Cut the Cable
Have you ever thought about cutting cable or satellite television our of your budget? Going cold turkey might be hard for many, but there are plenty of other options that one can take to lessen their bill. Consider simply calling your provider and asking for a better rate or try shopping around to see who is offering the best price and service. You can cut back on some of the unwatched channel packages to help lower your bill as well. A popular thing to do is to cut out cable altogether and just have internet service so you can stream your favorite shows. Any way you look at it, cutting cable is one of the best ways to save more money.
Saving on Clothes
Buying clothes can be an expensive endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be. There are tons of ways to save on clothing. Shopping at thrift and discount stores, to using coupons and looking for sales are just a few of the great ways to save on clothes. You can also save money on fashion and beauty by learning how to make your own makeup.
Most all of us have a living space that needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean that you need to spend a lot of money on cleaning products though. Have you ever considered making your own cleaners using common household items? Common items like baking soda and vinegar can make great homemade cleaners without all the harsh smells and irritations that store-bought chemicals can bring.
Groceries and Household Items
Groceries and household items are often a large part of a household’s budget, so this is an area that receives a lot of attention on the forums. How do our forum members save at the cash register? Shopping around for the best prices is one of the easiest ways. Many people have taken to stores like Costco or BJs. Seeking out discount grocery chains and shopping at member only club stores buying in bulk are also common.
The Latte Factor
Do you enjoy a coffee in the morning from a coffee shop? Or maybe you go out to lunch on a regular basis? Have a few drinks after work? Have you ever stopped to think how much money you are spending on these small indulgences over time? It could be several thousand dollars a year. So, how do you cut out some of this spending? A few simple ideas can be brew your own coffee at home in the morning before heading out, examine how much you are spending on yourself, skip on drinks when you go to dinner or take your lunch to work with you instead of going out. Find out what your food/drink vice could be costing you.
Cars Buying and Leasing
Who doesn’t like a new car? No miles, new car smell, everything working and totally pristine. But, can you really afford a new car? Large car payments can be detrimental to a person’s budget. They can cripple one’s ability to save and pay off other debts. Before buying or leasing a car you should be sure you can afford it and then pay it off as soon as possible. Car payments can be a drag on a monthly budget.
401K Plans and Self-Directed IRA’s
Do you work for a company that offers a 401K or similar retirement plan? Are you enrolled? Even if you don’t have this option, you should have a traditional IRA or ROTH IRA that you invest in. There are many benefits to enrolling in these plans including everything from tax free withdraws with a ROTH IRA to taking advantage of a company sponsored match with a traditional 401K style program. 401K and traditional IRA plans also lessen your tax exposure helping you save money on taxation. Check out the Average 401K Balance by Age.
Utility bills can be a budget killer, but there are plenty of ways to save on these necessities. Some simple things like switching to LED bulbs, turning down the temperature on your hot water heater, buying a programable thermostat, changing your furnace filters on a regular basis, taking shorter showers and insulating around doors and windows are all great ways to save energy and reduce utility bills.
Write it all Down
One of the most basic pieces of advice that is given on the forums when people come seeking help with debt and saving more is for them to create a written budget to track income and expenses. It is difficult for someone to be able to cut back on spending or to increase savings if they can’t visualize where there money is going. Creating a budget is easy thanks to several free online templates that allow you to plug in income and expenses right on their website. If that isn’t for you a simple Excel spreadsheet can work just as well. Even hand writing everything in a notebook can work. Try a bill calendar.
Having a cell phone is almost a necessity in today’s modern world. But, a cell phone doesn’t have to break your budget. How can you save on your cell phone and your cell phone bill? A few simple things that you can do are, keep the phone that you have now and resist the temptation to upgrade to the latest and greatest device. Look into prepaid phone options and avoid contracts with the major carriers. Take advantage of family share and group rate plans. Calling your provider and ask for a better rate can also save you a significant amount of money each month.
As you can see, saving can be quite easy in everyday life given a little creativity and discipline. Our forum members are seasoned at saving money in all aspects of life, and they are more than willing to share what they know with others. If you want to learn about more ways to save, join the Saving Advice forums and start a discussion today!
Photo: Dumb Little Man