Ask financial experts for advice on how to save money and you’ll probably get a speech about how you should diversify your investment portfolio, save on overhead costs, stop incurring debts or something a bit more complex. Although these are perfectly valid ways for you to save money, a complicated technique on how to save money might take a lot of time and effort to implement.
If you have no idea about how to diversify your investment portfolio because you only have a basic savings account to rely on, what other ways are available for you to save money? That is exactly what we will learn about here.
When it comes to savings, every cent or dollar saved will add up to a lot when you put all your efforts together. If you’re a couple raising three kids, teaching the kids how to save money will amp up your savings as well.
In the next section, we will take a look at the little steps that you can take in order to save money. The steps involve the different aspects of your life so that you don’t have to make any major lifestyle changes. By putting all your small efforts together, you will realize a lot of savings in the long run.
In this guide...
- Instead of always ordering pricey lattes to go, brew your own coffee at home. Buy a decent coffee machine and you can make a cup of Joe at a fraction of the price.
- Brownbag your lunch. If your typical office pantry meal costs $5, you can make your own lunch at home at half the price and end up saving up to $500 per year – something which you can add to your emergency funds.
- Eat out less. If you want to meet up with friends, organize a potluck dinner so that you can all have fun without spending a lot.
- When buying groceries, bring a list of the items that you need – but only after conducting an inventory of your kitchen to see what you still have.
- Use coupons for magazines and online vouchers so that you get discounted rates on good, but only for items that you would be buying in the first place.
- Visit your local farmer’s markets so that you can get in-season fruits and veggies at a lower price.
- Create a weekly menu so that you would know exactly what to serve during the days of the week.
- If you have a big family, shop in bulk. Some stores offer lower prices for certain brands, so make a comparison of the prices before buying.
- Grow your own food. Even a few pots of herbs will cut something off your grocery bills.
- Make your own bread, fruit preserves, etc. – some of these have cheaper raw ingredients and are more expensive to buy from the store.
- Don’t discount buying generic prescription drugs or over-the-counter medication.
- If you have a chronic disease, ask your doctor to give you the top three choices for branded and generic medication so you can see which one will cost you less.
- Sign up for newsletters by visiting the websites of drug manufacturers so that you can get free product samples or discounts.
- Before buying medication, always compare the prices of goods from both physical and online stores.
- Instead of always buying medication for illnesses, try to live a healthier lifestyle by eating right and exercising. Prevention is still better than cure.
- For elderly individuals, check on Medicare and government-sponsored programs that will qualify you for discounts when buying prescription medication.
- Be honest with your doctor and tell him or her if you cannot afford to buy a certain brand of medication. You should be given a cheaper alternative or another course of treatment.
- You can get your dose of medication at half the price by splitting a double-dosage pill in half. This would not cost as much as buying two pills of a lower dosage.
- Use the coupons and vouchers available when buying prescription medication, or over-the-counter medication.
- If you’re in for a long-term treatment, buy your medication in bulk. Ordering a 90-day supply of pills usually costs less than buying a 60- or 30-day supply.
- Buy movie tickets less often and simply invite friends over for DVD night.
- Check out your state’s events calendar. During certain months of the year, there should be outdoor concerts, fairs, farmer’s markets or other events that you can attend for free.
- If you live in an area where there are a lot of tourist attractions, check out the days or hours when you can get free entrance to museums, galleries, etc.
- Take full advantage of the facilities of your public library. This is where you can borrow books, download e-books, DVDs or even use the Internet for free.
- If you already have Internet access, ditch your cable or satellite TV subscription. Instead, subscribe to streaming services so that you can still watch your favorite TV shows online at a lower rate.
- Visit sites like GasBuddy.com to compare the prices from different gasoline stations before filling up the tank.
- If you want to buy a new car or replace your existing one, choose a model that is fuel efficient and does not cost too much to insure.
- Instead of paying for pricey repairs, get your car to the shop for regular tune-ups for maintenance.
- Avoid fast start-ups and stops when driving.
- If you can, walk or bike to where you are going if your destination is not that far.
- Mix and match the clothes that you already have to come up with a new look, but without having to shell out any funds for shopping sprees.
- If you must buy new clothes, look for sales at discount outlets.
- Buy clothes which do not require dry cleaning or ironing so you can save money on cleaning bills.
- Invest in clothes with good quality material, so that they will not look worn out even after multiple washings.
- For kid’s clothes or baby clothes, do not buy too much because they can easily be outgrown.
- Replace your existing showerheads with low-flow models.
- Make sure that your toilet has an intelligent flushing system. If not, look for kits in hardware stores that you can install on the tank to conserve water.
- Cut your shower time in half.
- When brushing your teeth, turn off the tap.
- Only run your dishwasher or washing machine during full loads.
- Buy a power strip so that you can get rid of phantom electricity. This adds up to 15% on your utility bills if the appliances are kept on Standby mode instead of completely turned off.
- Cooling and heating costs make up 50% of your utility bills, so make sure that no draft or cooled air an escape.
- Change the filters on your furnace.
- During the winter season, run your ceiling fans in reverse. This makes the air inside a room warmer.
- If you haven’t already done so, replace all your incandescent or fluorescent bulbs with energy-saving models. These may cost more initially, but the savings will more than pay for itself in the long run.
- If you have friends and relatives overseas, communicate with them over the Internet through social networking sites, Skype, Viber or similar free applications so you don’t have to pay for long distance or overseas calls.
- If you don’t need unlimited mobile data, do not pay for such feature with your provider.
- Ditch the landline if you already have Internet access.
- Assess your mobile calling plan so you don’t have to pay for services which you are not maximizing on a monthly basis.
- Monitor your mobile calling habits so that you can sign up for a suitable plan without overpaying.
Insurance, Banking Fees and Similar Expenses
- Review all your insurance plans annually. If you think that you’re paying too much, ask your provider for a discount. If not, you can easily switch because there are a lot of other insurance providers out there.
- Enrol in automatic bills payment so that you can get rid of late fees.
- Raise the deductible on your home or car insurance plans so that your monthly premiums will be reduced.
- If you have a good driving history, you should qualify for cheaper car insurance rates. Again, it pays to review your insurance plans annually so that you can check out what the competition has to offer in terms of rates before renewing your contract with your current provider.
- If you don’t have the self-discipline to allot money out of your salary for a savings account, force yourself to save by asking for an auto-debit arrangement with your bank.
More Small Ways to Save Money
- Keep track of your expenses so that you will know exactly where the money is going.
- Follow the thirty-day rule before buying a luxury or a big ticket item. If you see something you like, give yourself 30 days to purchase it. At the end of the waiting period, you might find that you don’t want to buy the item anymore.
- Don’t forget to save for your kid’s college expenses and your own retirement.
- When buying any item, go online first to compare prices and check out the product reviews.
- During the holiday season, consider applying for a seasonal job or freelance your skills on a per-project basis so that you can have more to spend on gift-giving.
There are plenty of other things that you can do in order to save money. Even those small savings would eventually add up to a lot, so you will find that your efforts are well worth it in the end.