10 Ways to Save Money You Probably Didn’t Think About
When it comes to saving money, we all know about coupons and sales, store brand labels, and packed lunches… but there are some habits and tips you probably haven’t thought about that could drastically save money and help you build wealth.
Stop the Impulse:
One-click purchasing has become almost too easy. Too easy to buy anything you could want and too easy for your money disappear. Browsing through your favorite online shopping site might be fun and convenient, but it’s fundamentally changing the way you decide what to buy and what not to buy. It may streamline your experience, but it also diminishes the natural discouragement process that occurs in your mind at the brick & mortar stores. You see all of the items in your cart and you think, do I really need this 4th of July themed sweater for my pet? Online- you may only be shopping for 4th of July themed pet sweaters, and when you find the perfect one- you’ve spent the money within seconds. Instead, give yourself a week. Put it in your wish list and think about it for a whole week. If you’ve forgotten about it, you probably don’t need it.
Remove Credit Cards Online:
An easier way to curb your impulse-buy is to completely remove all credit card information from any online sites that may have it. The arduous task of inputting credit card information for each and every purchase will give you more time to think about it, and possibly avoid spending all together.
Negotiate better rates:
Speaking of credit cards, you may be able to negotiate better interest rates with your credit card companies. Better yet, pay off your credit cards and quit using them!
Take Stock of Your Monthly Entertainment Costs:
The average cable bill is $99 a month! Most streaming services cost 1/10th of that! However, not all streaming services might be the most cost-effective, either. There are free options like Pandora for music, or the library for books, magazines, and movies. Also, be discerning with other subscription services. You probably don’t really need a weekly box of prepared meals, monthly beauty products, or the enticing, yet money-wasting Bacon of the Month Club. Though delicious, it’s a money trap. Sign up wisely.
Avoid Fast Food:
This sounds simple, but take a look at your bank statement and add up how much money is spent at a place you could have avoided with a stop at the grocery store. For the same money, you could eat healthier packed lunches for a week!
Big screen tv’s, desktop computers, microwaves and other household electronics use up a significant amount of energy even when turned off. AOL Money says it can account for up to 10% of your electric bill. Get in the habit of unplugging after each use.
Pay with Cash:
Dave Ramsey says “Save for the things you want and pay for them with cash. The only way you can break the habit of going into debt is to get ahead.” Payment plans are everywhere these days- it’s giving an excuse to buy things you technically can’t afford. This also helps with Tip #1. While you’re saving for that brand new smartphone, you might have time to realize you don’t need it as bad as putting the money towards something that will build wealth.
Americasaves.org says: “One way to establish a savings discipline is to “save” an amount equal to whatever is spent on nonessential indulgences. Put a matching amount in a cookie jar for expenditures for beer, wine, cigarettes, designer coffee, etc. If you can’t afford to save the matching amount, you can’t afford the $4 super almond low-fat latte.”
While you’re practicing money-saving habits by using the library- pick up a book about personal finance. You’ll learn how to put all the money you save to work.
Ditch the Gym:
Gasp! Before you think we’re giving you an excuse to not work out, we’re giving you an excuse to not have to pay for it. The simple truth is most people get a gym membership and never go, wasting a substantial amount of money every year. There are plenty of ways to work out for no cost at all. Walking, running, bike rides, free yoga in the park, the possibilities are endless. Check out fitwatch.com for more ideas
Stay tuned in the future when we delve into more steps on how to save money and start new habits of building wealth.