Quick and Easy Money Saving Tips
Easy tips for saving money
All of us could save some extra money here and there. Here are my tips for cutting costs and living life a little cheaper. Just because you save money doesn't mean that you have to feel deprived. There are lots of easy tips to save money that almost anyone can do.
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Services: Bundle or Cut Back
Save money on Services
Bundle up on your Services
If you get internet, phone and cable TV from multiple providers you may be losing out on the benefits that come with choosing only one provider. With these bundles you can usually save big as well as sign up for any promotional rates for switching services. This is a good option if you just can't live without some of these services.
Choose which services to keep or ditch:
-Internet > cable TV ( you can watch shows and check email online)
-Cell phone > land-line phone ( you don't need both, pick the one you use most)
-Internet > land-line phone (There are several free telephone services online)
Add more phones to the same plan
If you have a cell phone monthly plan you can also save by adding on phones to the plan and splitting the costs. A $100 plan with $10 phone added splits to $55/month per phone. You don't even have to live at the same address just make sure it is someone you trust to pay you back come bill time.
---What, Internet and Cell phones?---
Here are some items that can help you to navigate the complexities of the internet and cell phones.
Not all stores have the same deals
Certain stores have better prices on different produce. Some stores have terrible deals on fresh meat because it arrives prepackaged. Instead buy your meats at a store with a deli/meat employee area of the store. That way they split and wrap the meat themselves or even better look for local meat seller since it is a better quality product .
Produce: Frozen, Canned, Fresh
Often times you can find the same items in all three departments. Depending on the season choosing the alternate may save you some money. If it is in season, stock up on fresh produce while in the off season buy the canned or frozen alternative. When it is in season you can can it or freeze it yourself for later at a better price than off season foods.
Soy milk, lactose free milk and rice milk can be costly but it is very easy and cheap to make your own rice milk at home. Boil a little bit of brown rice in a lot of water, add sugar or flavoring to the mix. After it has boiled use a blender to mix it and use a strainer to remove larger chunks of rice. This alternative tastes good and is very cheap to make plus you can add any flavoring you like and adjust the sweetness yourself.
Coupons, Coupons, Coupons
I know that it may seem like clipping coupons is a waste of time. However,several articles have looked into how much savings one can find in a hour of coupon clipping. These articles vary on the savings per hour but most of the value depends on your overall grocery budget. If you are cooking only for yourself you will save less than you would if you shop for a large family. Determine how much time you can put into finding and using these coupons and only use them if the product is similar to something you would purchase anyway.
Limit the impulse buys
Make a grocery list, get a baby sitter and eat a full meal before you go shopping that way you can cut back on your impulse buying. Shopping on a full stomach helps as well as finding an alternate to bringing the kids. If you must buy something on impulse limit the number of impulse items you grab on any given visit. Stick to your grocery list as much as possible and you will save some money.
Limit convenience food
Convenience food is like the name implies convenient but that tag also means you are paying for it out of your pocket if you really don't have the money to spare find ways to make the same items at home in bulk or cut them out of your diet. It may even improve your health getting rid of these prepackaged foods.
Fewer Trips and Less Money
With a little pre-planning it you can limit the number of times you visit the store each month. This will help with preventing impulse buys as well as keep your food budget down. For instance, I only go grocery shopping once every 2 weeks. I used to go at least once a week if not more often but I much prefer this method because it means that I don't have to take the time every weekend to go through the hassle of grocery shopping.
Budget, Budget, Budget
I know that every site talks about making budgets for grocery shopping but I have to mention it again because it is such a great way to save money. Me and my husband set aside $250 in cash in an envelope for household and grocery expenses at the beginning of the month. If there is money left over if goes in an account to help with future stuff like trips or big purchases. In this way it makes it a competition to save and you can see exactly how much is left each week. When the money runs out then no more trips until the next month.
---Must Have Kitchen Money Savers---
Great product that makes slicing and shredding a breeze. This can save you money on shredded cheese and salad mixes since you can do it yourself for less money.
Make your own smoothies, shakes, flour, etc.. A blender is a home necessity.
Keep your food fresh for longer and prevent unnecessary spoiling of food in your fridge.
Allows you to organize your grocery list and save money by thinking about your purchases ahead of time.
Lunch: Pack it or partially pack it
Save money on food
Partially Pack It
All of us know that eating out for lunch on a daily basis can drain your finances. I know i hate packing lunch for work on a daily basis, but if you hate packing lunch might I suggest partially packing your lunch. Grab an apple and a drink and you can buy a sandwich at lunch. That way you can save a little on filler foods, eat healthier and save a few dollars a day. A whole meal out is more money than a single item.
I know it is tempting to buy a coffee or soda at lunch but the truth is that water will quench your thirst better and provide your body with the fluids it needs to keep going. Caffeine is over-rated and if you eat healthy and balanced or even do some stretches at lunch time that will give you a little more energy throughout the day. That being said a good nights sleep is also important for staying awake at work. If this seems like an option for you it can save you a few bucks a day.
Check out this article on Webmd.com about the benefits of water
If there is no way to pry you away from your coffee check out this article about saving money at starbucks
--- Improving your Credit Score---
Credit Cards: Rewards and Interest Rates
Save money on credit
It is a good idea to have multiple credit cards.
One with no fees and a low interest rate as well as a rewards credit card.
Your credit score will determine what cards you qualify for so check out Credit Karma for your credit score as well as suggestions and comparisons of different credit cards.
The rewards card is good for everyday purchases that you can pay off in full every month
The low interest card is good for larger purchases that are paid off over several months.
Rewards Card Suggestion
If you pay off your balance in full every month then a rewards card may be right for you. Some offer no annual fees and up to 5% on some purchases.
I currently use the chase freedom card which pays 1% on all purchases but also pays 5% on quarterly categories that chase decides. The rewards include Cash Back, Gift Cards, Merchandise, Travel and Experience Packages. Check out the Chase Freedom Credit Card
Low Interest Card Suggestion
I suggest the Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card. It has a low APR 11.9% variable and no annual fees. However, you need excellent credit to qualify for this card. Check it out here
---How to win with dividend investing---
Investing + Saving
This may or may not apply to you.
Not everyone has loose change floating around. But if you do here are some tips for you.
Dividend Stocks: These type of stocks pay you to own them in the form of dividends.
-Look for stocks that pay out dividends, more often = better (monthly dividends are best)
-Look for good dividend yield ( too high is a risky stock, too low and you won't dodge inflation)
-Make sure you do your research about the companies you invest in.
-There are many good websites that help you pick these type of stocks.
Some more well known dividend stocks are:
Ways to Save Money
With Mint, you can:
* Get set up in minutes
* See all your accounts in one place
* Set and track your budgets & achieve your goals
* Find hundreds of dollars in personalized savings
* Stay safe and secure...and it's free!
Reasons you should save money
It is really important
-To create future income: Money has the ability to make more money over time.
-To attain a long term goal: purchasing a house, car, retirement, etc..
-To be able to retire in comfortable and secure way.
-To handle emergencies: medical bills, broken car, unemployment, etc..
-To save for life changes: college, children, job change, etc..
-To feel more secure about your life and finances
-To increase your money's value over inflation.
-To invest money in long-term growth.
-To give back to the community and your family.
Reasons you don't save money
Look at all the excuses
- You have nothing left to save (you can have it taken out first)
- Double taxation on savings (there are some ways to avoid these problems)
- It is worth more now than later (inflation can be outpaced with smart investing)
-You don't know what to do with it. (simple options like CD's and Bonds may help)
-You are lazy (don't want to take the time to save)
Goals and Values
Values are the things that are important for maintaining your well-being such as your ideals and principles about life.
Goals are a time or money oriented achievement that is important to you.
Example Goals (immediate, short term or long term)
-Save $10/wk for a yearly family vacation.
-Save $30/wk to invest in your child's college fund.
-Save $20,000 for a down payment on a house.
-Purchase a new computer in 6 months
-Purchase a new car in 2 years.
Some more great resources
- 5 Websites that Could Save You Money
Check them out...