With the economy the way it is, virtually everyone is looking for ways to cut back. Saving a little cash may seem like a challenge, but it is quite painless with a few strategies. With the right attitude, you may even find the pursuit of saving money fun and rewarding in the end.
1. Cancel a Service
Look at your monthly bills and see if there is somewhere to cut back. Perhaps you don’t need so many movie channels, or you can cut cable television altogether. Or maybe you find you no longer need a landline for the house. By canceling just one service, or switching to a prepaid cell service, you can see major savings.
2. Watch Hidden Fees
Be wary of hidden fees that add up. Don’t pay extra ATM or banking fees. If need be, speak to a bank representative to find out where you can cut some of these costs. And late fees, for utility bills or credit card payments, can really hurt you in the long haul. Plan ahead and learn how to predict when these hidden or unexpected charges will hit, to keep from shelling out unnecessary cash.
3. Set Up Deposits
If you find yourself struggling to put away a chunk of change to save, have it taken out of your paycheck automatically. Choose a certain amount, say five percent, and create a special savings account to have this money funneled into. You can arrange with your bank to have this amount direct deposited into your savings, so it will feel like money you’re not even missing out on.
4. Try Monthly ‘Freezes’
If you feel yourself spending more than necessary each month, try a monthly “freeze” Make a vow to not spend any cash on extras like movies, eating out or shopping. Set a budget for groceries, bills and household expenses, then make a game out of keeping the wallet zipped for all other purchases. It might feel grueling at first, but it can actually turn into a fun and competitive game.
5. Use Cash
Whenever possible, use cash for daily expenditures. All too often it’s easy to fall into the plastic trap, and you don’t actually feel where the money is going. By having to actually pull bills out of a wallet, you might think twice about an expense. Or better yet, put a certain amount of cash in your wallet each week and only let yourself spend what’s there. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
6. Have Spend-Free Outings
Challenge yourself to think of free and thrifty ideas for weekend or date night outings. Every city has free things to do, you just need to know where to look. Check local papers and magazines for free listings of concerts or theaters. Poetry readings at coffee shops often have no cover. Or visit a library and spend hours cozying up with the latest thriller. You can visit parks and plan a picnic for a romantic date. The possibilities are endless.
7. Talk Down Bills
Sometimes, even bills you are currently paying can be lowered. Negotiate with a landlord to bring your rent down or call your Internet company to talk about lowering your monthly bill. You can even refinance your home and try to get your mortgage down. By making your current bills lower, you immediately put cash in the bank.
8. Negotiate a Raise
Just like negotiating bills down, think about negotiating your income up. Bringing in more money annually will have just as positive an effect as the best money saving tips. Think about how long you’ve been at your current job–you might be due for a review. Go ready with reasons why you feel you deserve a raise, and make clear the contributions you make to deserve that extra bit each pay period.
9. Think Coupons
Don’t overlook the benefits of coupons, they are a time honored tradition for a reason. Coupons come in all forms, from grocery store coupons to restaurant or even gas station coupons. Keep an eye out in newspapers and magazines, and don’t forget to look online. You’ll be surprised to see how much money you can save with just a little time and effort.
10. Get the Family Involved
Saving money doesn’t have to be a solitary pursuit. Get your entire household involved. Set family goals and budgeting challenges, and help keep each other in check. Allocate allowances for each member of the house. By working together, you’ll reap more than just monetary rewards.
It is important to asses where our money goes. Many of the best money saving tips you will find as you are being mindful of your money.
Author: KC Beavers
KC Beavers is a semi-retired entrepreneur. The subject of personal finance has always fascinated him. In an effort to not bore those around him with all his love of personal finance as much he has come here to bore all of you instead.
I suggest everyone tries number 8. I went to my boss asking for a raise after 3 months of being there and she said yes. Not bad for a 30 second request!
@GRSblog @genxfinance It's more convenient to use plastic, especially for online purchases.If you can't avoid using plastic, limit it to one
You start saving at home. You show the rest of your family that you are practicing the habit of saving and they will follow. When they see that you are turning off the lights, removing the plugs, and turning off the heater when they are not needed, you are setting a good example to your children. They will do the same thing.
I am trying, really trying this ‘monthly freeze’. Before, I purchase thing I don't even need. But just like what you expected from life, things changed and I got to make ends meet. I can’t afford to spend more than what I earn anymore. Am trying to save.
Seriously, negotiating on bills which are current is not an option. It might be with your ISP but not your lanlord. Your ISP has different plans going for different rates. My connection comes packaged with NetFlix which if I choose not to opt for, I save a whopping $7.00/mo which comes to less than $100 per year. If you really want to save on your internet bills, just shop around and go through the package rates offered by different ISPs. And seriously, do not negotiate with your landlord, especially if your lease contract is not significantly long and you believe your apartment is not worth what you are paying. Here in NY, you will probably get kicked out 5 minutes after your contract expires.
I always love using coupons, especially during a sale. I got double savings. I know what you mean about using cash but personally, I prefer using my card for my purchases because unlike using money, I can review where my money went through my statement. I just make sure that I don’t use my plastics when it’s not needed. Good tips.
We use Quicken to track all of our finances and this includes our spending and bills. We find it a great way to examine things regularly to see if there are any changes we can make to things to save. Keeping good records is a must we find.
@Fred finance Impressive. Good job Fred. *thumbs up*