Everyone is looking for a way to save money One way to quickly save money is by cutting your monthly expenses by assessing your household’s budget for essential and nonessential bills, purchases, and other financial commitments.
There are many different techniques that can help people save money such as spending less, budgeting, and finding discounts. But like with all worthwhile things. It takes time and planning to learn the best techniques.
Here are some ways you can reduce expenses and gain control of your monthly budget by saving money:
Save Money On Your Utilities
Saving money on utilities is relatively simple. You can:
- install CFL or LED bulbs to make your lights more energy efficient
- Unplug electrical devices when you aren’t using them, use power strips
- lower your hot water tank temperature
- take shorter showers
- run your appliances (washer,dryer, dishwasher, etc.) at non-peak hours
- invest in a smart home security service. Many smart home services not only allow you to have a state of the art security system. But they allow you to control parts of your home from your phone. For example, your thermostat. You can turn it on and off from your phone. Or your lights, even turn the washing machine or dryer on from your phone and get started on your chores a little early!
Do you live in an energy deregulated state? States like Texas have deregulated energy, giving you a wide variety of companies to get electricity thru. And here is the funny (not so funny ) thing. All these companies get your electricity or gas from the same company!
Your rate is dependent on the brokers fees!
Having living in Texas almost 3 years I didn’t understand that until a friend introduced me to a company she was working thru. They showed me what was my REAL rate and the extra fees I had been paying. Long story short, she saved me $40 a month on my bill!
If your city has public transportation, consider taking the bus, subway or another method of transportation. This can save money on gas and the maintenance costs of your vehicle.
You could also carpool with a coworker or friend. Also, consider downsizing a vehicle; for example, if you have an SUV, consider getting a small sedan — if that fits within your individual and/or family’s needs. If you do drive your car to work and to other appointments, make sure your car’s tires are properly inflated to the proper PSI levels. Believe it or not, you use more gas when your tires are not properly inflated!
Debt – Credit and Other
Consolidate your debts, if possible. That will save money on accumulated interest with credit cards and other outstanding debts. You may also choose to refinance your home or vehicle. Request a credit card rate reduction. Or look into a credit card balance transfer. Don’t forget about your student loan! You may be able to save some money by consolidating them into one loan.
Supermarkets are a great place to save a lot of money. Prepare your meals at home and avoid eating take-out. Not only will this save you money, but when you cook your own food you have control over how it’s made and how many calories you are consuming.
Refrain from impulse buying by using a grocery list. If you pay with cash, or a debit card, it is easier to stay on budget. Use coupons and buy generic brand items when you can. Also, growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs is a budget-friendly practice.
You can find them in newspapers, magazines and online, but did you know that many of the stores themselves offer coupons directly on their website? Did you know that many grocery store chains have 1 day a week that they will double and some will triple your coupon! Imagine doing all your shopping on a day you get triple off! This can save you a lot of money!
Also do you have a favorite grocery store that you shop at all the time? Many grocery chains also have digital coupons available to customers who download their app.
The coupons & specials are only for their store. But it can save you time (no coupons to clip, just click on the ones you want to redeem) and of course, it saves you money.
Keep in mind, coupons are not just for food. You will find most coupons offer coupons. There are whole sites dedicated to offering coupon codes. There are also apps dedicated to helping you save money. I like to use Honey and Rakuten (used to be Ebates). Both have browser extensions that you can download and install. Once these are turned on when you go to participating websites before you purchase they will show you all available coupons and discounts! It saves me a ton of money! With all of these options to save, why not take a few minutes to get the best deal possible on everything from groceries to clothes?
Many people have gotten rid of their home phone lines. What’s the point since we all have our cell phones with us at all times? But before you ditch your home phone, call your cable company to see if there are any good packages!
Most of us get our phone, cable, and internet from the same company as part of a package deal. You should call your cable company annually to see if there is a better deal available. Sometimes they will offer you a great deal on the internet or cable if you bundle it with a landline.
I’ve found the bundled deal to be VERY attractive and worth having the landline just in the savings I’m getting on the other services.
You should also take a good look at your cell phone contract. Make sure you are on the right plan. Check out other providers and compare. Look at your monthly invoices to see if there are extra charges and work to eliminate those. Using a free service, such as Skype, could be an alternative option to phone lines.
How often do you watch your cable or satellite television? If the answer is “rarely,” consider getting rid of that service to save money. If you are like me, you mostly watch Netflix or Hulu. You only need to have good internet service to stream content. Go ahead and cancel cable! Watch the news online!
Cancel club memberships you barely use. You could save money by finding more inexpensive entertainment options — such as attending community events, picking up books at the library, volunteering your time at a local nonprofit, and more. There are plenty of free ways to pass the time. Here in Houston, they have a service called Goldstar. They often have free or reduced priced tickets to local plays.
Remove unnecessary clothing, consumable habits (smoking, alcohol, etc.), and other nonessential spending. If you have unused items lying about your apartment or house, consider selling them on Amazon or eBay.
You may also choose to downgrade health, life or car insurance plans. But be careful! When you reduce the cost of any of your insurances, you are increasing your deductible. Meaning if you get in an accident, or get sick, you will have to pay more money out of pocket.
In conclusion, saving money is easier than you think. All it takes is a little more attention to your finances and a little more restraint in the choices you make.