Easy ways to reduce spending so you can save more money!
Have you noticed that your dollars just aren't stretching as far as they used to? Well, you're not alone. With the prices of oil and gas soaring, credit card debt increasing and adjustable rate mortgages fluctuating, a lot of people are feeling the pinch. But there are smart ways to cope. By modestly reining in your spending and reviewing your monthly bills, you can end up with hundreds, if not thousands, of extra dollars in your pocket this year. Follow these money-saving tips and you'll be well on your way.
Take an inventory of what's lying around and plan meals around those items. You'll not only get rid of lingering groceries, you'll reduce your shopping list for the week.
Keep a list of the items you buy often and their cost. You'll know when you're getting a bargain.
Build your grocery list around sale products. If one of your nonperishable household staples (such as canned goods) is on special, buy extra.
Trim 10 percent off your bill with store brands; they're often the same as name brands where it matters--inside the box.
Fruits and veggies taste better―and are often cheaper―when they're in season. Substitute frozen or canned varieties for out-of-season produce.
Pay $1 for a loaf of bread instead of $3. Outlets generally don't sell outdated goods, so bread won't go bad any sooner than a grocery store loaf would.
If you put less than 20 percent down on your home, you're probably paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). Find out if you've built up enough equity to drop it. You could save $1,000 a year.
Shelling out an extra $100 a month on your mortgage will trim more than five years off a 30-year mortgage and save about $63,000 in interest (based on a 7 percent rate on a $200,000 mortgage). If you're having trouble making your payments, though, see how to manage your debt.
You may qualify for additional discounts if you've paid off a car loan or moved to a new zip code, if your commuting habits have changed, if your car has aged so much that collision coverage is no longer worth the cost, or if your kids have moved away.
Just raising your deductible from $250 to $500 can save you 10 percent on your premiums.
By insuring your home and car with the same company, you can cut your bill by 5 to 15 percent.
Trimming your satellite or premium cable package can make a difference. By dropping just one premium movie channel, you may reduce your bill by more than $100 a year.
Staying in goes a long way toward trimming your budget. Eliminate one trip to the movie theater per month ($30 for two, including treats) and you'll save $360 a year.
Use your own bank's ATM and save yourself an average of $2 per transaction. Eliminating just one transaction fee per week will net you about $100 per year. Better yet, take out cash only once a week and use a debit card for purchases instead (they're generally fee-free).
After paying bills online, set aside some cash from each paycheck, separating it into categories by envelope (food, movies, etc.). When the envelope's empty, you're done. Tell us how you keep from overspending.
Plant trees and shrubs to shield your home from sun and wind and save up to 30 percent!
The average family spends $325 a month eating out―that's $3,900 a year! Cutting back just a little will save a bundle.
It's cheaper and healthier! Buying lunch five days a week costs an average of $1,300 per year―and that's just a $5 meal each day. By purchasing lunch only three days a week, you can save more than $500 a year.
Buying sodas, water and snacks at the office quickly adds up. Buy these items in bulk, bag 'em and bring 'em to work―you'll save about $2 a day. With 260 working days in a year, that comes to $43 a month in savings, or $520 annually.
Have one fewer meal at a restaurant every month and save an estimated $60 to $90. Don't drink alcohol when dining out and you'll save even more.
Make your own coffee and heat your own milk, or use flavored creamer, instead of buying a latte. You'll save $3 a day, or more than $1,000 a year.
Go one day each week without reaching into your purse at all. You'll net an average of $20 a week, or more than $1,000 a year.
In addition to roadside assistance and maps, being a member entitles you to a wide range of discounts.
If you make less than $10 per month in long-distance calls, drop this service and purchase a phone card instead. You can save $120 a year.