Whether you’re single or raising a family, there will be instances when you would be spending more than what is allocated in your monthly budget. Let’s say that you’re single and you went home for the holidays. Without meaning to, you spent a bit too much for the Christmas gifts that you will give your nephews, nieces and friends.
Or, you could be a working mom who splurged on one outing after another during the summer. Since you brought the whole family with you, the activities put a huge dent in your wallet. There are also those who simply went a bit overboard in indulging their need to do a little retail therapy – so they burned a big hole in their pocket for their purchases.
After such spending sprees, the number one thing that you need to remember is that you do have to make adjustments to your next month’s budget – and resist the temptation to acquire any debt.
You don’t have to make your entire financial status suffer just because of a recent spending spree. By making a few adjustments here and there, you can easily get back on track financially. In fact, you can even save $1,000 or more after having your wallet hit hard by lots of expenses in the past. Find out how you can do just that in the following section.
Easy Ways to Save $1000 or More
When looking for ways to save $1,000 or more after a recent spending spree, you should make sure that the methods you will use are quite painless. What does this mean? The techniques that you will apply in order to force yourself to save that $1,000 should not affect your lifestyle in any major way.
Of course, certain sacrifices have to be made but they are relatively minor. To give you an idea about exactly what we’re talking about, take a look at our list of the top ways for you to save $1,000 or more:
Take the eco-friendly route
When you’re trying to save money, every individual cent helps. Let’s say that you stopped buying groceries using plastic bags and started bringing your own reusable totes every time you shop.
Most business establishments will offer you rebates of less than a dollar. If you buy the stuff you need from the same shop, you can earn loyalty points as well. By taking the eco-friendly route of bringing your own bag, you can save money in the process.
Stop using directory assistance services
Local directory assistance or 411 service is available in the United States and Canada. In the US alone, approximately six billion calls are made to 411 each year. If you would like to save money, you simply need to stop making calls to directory assistance. Depending on the wireless provider you have, you will most probably get paid a $1.99 fee or more for each call.
An alternative would be to religiously update your phonebook so that you won’t lose those contact numbers. If you need to call a business establishment, go online and visit one of those websites which allow you to search for published phone numbers. You can also text Google at 466453 for the telephone number you need if you do not have Internet service on your mobile phone.
When dining out, bring your own wine
Just because you are trying to save money does not mean that you have to give up the little pleasures in life. When dining out, enforce a BYOB rule among your friends.
This means bring your own booze – preferably wine. Most dining establishments charge an arm and a leg for a bottle of these drinks and for half the price that they’re adding on your bill, you can buy a very good bottle of vino. Sure, you will be charged a minimal corkage fee but this is really less compared to what you will get billed if you buy liquor or wine from the dining establishment you’re visiting.
Stop paying for that pricey gym membership
When you cancel unnecessary subscriptions, you will definitely be saving up a lot of money. During the month of January, a lot of people sign up for gym memberships or exercise classes because they feel like they’ve indulged too much during the holidays, so they spend money to lose weight.
But once you find out that you actually do not have the self-discipline to visit the gym everyday, you will simply be wasting money on that pricey gym membership fee. Before paying for such things, make sure that the exercise plan will work for you. Otherwise, you can simply use the great outdoors as your gym by running, walking or biking.
Don’t splurge on your entertainment expenses
Going out to the movies is one of the most popular forms of entertainment especially for families, but it does come at a price. Instead of paying full price for movie tickets, go online and look for discount vouchers and coupons.
You can also check out the websites or offices of Sam’s Club or Costco where you can purchase discounted tickets to AMC and other major theater chains. Most employers also have discounts at certain theaters. If you can’t find a membership, simply catch the matinee shows which are typically followed by early-bird specials.
If you use a car to get yourself to and from work, use websites to compare gas prices before filling the tank up
Car-related expenses take up a huge chunk of your budget, especially if you drive yourself to and from work. If you have a neighbor or a friend who you can ride to work with, simply carpool so that you can split the money on gas.
Otherwise, check out websites like GasBuddy.com or Autos.msn.com. These sites will let you know which gas stations have the lowest rates. Remember that even if two gas stations are located close to each other, they can have different rates based on where they are situated. Even a few cents difference will add up to a lot, especially if you are filling up the gas tank.
Use a slow cooker
Slow cookers are a lot more efficient than traditional ovens. Using them will allow you to simply purchase cheaper cuts of beef without sacrificing the taste, because slow-cooked meals end up tasting better, anyway. It’s a double whammy because you will not just be saving money on energy costs, but on major meal ingredients as well.
If there’s a beauty product that you absolutely cannot live without, check first if there is a generic equivalent in your drugstore. The big cosmetic and beauty product manufacturers spend a lot on branding but when you check on the individual ingredients of each bottle, there is a cheaper but generic equivalent to it.
The same thing holds true for your toiletries or over-the-counter medications. Generic is always cheaper, so you will end up saving a lot of money on the items that you need.
Manage your house’s heating and cooling costs
When you’re paying your utility bills, 50% come from heating and cooling while a good 10% to 15% come from phantom electricity. You’d want to lower your electricity bills so the first thing to do is make sure that your heating and cooling system is efficient.
Make sure that all cracks are sealed so that the draft will not come in during winter, or the cooled air will not come out during the summer. Use heavy drapes to seal windows and keep the warm or cool air inside any room.
For phantom electricity, this is energy that is being unnecessarily used up when your appliances are left on standby mode instead of completely turned off. When you are sure that there are no power hoggers inside your house, you can save up to 15% off your electricity bills. To make it easier to turn everything off especially when you are going out of the house, simply use a power strip so you only have to press one or two buttons.
Stop paying for fines and late fees
Trying to save $1,000 should be part of a bigger financial plan that allows you to save up for the future. To make sure that you are not wasting money on unnecessary expenses, stop paying for late fees or fines. Sign-up for e-mail alerts so that you would know when each credit card or utility bill is due.
Better yet, go for online payments or automatic debit deductions so that those bills can be automatically deducted from your bank account when they’re due. The money that you can save for those fines and late fees can go towards your savings goal.
As you can see, there are many areas in your daily life where you can save money on a regular basis. By taking advantage of discounts, not paying for unnecessary fees and implementing ways to save on electricity and your grocery bills, you can add up all the savings together and come up with the desired amount that you are trying to pool: $1,000 or more.