On a Budget? 5 Easy Ways to Save Money
Let's Admit It
In today's world, there are tons of gadgets and technology that we would all love to have. However, we much also admit, that most of these things are just too much for our budgets to handle. While, I am still trying to get my own finances in order, I have come across some great ways to save money, while you save money.
News to Me
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Watch On Your TV
Ditch the Cable
Most companies have a bundle plan. I am currently on a bundle plan. You know the bundles, the ones where they include cable, phone, and internet all for one low price. Except when you get the bill, you realize you have no idea what any of it means.
I have found several places that you can cut your budget in this area. We all love tv, and I personally love tv the most. So, in order to keep your tv shows and still cut your budget, try kicking the cable bill out of your budget and instead dropping down to just internet.
There are three places that I watch all my shows very frequently.
HuluPlus - Its $7.99 a month and you can catch up on most all of your current shows - on your computer. If you have shows that are currently on during this season of tv, you are sure to keep up with each new episode. HuluPlus can be watched on other devices as well; Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony Playstation 3, Apple iPhone, and Android phones to name a few.
Netflix Instant - Its $7.99 a month and Netflix Instant is for those of us who love to start new shows that may not be currently showing. Right now, I am watching back episodes of Quantum Leap and Heroes. Which means that I can watch these shows from the start and enjoy them all. Also, documentary buffs and those who love movies, you are sure to find all sorts of things that interest you with the Netflix Instant Queue.
Project Free TV - Its free! Project free tv is a place where streaming is hosted by third party vendors. While it is riddled with ads in some places, its a free site that you can use to watch currently shows and movies of all genres, and while it is free, you much be patient with the content. Its not my favorite thing to use, but it can be used in a pinch!
Who Needs A Land Line?
Along the same lines as the bundle ditching, the third component of the bundle is the land line phone. While I started with a land line phone because my family lives out of town and it was better for things like long distance calling and such. However, I have since gotten a cell phone. Cell phones, depending on the plan you are on, if you already have one, ditch the land line. Are you really using it? I personally only use it to give my number to people I don't want to call me, because I don't answer it. Its a waste of space and money!
I suggest steering clear of pay as you go cell phones, they tend to be more money than they are worth in the long run. Depending on where you are, you might be able to find a cell phone company that doesn't have a contract, but has a monthly plan. I personally use Cricket. I have no complaints about Cricket and the bill for Cricket, with unlimited calling, text, and messaging is $50.00 with some pretty awesome phones at ridiculously awesome prices.
I have seen commercials for Vonage, which I have not used before, but the people in those commercials seem happy! Of course, it is a land line of sorts, you can't go places with it in your pocket, but its a more budget friendly way of having a phone, if the cell phone is not in your realm of possibility. The website says its $11.99 a month and uses the internet to power your home phone.
Be a Prepared Grocery Shopper
In a world full of technology and gadgets, we have to wonder where the pen and paper actually went. Well, whether you know where a pen and paper are, you should invest in a set. I keep a set in my purse, specifically for grocery shopping. Also, I carry a coupon 'pocketbook'. Let me tell you how this works.
Clip Coupons - You can go to places like couponmom.com or your local grocery store online and clip those coupons. No need to clip things that you aren't going to use. Arrange those coupons in your 'pocketbook' by expiration date and have them at the ready for your next step.
Make a grocery list - Pull out the most current coupons, the ones that will expire the fastest and plan meals for the week around those coupons. Get familiar with the sections of your local grocery store and plan your list around those sections. If you have a destination in the store, you are more likely to steer clear of those aisles and items that you are pick up impulsively.
Shop when you are in a hurry - This one isn't really one that I have put into practice, but I have seen it work during the times I have tried it. If you are in a hurry, you are less likely to pick up impulse items and you aren't going to stroll through all the aisles just looking for things to buy.
Buy store brand items - Now, we all know there are a few things you cannot buy generic, like cheese and bread. I can think of a few other things, but for the most part, you can buy the same items in store brand and they taste just the same for so much less of your hard earned money! Try it out sometime. Buying generic or store brand items will save you so much more money when you get to the cashier with your grocery list and coupons.
Reading is Important But ....
You don't have to buy your books. At least, you don't have to buy them full price.
Borrow from the Library - This is the most common way to save money, because you aren't saving any money. You can generally check out several books from the library at one time. It doesn't cost a thing to get a library card and as long as you turn your books in on time, it doesn't cost anything to borrow them! While, I admit, the library does seem a little old fashioned, if you have a library in your neighborhood, its a great place to see if they have events for kids or clubs you can join to meet new people.
Buy used books - I personally use Amazon for this. While, you can buy a used book for a penny, the shipping involved can still be less than a book off the shelf in your local bookstore like Border's or Barnes and Noble. Also, when you buy online, you don't have to worry about everything else distracting you, like coffee or scones that might entice your sweet tooth.
Save Your Pennies and Trade for Cash
Most of us have debit or credit cards and rarely carry change. What do you do with all that change? I used to simply let the vacuum suck it up or some other means of getting rid of those shiny coins. Instead, try one of these methods!
Get a Piggy Bank - Sounds silly, I know. We are not children who need a piggy bank, but there are all sorts of new and modern banks you can throw those pennies into and forget about them.
Saving Cents Program - I'm not sure how many banks out there do this, but mine does it. Its worth checking into. I have Bank Midwest, which is located inside our Wal-Mart. Basically, they set up a savings account for me and every time I use my debit card, it rounds my purchase up to the nearest dollar and deposits the cents into my savings account. It adds up super fast and you don't even realize you are filling up that savings account. I learned very quickly just how many times I use my debit card!
Coinstar - Cash in your coins for cash. Its free and you can find your nearest Coinstar location on their website. Its easy, take your piggy bank to the kiosk and dump that change in so that you can get cash out of the machine in exchange.
Trade in your Gift Cards - We all get gift cards we will never use and don't want to offend the gift giver. Instead, trade them in! When I googled this, I found more sites than I can list here in this hub, so I suggest getting out there and search Google. After all, Google knows just about anything!
Got More Tips?
In an economy like we have now, I am always looking for new ways to save money. If you have tips you want to share with me, comment and let me know! Make a hub of your own about how you save money, so that I can read it! Everyone can use a little help when it comes to budget and money. Where's all the money going? To things we don't need and didn't have to have.
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