Saving money is one of those tasks that’s so much easier said than done. Making small changes in your life can fatten your savings and help you budget better.
Saving also includes reducing expenditures such as recurring costs. Saving doesn’t just mean getting discounts on your purchases. It also means putting away money for the rainyday and pretending you never saw it. Creating emergency fund so that if anything does goes wrong, you won’t be sick with worry; wiping out debt once for all, paying those bills that never seem to go away; and eventually, it means putting your money work for you.
Whether you want to be a millionaire or just want to save a few bucks here or there, there are some surprisingly easy ways to tuck away a little cash.
We compiled 30 money saving tips below, please feel free to share your money saving techniques in comments.
- Buy or rent used textbooks and sell last semester’s books back.
- Don’t make impulsive purchases:
make it a habit to avoid impulsive purchases.Many of the things you want to buy do not seem all that necessary, if you only you wait for a day or two. Also, waiting means you will be able to check prices and make an informed decision to buy it at the best possible price.
- Limit the number of times you eat outside monthly.
- Always pay bills on time to avoid late fees.
- Walk, use public transportation or ride a bike instead of having car.
- Sell what you no longer use or need. There are plenty of stores and websites, where you can sell your used clothing, furniture and tech items.
- Make your own coffee. While coffee shops are convenient, they charge hefty prices that really add up over time.
- Make list before going shopping:
They call it impulse buying for a reason. Humans simply have a very tough time resisting the temptation to purchase extras while shopping. Without a list you will buy items that you simply do not need. Even worse is when your forget to purchase the actual item you came to the store for in the first place. If you plan on cooking at home, pre-plan a rough menu and make a list before you go grocery shopping. Getting all that you need in one trip can help avoid another unnecessary trip and temptation.
- Go grocery shopping while you are in hurry:
Maybe you need to go out in a couple of hours. Or your favorite show is going to be on TV after a couple of hours. Try to squeeze in the grocery trip in that intermediate time. Armed with your grocery list, you should be in-and-out very quickly with little time for meandering and getting tempted to buy things you don’t need.
- Watch out for expiry dates on perishable goods:
This one seems intuitive when you read it, but I am surprised at how many people do not pay attention to expiry dates. No point getting a gallon of milk if it is going to turn sour with a couple of days. Same goes for meat, eggs, yogurt, spreads, frozen items, deli/bakery items etc. Some people say you can use a few items a few days after expiry – but I personally value my health more than money and would rather avoid buying such items in the first place.
- Buy in bulk whenever possible:
Things like deodorant, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. You spend a little bit more now, but save in the long run.
- Consolidate and pay off debt as soon as possible: If you carry any debt, focus on consolidating it to a lower interest and paying it off as soon as possible. Money paid in interest is money thrown away! Why spend your hard-earned cash to make the financial institutions rich?
- Disconnect landline if possible: it is more than likely that you will be able to survive with only the mobile phones and can get rid of the land line.
- Bottle your own water: Drinking water is good for your health. Bottled water is the most convenient since it can provide protection against accidental spills.Buy bottled water only once in a while, and then reuse that bottle to fill your own water.
- Keep your car as long as possible: When possible, try to keep your car as long as possible. Find the balance between the money spent on repairs versus the monthly installment on another vehicle and choose to run your old car as long as the repair costs are low.
- Do regular scheduled maintenance on your vehicles: Do not skimp on or forget to do regular oil changes. Remember to check the air in your tires often. And use the grade of fuel that the owner’s manual recommends. These small acts can significantly lengthen the life of your car, giving you years of use.
- If you like watching movies at the theater, go before 6:00 pm: This is one of our soft spots when it comes to spending. We really like watching movies in the theater with the big screen and the great sound effects. Also, for movies that we don’t absolutely want to watch right away, we just wait until it screens on the discount theater where the tickets are $2 a pop. We avoid the temptation to buy snacks, by usually going for a theater some time soon after our lunch or sometimes sneaking in our own snacks in the purse.
- Regulate your electric use: When not in use, unplug electric appliances. Apparently, unplugging the TV instead of just switching it off can save a lot of electricity! When not in a room, switch off the lights and the fan.
- Plan vacations ahead of time: Vacations are a necessary part of saving our sanity in the busy lives that we lead. But vacations are also a huge drain on the family finances. You can cut the cost of a vacation significantly by planning and booking ahead of time. Bookmark travel sites for finding inexpensive airfare, hotel etc., and book at least two weeks in advance.
- Compare the right prices:At the grocery store, you should always look at the unit price sticker when trying to decide between two items. The price of the best option might be higher, but gives you more for your money.
- Cancel memberships you are not using.
- Repair instead of automatically replaing.
- Purchase dinning discounts.
- Check for coupons online :
and in print before buying anything at all. But don’t let a coupon, Groupon or other deal convince you to buy something you weren’t going to buy anyway.
- Stop buying things you can get free.
- Buy things out of season when they’re cheaper. For example, shop for decorations after the holiday is over, get back-to-school items in the winter, winter wear in the spring, and patio furniture in the fall.
- Don’t shop when you’re hungry or sad:In either case, you’re liable to bite off more than you can chew.
- Get by with a little help from your friends: Swap movies, games, and books to keep entertainment costs down.
- Grow your own food or shop at a farmer’s market to save big on fruits and vegetables.
- Make your own everything else: Let imagination replace money by making greeting cards, decorations, Halloween costumes, gifts and just about anything you enjoy spending time on.