- Personal Finance
The 5 Best Ways to Save Money: $17,000 in Your Savings Account for 2015
Save Money: Start Today
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How would you like to have several thousand dollars in your bank account this year?
So you've decided it's time to start saving money. Even if you do just a few of the things listed here, you can cut a great deal of spending from your budget. Every dollar you save is one more dollar you'll be putting in savings.
Saving money is really simple if you have a small amount of time and self-discipline. If you keep your eyes on the prize, you can get there. Imagine what it would be like to read your bank statement at the end of 2013 and see more than $15,000 in your account. So, how does one save that kind of money? Read on.
Be a Smart Shopper
Next time you open your paper or look at your mail, don't throw those coupons away. Using coupons can cut your grocery and shopping bills by 20 percent or more. If you're spending $500 a month on groceries, that's $100 a month in savings.
When you buy high-cost items like meat, buy it in large quantities. Take the meat home, divide it into meal size portions, and store it in the freezer. Buying fresh fruits and vegetables is much cheaper than buying pre-packaged foods. Estimated annual savings: $1,200.
Prepare and Eat Food at Home
One family we know eats out four or five times each week. A typical dinner bill for this family was about $50 plus the tip. They were spending about $250 a week on dinner. Add that up and over a year that comes to about $13,000 a year! Taking some extra time and planning meals could save this family around $8,000 every year.
Yes, preparing food at home will require more time, but it will also save a great deal of money.Take a sack lunch to work instead of eating out five times a week. Evenif you're spending $500 a month on eating out, that comes to $6,000 for the year. Estimated annual savings: $6,000 to $ 8,000.
Get Rid of Cable TV
I'll bet you didn't know that you can do without cable television, did you? It's a historical fact that the world didn't have cable TV for thousands of years. Will it be hard to do without all those hundreds of channels, sure it will. But you can get used to it.
Think of all the time you could spend with family, or on other constructive projects - maybe even pick up a book or read that novel you've been wanting to get through. If you just can't bring yourself to cut the cable, at least combine your cable, phone, and internet services into a cheaper bundled rate. Estimated annual savings: $1,200 to $2,000.
Cancel That Fitness Club Membership
You don't have to pay for that fancy gym membership unless you just want to. Exercise done at the local YMCA or at a local park for free are just as effective. With the advent of the information age and the Internet, you can even download yoga classes online for free and do them in the comfort of your own living room. If you have a Wii Game System, Wii Fit is a program that guides you through a workout at your pace. Estimated annual savings: $400 to $1,200.
Pay Off, Cut Up Credit Cards and Get a Debit Card
One thing that consumers have learned in this current economic climate is that easy credit is not as easy as promised. Credit cards are a bad thing for a budget and should only be used in an extreme emergency. It's time to figure the interest you're paying for the "privilege" of having that credit card.
The average American carries seven credit cards and has about $15,000 in credit card debt at an average interest rate of about 14 percent. Even if you make the minimum monthly payment, you're going to pay more than $4,000 in interest just to carry that balance for a year. Set up a payment plan, put all you can toward payments and get those cards paid off as soon as possible. Estimated annual savings: $4,000 to $5,000.
If you take all those savings and add them up, it comes to $12,800 and $17,400 in just one year. The thing to remember here is to make small changes at first, gradually developing new spending habits. Also, be sure to discuss these changes with your family and make sure everyone is on board with the new program.
It's going to be hard at first because you and your family are used to living a certain way. Give it some time and keep your eye on the goal. Plan a super vacation with some of the money you'll save over the year. Use that trip as a reminder to stick with your savings plan. Each time you want to eat out or spend money on something, think about how nice it will be to go on a vacation that is already paid for. Good luck in 2013!
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This Blog is dedicated to those who want to change the way they look at money, for those who want o control money and not be controlled by it.