Simple Ways to Save Money
As gas prices seem to raise and fall a person can never be to sure when extra money may be needed. How many people actually have a savings? Are there funds put away for emergencies?
More people now a days tend to use credit and debit cards more than cash. It is because it is more convenient then carrying cash and change. If you use cash you save a tad bit more. Ladies buy a small change bag and place it in your purse. Everyone buy a bank (could even find an item around the house). Then every night men empty the change from your pockets into the bank. Women at the end of the week empty your change purse into the bank. Don't account the bank as money you have to use. Place a time limit for how long you want to save. You can choose to leave the bank alone until it is filled to the top or use it for emergencies. I tend to do the second one. The most I have collected in change is $75. It is easier to save this way then putting into checking account. Later on if you choose to then to put the money in a savings account to gain interest.
Traditionally a person should save 10%-12% their income. Most financial advisers suggest that when a person gets paid that they pay themselves first. I personally wanted to start this, but was not able to this year. I am however doing the weekly savings of what week it is I put that into my savings account. A person should have 3-5 months of the amount of your monthly bills in savings for emergency purposes. These next 3 steps has helped me to start saving.
Review the stores in your community and learn if there are any shopper programs. All the examples that I will share will be stores that are in my community for examples. Speedway, Kroger, and Big Lots offer different programs. It is free to get a speedy rewards card and Kroger plus card. If you have these two places get these at once. In a way these are a trick by the companies to get you to spend more, but I will tell you more on that to make these cards work for you. The speedy rewards card can be scanned when you pump gas or by snacks from the store. We find ourselves using this card often. After a little over 9.000 points you can redeem them for gas card for $10. The more points the better the rewards, but wouldn't you like $10 to use on gas? If you use the card enough and save your points can end up with enough points for a $100 gas card. Speedway also have several different reward programs like: Pepsi rewards buy 6 within there list and the 7th free. Mountain Dew and Coke have this program as well. Every now and then Speedway does a promotion where if you spend $3 in the store you get a coupon for 10 cents off per gallon.
The Kroger plus card is my friend when it comes to shopping. You can only get the sale specials when you scan this card. Now if bread is 10 for $10 don't spend $10 if you really only need three loaves of bread. Go ahead and only pick of three you will still only pay $3. Also learn your local Kroger's coupon rules. On the Kroger site you can upload coupons onto you Kroger plus card. Clipping coupons to go with your card is nice too. I am not talking extreme because that shows has been dis-proven. You can save money when you shop if you plan it out. While watching an extreme couponing it showed people buying $50 boxes of items they had never tried but they got it because it was all free. One I doubt Kroger is going to let you leave with 50 free items of the same item. If you never had that product and not sure anyone would like it is okay to pass it up, but if it is free I would get it. You can always donate it or food trade with a friend. Kroger sends coupons in the mail of items you may have bought from them before. That can come in handy. The trick to shopping is plan ahead and write out a list. If it is not on the list don't buy. I planned ahead one week with the Kroger ads and coupons I got in the mail. I sent my mom to the store with $60 she felt it wasn't enough I said it was. I had about three items that were free of things we loved. We only ended up spending a little over $48. Also with the Kroger card and coupons I have saved $35 and was able to feed my mom and I for 2.5 weeks. Plan wisely and ask friends who coupon their advice.
Big Lots every now and then does a friend and family sale. They give their employees coupons to pass out that is good for 20% off your entire purchase. My mom has a friend who works there who makes sure I know when this is coming. I got the kid's Easter candy for real cheap last year because of this sale. I use this sale to stock up on craft supplies, snacks,and anything else I may need.
Now that you know about a couple of programs to look for, on to the second part of what you need to do. Budgeting is important if you plan to try to save any money and pay bills on time. You should already know about how much you will get paid each check. Get out a calendar or a piece of paper and write in all the pay dates. For bills that are monthly you pretty much know when they are due and may have an idea of much it may cost. Fill in those dates. For bills like water and electric plan an amount you like to pay for that and start conserving your resources. If you plan to use only $110 on electric then open the blinds use less light. Turn the air conditioner on to energy saver so it will shut off at certain temperatures.
Do you have cable or a dish? How many channels do you watch that can't be seen by using an antenna? If you barely watch the higher paid channel then get these services turned off. You might also want to check online to see what channels put their shows on their website. Netflix also has some television shows on instant watch. You can turn your $60 or so cable bill down to $7.99 plus tax. For Amazon Kindle owners. Amazon has prime package which is like Netflix that is $80 a year. I have tried both and Netflix is so far the better out of the two. Amazon however is cheaper. Hulu is even a nice one that is only $7.99 plus tax a month. If any of these services would better suit you then that would be a great savings.
Lastly the most important thing. Start to be tight with your money. Act like you don't want to share it with anyone. This will help keep you on budget and keep you from buying items that you don't need. Plan ahead for every purchase so you can fully think it out. Remember every penny counts you never know when you will need it for emergencies.