With the cost of everything going up it’s become increasingly difficult to make ends meet. You might find yourself in a position where you need a little extra money every month. Getting rebates for online shopping, taking the time to search out cheap car insurance and cheaper streaming services, buying used items and selling your used items are all ways to fatten your wallet.
Pay Off High Interest Debt
If you are making a commitment to save money, that’s great, but if, at the same time you are paying high interest debt, you’re really calling it even. Before bothering to make any huge savings commitments, first work on paying off your high interest debt. Once that has been completed, you can get more focused on savings and really make it count.
Reduce Your Utility Bills
There are so many ways to reduce your utility bills; you might not even realize them. Call your provider and set up an appointment for an energy audit. They will help you discover where you can save money such as plugging insulation leaks, getting better energy-efficient appliances, using smart power strips and switching your regular thermostat to a ‘smart’ one. Consider changing your incandescent lights to LED’s to save money, and turning down the temperature on your hot water heater.
Eat Out Less
If you are someone who loves restaurant dining, this can be difficult to accomplish. It’s best not to go completely bonkers and never eat out again, but rather, adjust your habits so you can save money.
- Eat out at lunch instead of dinner, and make lunch your big meal that day. Restaurants typically charge far less for lunch.
- Use a credit card that gives you restaurant spending rewards.
- Don’t order any drinks – just water. Drinks can add up to be extremely expensive.
- If the restaurant allows it, split an entrée or an appetizer with your companion. Or, only eat half of your meal and save the rest for lunch the next day.
- Cut down on eating out by 25-50% replace those meals with home cooked foods you enjoy.
Save Your Bills & Coins
Every night when you empty your pockets, dump all of your spare change and bills into a shoe box. Once you’ve collected enough, either take it to a cash for coins machine, or roll up the coins and take them to the bank. You will be surprised at how much spare change you’ll find lying around the house and in your car.
Give Your Time Instead of Material Gifts
Whether it’s for the holidays, a birthday or some other gift-giving occasion, you can save a lot of money by giving of your time instead of making purchases. Let’s face it, most of the time people either take their gifts back to the store to return them or stuff them away in a closet, never to be used. Meanwhile, your savings account is dwindling. Get creative and create paper coupons or one specific certificate that rewards the gift receiver with things like:
- A picnic you go on together
- A home cooked meal of their preference
- Babysitting or child care
- Time spent putting a puzzle together, playing a board game or singing karaoke
- The options are endless!
Make a Weekly Shopping List
Going to the grocery store can be overwhelming. If you’ve got little kids in tow (even big ones!) it can mean you are distracted, in a hurry to get out, and not as careful with your spending as you know you should be. Creating a weekly shopping list that limits you to essentials and daily meals will help keep you from going astray. Consider also:
- Cutting coupons or using online coupons
- Know when you’re impulse buying
- Shopping at stores that offer the best deals
- Inventory what’s in your pantry and freezer so you don’t double up unnecessarily
Find the Free Gems of Entertainment in Your Area
Having fun is a necessary part of life, after all if you never had fun, working and saving would feel a bit pointless. However, spending money on entertainment can be costly. Most cities have multiple entertainment venues that are free or cost very little. Look for:
- Free concerts
- Low or free admission to the zoo
- Free admission days to museums and art galleries
- Free admission to beaches and parks
- Free virtual events
Spending less money for things every month will naturally put more money in your pocket. Don’t let yourself be dazzled by the extra cash, have a plan for it such as socking it away into savings or investments.