Sometimes it can feel overwhelming. It seems like our financial needs outstrip our ability to meet them. Limited resources and rising expenses can make “getting ahead” feel impossible.
Breaking out of this trap begins with acknowledging that everyone’s spending habits have room for improvement. With an open mind and a dose of discipline you can find ways to convert your spending into savings. Here are some places to start:
Money Saving Ideas
1. Find a Different Hobby
Bargain shopping and impulse purchases are frequently the result of boredom or anxiety management. Find a different, less expensive diversion.
2. Save Energy Costs, Save the Planet
Become more energy efficient by performing an energy audit. Do it yourself by purchasing a home energy monitor, or ask your local power utility, which may offer in-home energy audits. Consider these cost saving ideas.
- Install a programmable thermostat to regulate home temperatures while you’re out. (You know you’ll never remember on your own.)
- Use a power strip to reduce the electrical use of your “instant on” devices by shutting off the power strip at bedtime.
- Weather strip and caulk; install door sweeps to block drafts, and close the fireplace damper when not in use.
- Service your heating system for optimal efficiency.
- Service your car to increase gas mileage; better yet, use public transportation.
3. Save on Gym Membership
Unused memberships are an expensive waste. If you join:
- You can reduce membership costs by signing up when there is a special offer. Negotiate to get their best price, or join with a friend and potentially get a discount.
- Ask your employer or insurance carrier who may subsidize membership costs or offer special affiliated pricing.
4. Don’t Keep Cable and Cell Service on Autopilot
Call your provider and negotiate a new rate. Cell providers face stiff competition and are very responsive. Cable companies may be less so, but review your package to ensure that you are not paying for channels you don’t watch. And, do you really need a landline?
5. Track Your Spending
You would be surprised by where your money goes. Track every purchase for the next 30 days. It’ll provide you good insight into whether your spending reflects your priorities. Consider these examples of silent money suckers:
- Paying for Water—The $1.50 a day or more adds up ($45/month). Plus, all those plastic bottles are bad for the environment.
- Gourmet Coffee—Two or three dollars a day may not seem like a lot of money, but that may amount to $60-$90/month
- Eating Out—$4 breakfasts, $7 lunches and take-out dinners get expensive—real fast! Brown bag lunch and pre-cook dinners on the weekend (you’ll save money and eat healthier).
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2020-95675 Exp. 3/22