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- Frugal Living
9 Little Ways to Save Money Here and There - It All Adds Up!
Saving money is on everybody’s minds these days. With the uncertain state of economy and people losing their jobs, saving money is extremely important since many people don’t even know if they will have a job to go to tomorrow. We have all heard those boring ways to save a few dollars – don’t go out to eat, turn the air conditioner off, etc. But aren’t there more things you can do? Here are nine unconventional ways you can put more money back into your bank account each month.
1. Get appetizers instead of entrees. At some restaurants, the appetizers offer just as much food as the main courses. Many times, you might even get full after the appetizer and only shove the entrée down your throat because you are paying for it. Appetizers are a few dollars cheaper so why not consider making a meal out of your appetizer instead of ordering both an appetizer and a main course. If you are with another person, you can even order an appetizer and one entrée to split and cut down on your total bill.
2. Cut out the cable – Hulu, Netflix, etc. How often do you watch TV? If you’re like some people, the TV is probably always on in your home. However, if you realistically evaluate the shows you watch, many of them are probably time fillers. Instead of paying all that money for cable each month, why not watch only the shows that are important to you? You can do this by live streaming your favorite shows over Hulu, Netflix or some other live streaming service. You will find that all those shows that you just had to watch suddenly aren’t as important to you as they once were.
3. Get books and magazines from the library. It’s difficult to take the time and go to the library and look for the book or books that you want to read. In today’s culture of instant gratification, that’s almost unheard of. And most people donate their books after they read them anyways. Instead of paying upwards of $15 or more for the latest book from your favorite author, why not go to the library and check it out for free? As long as you bring it back on time, you won’t have to pay a nickel to read your favorite books.
4. Money jar. Is there something you do on a daily basis that you can charge yourself for? Does your family have a habit of swearing? Do you do laundry nearly every day? Be creative and set up a money jar that you must contribute to every time you do something. Add a couple quarters every time you do a load of laundry just like you are at the laundromat. Or require your family to contribute a quarter every time they swear or fight with each other. Before long, you will have a good chunk of change that you can either put up into a savings account, make those much needed repairs or do something else productive with all that money.
5. Haggle for services. Did you know that many doctors, dentists and other professionals will haggle over their prices? If you don’t have insurance and you are paying for the services out of your own pocket, many of these professionals will negotiate a price with you so they don’t have to go through your insurance company and so they can help you out. Here’s a dynamic negotiating tip: Silence. If you don’t like the price or terms that are being offered, an awkward silence will often get them to talk first and they will likely offer more favorable terms for you.
6. Take showers instead of baths. Showers use much less water than baths. In fact, a typical bath uses between 30 and 50 gallons of water. On the other hand, a four minute shower uses as little as 10 gallons of water. Many people don’t take four minute showers, though. However, if you turn off the water while you are soaping up, shampooing and shaving, you could cut your shower time to a fraction of its usual time.
7. Turn the thermostat up or down. Many times we turn the thermostat up drastically or down drastically to make our home as comfortable as possible. But would you really notice a difference of a degree or two? By changing your thermostat by just a couple degrees, you could save a large amount each month on your utility bills. You can also close vents in the rooms that you don’t use. Why pay for cooling or heating those rooms if you never spend any time in there?
8. Ask for value packages. Did you know that many of your providers will offer a value package? For instance, your Internet service provider may offer a deal where you pay less for your internet service in exchange for settling for a slower speed. If you only use the Internet for checking your email and other basic things, this would be a great way to cut back on your expenses each month with little to no sacrifice at all.
9. Cut out the phone. Do you have a cell phone and a landline? Why bother with the landline if you already have a cell phone that you use all the time? A landline can be quite expensive especially if you hardly ever use it.
These are just a few of the ways you can cut down on your expenses each month. Whether these are temporary ways to save money or permanent lifestyle changes, you can use these cuts in expenses to put more money back in your pocket so you can spend it on something more fun.