- Personal Finance
Simple Ways to Spend Less and Save Money
Save money with these simple tips
With the current economy, everyone is looking for ways to cut back their spending and save more money. Sometimes, the most spending is done in the most unnecessary places. Here a few ways you can spend less and save more money.
Save money and spend less on your kid’s activities
Children need to stay active and interact with other kids, but it doesn’t always have to empty your wallet. Shop around for different activities for your kids before you make a commitment. So many parents sign their kids up for Karate, for example, for $200 a month when they could have put them in softball or another sport for $50 a month and the kids will love it just as much.
Another great idea is to start your own kid’s activities with other families in the neighborhood. If you have a descent size common ground in your neighborhood, all the families can get together and throw in a couple bucks to purchase some good bases for a baseball game. Then each child can bring their own bat. Designate teams and have them wear their own clothes but in two different colors rather than buying expensive uniforms. Then you can have baseball games on the weekends with no membership fees.
Save money and spend less on lunch at work
Assuming you eat at McDonald’s or another fast food chain for lunch 5 days a week, at $5 a meal, you are spending $25 a week. If you prefer Applebee’s or Olive Garden, you are looking at $50-$75 a week. Instead, stock up on tv dinners and noodle bowls when they on sale and bring them for lunch. A lot of times I see tv dinners go on closeout sales for $1 apiece and I buy all I can. Even if you splurge on the $3 meals, you would still be saving a good chunk of money.
Also, buy sodas, water bottles, and snacks in bulk and bring them to work. You can get a 12pack of soda for $3 on sale but you pay $1 for just one soda out of the machine. Fruit cups can be bought for $1 for a pack of 4 and also make a great snack at work.
Save money and spend less on dinner at home
The same concept applies to dinners at home too. There are ton of great, easy to make dinners that will feed a family of four, all for under $10. Some examples are spaghetti, tacos, submarine sandwiches, even pork chops with rice and gravy. There is no reason to spend $50 at a restaurant for a family to eat a single meal.
Save money and spend less on gas
Seek out the cheapest gas in your area and make that the only store you buy gas from. Also, figure out how much gas you use each week and stick to a gas budget. I fill my car up once every 2 weeks at the same gas station. If I notice after one week that I am already below half a tank, then I cut back on my outings so that the gas will last until the next scheduled fill up. Stopping at the closest station can be very costly. Where I live, gas can go up or down 25 cents a gallon in just a 3 mile drive. Also, only putting in a couple of bucks every now and then can be hard to keep track of. You never really know how much you are paying for gas or how much to budget for.
Save money and spend less on memberships
Automatic drafts for online memberships can be very sneaky. Make sure you thoroughly check your bank statements to ensure that no one is taking money out without your consent. Many times, people will sign up for a one month membership to a website for about $20. Then, a year later, they notice they have been charged $20 a month for the past year. The fine print can be so small on those things and they can often trick you into signing up for automatic membership renewal.
Also, cancel any memberships that you don’t use. You may have signed up for a tanning membership in the spring and used it almost every day. Now that summer is here and you are at the pool and the beach all the time, are you really still using the tanning membership?
Another thing to look at is if the membership is really necessary. A one hour massage costs $75, but as a member you get the massage for only $60. The catch is that you have to get a massage every month and you are under a contract. By cutting back to a massage every 3 months at $75 a pop, you save $420 a year.
Save money and spend less with Rainy Day accounts
Check to see if your bank offers a free rainy day account. These accounts work by pulling the change in your checking account every day and putting it in a separate account. For example, if at midnight you have $200.63 in your bank account, it will pull 63 cents and deposit it in your rainy day account. These are great because really don’t notice the money is missing and you are saving without any effort. They usually only allow several withdrawals a year so it keeps you from withdrawing the money every time things get tight. This is a great way to save for Christmas or birthdays.