10 Tips on How to Save Money FastPosted on September 4th, 2010 William No comments
Trying to save up for a big purchase, but having trouble finding spare change to put away? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Cut down on expensive coffee. Do you really need that latte from Starbucks every morning? Cutting back from five to two days per week can easily save $15/week. You also wean your body off of caffeine dependence, which is a good thing. Absolutely can't get started without your morning coffee? Invest in a coffeemaker; if you're that much of a coffee drinker, it'll pay for itself pretty quickly.
- Cut down on eating out. This was the big one for me; eating out is unquestionably more convenient (and fun) than having to cook your own meals (unless, of course, you enjoy cooking, in which case it's just more convenient). Unfortunately, it's also expensive; you can easily blow over $100 per person per week eating out for one or two meals per day. Learn to cook!
- Related to #2, above: buy what's in season! Food prices change depending on what's available locally and what needs to be shipped from overseas; take advantage of cheap prices on whatever's in season to try something new. You'll save money and might discover a new favorite!
- Put away the credit cards; pay for everything in cash. Keep one card in case of emergencies, but don't use it unless you have to; being hungry or wanting a new video game is not an emergency! If you can't buy it with cash on hand, don't buy it.
- Save your cash. If you have any cash left over at the end of the week (or if you just found some pocket change in the sofa) put it into savings. This can be as simple as a jar of money in the kitchen; just glue the lid on so you're not tempted to empty it out prematurely!
- In that vein, have some of your paycheck automatically redirected into a savings account that's inconvenient to access. If you can't get to it, you can't spend it!
- Ride the bus. Gas prices go up and down, but one thing never changes: if you drive a lot, you pay for it! If it's possible, take a bus to work; you can often get a monthly pass for less than you'd be spending on gas, and then you get to work or relax on the way rather than watching the road. Bonus: you may get a reduction in your auto insurance for driving fewer miles!
- Rather than buying bottled water, get a reusable water bottle (metal is best) and use that. Bottled water generally isn't any better quality than what you get out of the tap; if you do live in an area where the water qualify isn't great, you can purchase an inexpensive filter that will remove impurities.
- Cut non-essentials. Have an unlimited Netflix subscription but only watch one movie per month? Gone. Have unlimited minutes on a cell phone you keep only for emergencies? Consider a pay-as-you-go plan instead. In short: cut what you don't use.
- Shop smart. Almost everything can be purchased at less than retail if you shop around. Just be careful you don't cancel out the savings but wasting a lot of gas driving to various stores; the internet is your friend! Avoid impulse purchases; make a list ahead of time and stick to it!
Saving can be a hassle, but a good savings plan can also help you simplify your life as well as saving your money; as a result, not only do you have more, you'll also enjoy it more. Good luck!
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