We all know what money is and how important it is in our lives. Money is the legal tender that can be used to meet financial obligations. Financial obligations can be hard to meet in today’s economy. Many people have lost their jobs. People of retirement age can’t afford to retire. It seems like everything is going up except our wages. Yet, we know that Saving Money today for our future has never been more important. What are some things that a person can do to put extra money aside?
Creating a budget is one of the best ways to start you on the road to cutting costs. If you are putting money aside for your retirement, education, vacation or that first home, it’s important to understand how to do it. You must first come to the decision on what you need which are the essentials and what you don’t need which are the non-essentials. You can save on your essentials, which can put more money into your savings account. You can save money on non-essentials as well.
- Food is essential to live. Make up a budget for grocery shopping and clip coupons. Many stores offer moneysaver coupons that you can use when you do your weekly grocery shopping. If you put a menu together for the week and have a grocery list, you can cut unnecessary spending at the grocery store. People who use a list when they shop spend less money than those who don’t. You could easily save hundreds of dollars a year by using a list when you shop and not buying anything that is not on the list.
- We must have shelter over our head. You can lower your house payment if you can get the shortest loan term available. Refinance your loan if interest rates are low. You can save thousands of dollars by doing this. You can also downsize. If your home is too large for you, you can downsize and move into something smaller and less costly.
- We must have clothing. Clothing is expensive but you can find bargains at the thrift store or Salvation Army that look as good as new, and many items are new with the tags still attached. You could even have a clothing swap with friends and family.
- We need utilities such as electricity and heating. Turn the lights off when you aren’t using them. Not only could you save 10-20 percent of your total electrical usage you will also be conserving energy. Keep the heat in your house don’t let it seep out of cracks. Seal and caulk around electrical outlets, windows and plumbing fixtures. Close the drapes to help keep the cold out in the winter. In the summer, you can keep the house cooler by closing the drapes as well. Use whole house fans instead of air conditioning if possible.
- Having a telephone is important but not essential. If you find that you absolutely have to have a telephone see what kind of discounts are available if you purchase a bundle package.
- Cable TV is not a necessity and like the telephone if you want to keep your cable TV you may be able to receive discounts by purchasing in bundles. Don’t pay for extra programming and movie channels if you never watch them.
- Eating out is expensive and not a necessity.
- A car is important to get to work but a new car is not essential. If you find yourself with a huge car payment, you can sell your car and purchase something with a smaller payment. With gas prices averaging around $3.96 per gallon consider purchasing a car that gets good gas mileage. This is especially important if you have quite a drive to work. As an example, if you have a car that gets good gas mileage, you could drive over 300 miles on half a tank of gas. By keeping the air pressure in your car tires inflated to the proper pressure you can also save up to $100 a year in gasoline. Also, re-examine your insurance policy every year to see if any discounts are available or if there are other ways that you can save. For example, if you raise your deductible you will have lower monthly premiums. If you have an older car do you really need collision coverage?
There are numerous other ways that you can save. If you have small children, instead of purchasing disposable diapers at the store use cloth diapers. You can save a couple thousand dollars in a two-year period by using cloth diapers. Save even more and hang them outside to dry instead of using the dryer. Leave your credit card at home. Have a set amount of money that you will spend for yourself and use cash. Interest rates for credit cards alone will have you making payments for years longer than necessary. If you smoke, quit smoking. Not only will you save money you will also be healthier thus saving you extra trips to the doctor for respiratory problems. Have your family doctor prescribe generic drugs if possible. Generic drugs can cost you hundreds of dollars less to purchase than brand-name drugs. Help your emergency fund grow by just saving an extra 50 cents per day. At the end of the day, toss your change into an emergency fund jar. Watch how fast it fills up.
Making sacrifices in order to save yourself some money can be painful but it can be done. It is also a great way to teach your children the value of money and not spending more than you have and that is a great lesson for you to pass on to your children.
Remember, just about everyone enjoys saving money whenever they can, no matter what their income level happens to be. Some people go through great lengths in order to take advantage of the best Savings, Here are some additional ways to Save Money:
Grocery store savings cards – many neighborhood grocery stores offer their own savings cards that enable shoppers to purchase certain grocery items for a reduced price. While these cards aren’t exactly memberships, they can save you a substantial amount of money on groceries, depending on the specific items you purchase as well as the products that are on sale.
Prescription savings – many major pharmacies now offer their own savings cards, enabling you to save money on items purchased in their stores. By completing a quick and simple application form, you will receive a card which can be scanned, much like grocery store savings cards. CVS’s card allows savings card holders to receive in-store coupons that can be used like cash. These cash-like coupons can enable you to get some items for absolutely nothing.
Employer savings – some employers offer certain savings on various products and services throughout your community as well as online. Upon hire, human resources will often give a brief overview of all the savings you’re able to take advantage of as an employee of their company, however many employees often forget about them. You should definitely take advantage of these savings if you’re lucky enough to work for an employer that offers them, as you can often save on monthly cellular phone service or fitness club memberships, and also on the purchase of computers, flowers, and many others products.
Auto clubs – by paying $89 for a 12-month Plus membership with AAA (this includes the $10 enrollment fee), you will have access to numerous discounts and savings, in addition to coverage in case of an automobile lockout or breakdown. Your valuable AAA card entitles you to discounts on rental cars, hotel stays, and prescriptions, just to name a few of the savings you can take advantage of with your membership.
Groupon – if you aren’t familiar with Groupon, then you are definitely missing out on some great deals. It’s simple to go to their website at groupon.com to sign up. After signing up on the Groupon website, you will soon start receiving various emails with information about available deals in your specific area. These deals include savings on dining out, outdoor excursions, oil changes, spa visits and everything in-between. You are bound to find various useful deals by signing up with Groupon, so you definitely shouldn’t miss out any longer.
Restaurant and store receipts – many people immediately discard their receipts after leaving their favorite fast food restaurant or grocery store. However, what many people fail to realize is that the backs of these receipts often contain valuable Money Savings. For instance, your receipt from your local Wal-Mart may contain a coupon for 20% off of an oil change at Grease Monkey down the road from Wal-Mart. Another example is if you stop in at Burger King and purchase a Whopper meal, the back of your receipt may give you the option of participating in a brief telephone or internet survey, and upon completion you will receive a free Whopper on a future visit to Burger King. If you have been missing out on these deals, you should start paying closer attention to the receipts that you receive on a regular basis.
Online movie memberships – if you’re an avid movie fan, you can save a great deal of money on movie and TV show rentals by signing up for a Netflix membership. For one flat-rate fee a month, you have unlimited access the all the latest movies, which will be shipped directly to your home for no additional cost. You can keep the movies for as long as you like without incurring any late fees, unlike Red Box, which charges you for every night beyond 9 pm that you keep a movie. Netflix also enables you to watch movies and television show series streamed directly to your television through your computer or game system like a PlayStation 3, Wii or Xbox 360.
Obviously you’re missing out on a great deal of savings if you’re not already benefiting from these outstanding deals. It’s never too late to start saving, though, so all you have to do is determine which type of savings you’re interested in most and sign up.