The economy has been in a tailspin these last couple of years, and many people are finding themselves either unemployed or underemployed. We all need to make sacrifices at times in order to make ends meet – but sometimes it can be hard to come up with new ways to save.
Today I thought I would try and list a bunch of ways to save that my family uses, and hopefully a few of them will be ideas that you hadn't thought of before.
10 Easy Ways To Save Money
- Stop paying for cable or satellite TV: Stopping your subscription TV service can save a ton of money on a regular monthly basis. On average when we've been paying for service the bill can run anywhere from $35-$125/month. Over an entire year canceling your TV service can save you $420-$1500! Instead of paying for cable try watch TV shows for free using a software like Playon, or by hooking up your computer to the TV. Check out my article “How To Watch TV For Free Or Cheap Without Paying For Cable ” for a detailed look at this option.
- Make it a point to shop for better rates on insurance: One place that a lot of people overpay is when it comes to insurance. Take a day off from work and shop your homeowners, auto, health, life and other insurance coverages to see if you can find a better rate. The last time I did this I ended up saving over $1000 a year on my rates!
- Use subscription services? Cancel them and use a cheaper alternative: Are you paying $15 a month to pay for a subscription movie rental service like Netflix – but only rarely watch movies? Cancel the subscription and use a cheaper alternative like the Redbox movie rental kiosks. Paying for several magazine subscriptions? Read the magazines at your local library instead!
- Realize that you don't need to buy new: When buying things that you need, realize that you don't always need to buy those things new when used can be bought for a much smaller price. Save$5-6 grand by buying a used car, or save hundreds by buying a used version of last year's model of digital camera. Buy used clothing, books, electronics or other high ticket purchases.
- Eat out less often: It can be extremely easy to justify spending when it comes to eating out. We did it at our house until we actually kept a budget and realized we were overspending by hundreds of dollars every month just because we were eating out. Packing lunches and making dinner at night meant we saved in excess of 2-300 dollars a month!
- Save on entertainment at the movies: My wife and I love going to the movies, but nowadays you almost have to take out a second mortgage in order to afford the movies. But there are ways to save on going to the cinema. You can go to a matinee, see the movie at a second run theater, buy packages of tickets at a reduced rate, bring your own snacks (if they allow it), seek out free family movie days in the summer or join movie watcher loyalty clubs.
- Maintenance saves money: By maintaining the things you own you'll end up spending a little up front, and saving a ton down the line. Go for regular oil changes and service checks, and do regular maintenance around the house in order to ensure that all of your things are in good working order.
- Sleep on it: A lot of people like to buy things on impulse and the result is they overspend on a ton of things they end up realizing they don't need. Give yourself a waiting period for purchases over a certain dollar amount, and quite often you'll realize while you're waiting that you don't want or need the item. My waiting period? At least 24 hours, but more depending on the cost of the item.
- Make a list – and use coupons: One of the biggest things that I don't do when grocery shopping sometimes is actually making a list of the items we need to buy. The result is that we end up buying a bunch of junk food or other items that aren't needed. Instead, make sure to shop when you're not hungry, make a list – and actually clip some of the coupons you see in the paper to save some extra cash.
- It never hurts to ask for a discount: There are so many times that you can save big just by asking for a discount. For example, we recently called up our internet service provider and asked them to reduce our rate in order to keep us as a customer. They found a promotion that was currently running, and applied it to our account to save us $15/month. Another big one we’ve used is to ask for a discount on medical bills. Often if you call up the hospital billing department you can save 10-20% off of your bill just by asking, and paying cash. This can end up saving you hundreds or thousands of dollars!
So there are 10 easy ways to save money on your regular and not so regular bills. Get creative, don't accept the status-quo and look for savings in places you maybe didn't even think to look before.
Where do you find savings in your budget? Tell us some creative ways that you save money every month!