The state of the economy is forcing us to look at ways to save money. However, this is something that we should be implementing on a daily basis. Why wait until your bank account is nearing the negative? Why wait to until you’ve charged over your limit on all your credit cards? If you’ve waited there’s still hope and these simple ways can truly help you save money, but you must be diligent.
Here are some simple ways to save money you can start implementing today:
Save your loose change – empty your pockets or your change purse into a huge jar and have all your family members do the same. Our children love to roll-up the change once a month and by the end of the year we use the change for a special family trip. You will be amazed at how much money will accumulate simply by saving your loose change.
Set short term goals – aim to save $25 a week or a month instead of aiming for $300 a year. For some reason, the $25 goal is easier to digest and will add up. Once you place this amount in a savings account or envelope at home; don’t touch it. This is where discipline comes in. No matter what may come up, keep this extra money aside for ‘true’ emergencies. And, ‘no’ those cute red shoes are not an emergency.
Shop with a list – next time you enter the grocery store, make sure you have a list in hand and stick to it. You’ll be amazed how much money you will save when you create a menu and shopping list each week. Not only will you save money but you will actually have food available. How many times have you gone to the grocery store, spent $100’s only to come home with bags of items you can’t put together for more than 2 meals? Making a list ahead of time will save you money and time.
Substitute expensive drinks – instead of stopping at your favorite coffee shop every morning, make your own and save over $1,800 a year. Yes, saving the $5 you would normally spend on a grande latte will help you save over $1,000 for your emergency fund.
Shop generic brands – you will be surprised at what the generic brands have to offer. Whether the generic brand is a cleaning product or medication, be sure to compare the ingredients. Many times the ingredients found in a name brand are identical to the generic brand and purchasing generic will help to save you money.
Shop before renewing – before renewing your auto and homeowner’s insurance shop around for lower rates. There are many companies wanting your business and are willing to offer lower rates. Consider raising your deductibles to save money as well. Remember every penny counts.
Smaller saves money – chances are you have a large vehicle and large home because you had a growing family; you may want to consider downsizing. Once your children are grown and have moved out, the need for a large home and vehicle is not as necessary as before. Downsizing will not only save on monthly fees but also on your utility bills. A smaller vehicle will save money at the pump as well.
Shop the clearance racks – how many times have you visited the mall and seen a gorgeous dress or blouse with a hefty price tag only to see it on sale the following week? Resist the temptation of purchasing retail and check the clearance racks instead.
Shop for quality – be sure to check the quality of clothing items. Although the price tag may be inexpensive, check the quality of the material. If it will not last through a wash cycle it is truly not worth it, no matter the price.
Shop second hand shops – put aside your pride and shop at second hand shops or thrift stores. Some of the items you will find in these types of stores are at times brand new with tags. With a just a little effort you can find high quality items for a fraction of the cost.
Sell back your unused items – there are many shops available that will purchase your slightly used children’s clothing, toys, and accessories as well as adult clothing. Although you may not get back what you paid, you can make some extra money from items you may no longer have a use for. There are many shops that will purchase not only clothing but also video games and electronics and it’s a great way to add money to your emergency fund.
Strategic socializing – instead of meeting friends at a restaurant, consider a pot-luck gathering. Not only will it save money but it will be more relaxing and inviting. Entertainment such as going to the movies or concerts can be costly but having a ‘movie night’ with friends will save a lot of money and build long lasting relationships.
Search online for bargains – doing a bit of research online will help to save money on a variety of items. Buying in bulk at a discount will at times be less than clipping coupons. Many companies will offer free shipping and clearance items are also available online for non-perishable items such as paper products, soaps and diapers. Shopping this way will save you time and money!
All of these tips will save you money and time. We’ve implemented many of these tips and have saved money for end of the year trips with the family. We’ve found that quality time with the family will help to create long lasting memories and we enjoy those more than the latest and greatest toy or electronic games that they will enjoy for only a short time.
What are you doing to develop a nest egg or emergency fund? Share what you do to save money with us below.