Are you on the lookout for ways to save money? With the ever-rising costs of goods and services these days, it makes perfect sense to find ways to save money. If you can save $5 by buying a lesser-known brand of detergent over a more popular brand, why would you choose brand name recognition over practicality? Another thing that you need to remember about saving is that every little bit helps.
If you’re driving several miles and the cost of gas on one gasoline station is $0.50 cheaper, you will still be saving a lot of money in the long run. If you want to know a few ways to save money, you’ve come to the right place!
Based from just a couple of examples, you can see how important it is to learn how to compare prices when it comes to saving money. By being a wise consumer, you can cut back a significant chunk off your monthly budget without having to sacrifice on anything. In the next section, we will be dishing out the top ten tips on how you can save money without going through major lifestyle changes.
Top 10 Painless Ways to Save Money
Before enumerating the top ten painless ways to save money, why should you consider techniques which will not require a huge change in your lifestyle in the first place? The number one reason is that when you make non-painful lifestyle changes, you can become more effective in saving money.
Let’s say that you just secured your first job and you just moved into a new state. You are about to receive your first paycheck and you would like to get to know your colleagues, but the money you earned will go towards your rent and other expenses related to settling down.
Instead of totally skipping the chance to make new friends simply because you do not have enough money, you can instead visit a local watering hole during happy hour. The drinks will be cheaper and you can socialize without having to spend so much. Simple things like this will allow you to cut back on your personal expenses, but without requiring you to make major changes with your lifestyle.
Here are a few more painless ways to save money without changing your lifestyle:
1. Save your way to good health
Prevention is definitely better than cure when it comes to your health. Even if you have a quite comprehensive health insurance plan, you would not want to get sick and not be able to go to work. When you exert enough time and effort into living a healthier lifestyle, your body and your pocket will thank you for it. Eat right, get plenty of sleep, ditch the bad habits and get plenty of exercise.
These things do not even require a lot of money – sleep and exercise are free, while steering clear of bad habits like excessive drinking or smoking will free up even more of your monthly budget. By working towards good health, you can save a lot of money in the process.
2. Review your insurance policies annually
An insurance plan serves as a financial protection against unfortunate circumstances which could happen in the future. If you have a car insurance plan, for example, it is the provider who will take care of the expenses should you get involved in a road mishap. The same thing holds true for health insurance, home insurance or disability insurance.
But just because you require these insurance plans does not mean that you have to pay an arm and a leg for them.
The competition in the industry is stiff enough that your current provider will be more than willing to lower your rates if you tell them that you are considering switching plans because another company offered a lower premium.
As such, it pays to review your insurance policies annually. Be it your car, home or health insurance, reviewing them before the expiration date of the contract will give you plenty of time to know about other plans available. If your current provider is unwilling to match another company’s offer, you can easily switch because there are plenty of other options available.
3. Find ways to improve your credit score
We currently rely on a credit system which is why it is quite difficult to survive a credit card-less existence. The downside of having a credit card is that it is very easy to fall into the debt trap of borrowing more than what you are actually earning. To prevent this from happening, you may want to create a budget so that you can determine exactly what your monthly spending limit is. After managing your credit card accounts, find ways to improve your credit score.
Flip through the free reports provided by credit scoring agencies and call them about any discrepancies. When you have a glowing credit score, you are actually increasing your purchasing power because you can get approved for loans more quickly and qualify for lower interest rates when borrowing money. You can even qualify for better insurance premium rates if it’s that time of the year for you to apply for a new plan.
4. Save your money through ‘cheap’ investments
The best way to save money is to make your existing funds earn interest – and this is something that can be done through investing. Not all investments requires millions of dollars.
There are mutual funds investments that you can start using only a few hundred or thousand dollars. Through mutual funds investments, you can earn more out of your money instead of letting it sit idly in a bank savings account which earns as little as 1% in annual interest.
5. Look for bundled services
We live in a world where people feel deprived if they do not have access to Internet and premium cable services – but these things do cost money. To save money without having to make do without premium TV shows and Internet access, look for companies which offer bundled services. You can easily save up to $100 when going for bundled packages.
Check if your Internet access is fast enough to ditch cable services – you can easily save a lot of money by subscribing to online streaming services that will still let you consume your favorite premium TV content. For insurance plans, you can also look for bundled or umbrella services since buying in bulk qualifies you to discounts.
6. Ditch monthly subscriptions or services that you do not really need
Do you really need landline service? What about that pricey unlimited data plan that you are paying for with your current mobile service provider? Or maybe you are still getting physical copies of your favorite gossip magazine which is charging you a monthly fee.
Check on all the monthly subscriptions or services that you are paying for, and ditch the unnecessary ones. You can most probably get the content you need online, anyway, so why pay for the extra services at all?
7. Go comparison shopping
Thanks to the proliferation of online shopping sites, it is very easy to go comparison shopping these days. There are even apps that you can download to let you know which online or physical store offers the lowest price for a specific item that you are hoping to buy.
As a wise consumer, it is your responsibility to check all the options available out there. By comparing the prices and checking on the feedback from other buyers, you can decide for yourself whether a more expensive brand is worth buying than a cheaper, less popular one.
8. Earn cashback credits
There are actually lots of benefits that you can earn from your credit card if you know how to use it wisely. Depending on your spending habits and lifestyle, you can choose a card which offers frequent flyer miles for every point earned. There are also cashback credits or a point rewards system which qualify you for freebies after accumulating a certain number of points.
The key is to charge on your credit card what you already have the cash for. This way, you can take full advantage of the points earned – but without having to go neck-deep into credit card debt. A good system to use is putting your monthly bills on automatic payment, then using cards that earn points for everyday purchases like groceries, gas, etc.
9. Reduce your luxury expenses
In order to save money, there are luxury expenses that you can easily do without – minus the need to drastically cut your lifestyle. For instance, if you go out to fancy restaurants twice a week, make it once a week or during payday only. For the rest of the time that you feel like going out, look for hole-in-the-wall eateries where you can get a great dining experience, without the high price tag.
The same thing holds true for other luxury expenses like designer bags or clothes, shoes, out-of-town vacations – these things, you can cut back on to save money without having to feel that you are depriving yourself of anything.
10. Make saving money a priority
Finally, make saving money a priority. While in the process of creating a monthly budget, make it a point to include a certain amount which will go towards a savings fund. By forcing yourself to save, you can have a decent savings account which you can spend during financial or family emergencies, or simply set aside for the rainy days.