planning to maximize your food savings.
- Buy Generics
Whenever possible, the generic or store brand is your best friend. This applies to everything from potato chips to tube socks. On average you can save 30 percent by purchasing the generic product. That can add up to hundreds of dollars in no time at all.
When you consider that many generics are made by the big brand names, the decision to make the switch should be an easy one. The only exception to this is diapers. If you have a baby, buy good diapers.
- Cut Out The Gym
This is not to say that you should not exercise, but switch to free varieties for now. Unless you are a body builder, you can get just as good of a workout with body weight exercises and walking or jogging at the park.
Working out away from the gym can save you as much as a thousand dollars a year and, given the current climate, is much safer.
- Switch To Water
Water is not only cheap but healthy. If you are a soda drinker, you are likely consuming at least 4 cans a day. That adds up to 10 twelve packs of soda costing roughly 5 dollars per. That is 50 dollars a month in wasted money from just one soda drinker. A family could be spending several hundred dollars a month.
Maximize your water savings by switching to a filter and reusable water bottles. You can still save money switching to bottled water but the savings will be less and you have the obvious environmental aspect.
There you have it, 9 easy ways to start saving money today. Combine many of them and save potentially thousands of dollars each year. These tips might not help much if you have lost your job completely, but if you find that you’ve gone from making 50000 dollars a year to 40000 dollars, they might just do the trick. Good luck to you. Stay safe.