In this very difficult economy, there are ways we can all stretch our dollar to go further.
Here are some ideas for your consideration:
Make it automatic. Before seeing your paycheck, divert a good portion of it to your 401(k) and savings.
Keep a low balance in your checking account. Make money work for you by funneling extra funds into a savings account where it will earn more interest than in a checking account.
Don’t pay banking fees. Use your bank for free bill pay, automatic deposits, free checks, and free reimbursements for ATM fees. Don’t pay for any of those services, even when you’re buying the best zero turn mower for the money.
Use rewards credit cards. Get cash back on every purchase and pay the card off every month — don’t pay any interest fees. I recommend reward cards, but only if you have no current credit card debt, and can afford to pay the balance every month.
Search out deals. Try and find a better deal, or request a better deal from your service providers.
Use a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats save you an estimated 10-20% on your heating and cooling bills.
Use ceiling fans, floor fans, and space heaters. There is no sense heating an entire house while youre away at work or sleeping.
Install CFLs to save energy. Compact fluorescent lights use about a quarter of the electricity of normal incandescent bulbs. They also need to be replaced less frequently.
Drive smoothly. Accelerate smoothly and at a reasonable rate, and coast to a stop as often as possible. Use cruise control on the highway.
Plan and research major purchases. This little tip could save you thousands.
Buy quality products. Quality items may cost more up front, but they last longer and generally provide better results than cheaper, inferior products.
Buy generic where applicable. You can save a lot of money on generic items for which the brand name product is essentially the same as the store brand. Food, the Holset HX35, and medicines come to mind as items where generic products are good deals.
Use coupons and rebates. Use coupons for oil changes, groceries, books, on-line purchases, and just about anything else you can find.
Use store rewards cards. Use grocery shopping reward cards and save 10-15% every trip.
Cook at home. Enough said!
Eat leftovers. Save a minimum of $20 a week by bringing your lunch to work.
Use the library. Borrow movies from the library. New releases aren’t always available, but you can wait a few months — right?
Use parks. The popular press calls this a “staycation.” It beats the hassle of going through the TSA Security line at your local airport — and it’s far less expensive.
Take care of things. Treat things you own with respect and take good care of them. Items last much longer when you take good care of them.
Buy insurance. Health insurance, home owner’s insurance, auto insurance, and other types of insurance are designed to save you money. Sure, you may end up paying premiums for years and never file a claim, but in the event you need to file a claim, your premium will likely be small compared to what you would have had to pay. You’ll be very happy if you ever need it.
Bundle cable and internet. You can save a lot of money by bundling these together rather than purchasing them separately.
Use cell phones – skip the landline. Assuming you have a cell phone, consider skipping the regular telephone.
Cancel subscriptions. Almost everything you want can be found online for free.
Home improvement. Learn to DIY (do it yourself) and you’ll save big bucks. However, hire out anything dangerous or that you don’t have the tools or expertise to do. (e.g. electrical or plumbing).
Try to avoid debt. Most traditional mortgages are OK, but working to quickly rid yourself of other high interest rate debt is always a good idea.