(MP) Most people are looking for ways to save money in are taxes, weddings, automobiles, utilities, groceries, homes, etc. And, we know that one of the most effective strategies to save money is sacrifice. Without it saving cash is merely a fantasy. Setting goals help you make your sacrifice more concrete, because the reality of why your saving is something you can almost touch. Lets look for ways to save money, right here – right now…
Best Ways to Save Money
1. Consolidate all student loans
With interest rates at an all time low, one of the best methods to keep your cash is to combine your student loans into one low rate package. Research the various student loan consolidation packages available. Just a 1% reduction on a $10,000 loan can help you keep $100 a year. Plus, many student loans offer a small rate reduction if you sign up for their automatic debt repayment plan. This way, not only do you keep a few extra dollars a month — you won’t have late payments to worry about either. An automatic plan could retain about $100 a year or more.
2. Sign up for every free customer reward programs on planet
All over the country, you can find plenty of retailers willing to reward you for shopping at their stores. One of the best ways to save money in this area is to follow the basic game plan. Create a Yahoo or Gmail address just for rewards program emails, open every account you can. Next, check your email for extra savings coupons when you’re ready to shop. You can use these rewards and discounts to earn rewards and credit cards to earn points on purchases that can be redeemed for cash back or other saving benefits.
3. Stop using credit cards
Credit cards don’t have to be the enemy. If you find yourself getting into trouble with credit cards, take them out of your wallet and keep them in a just for emergency drawer. Just don’t carry the card around with you and you’ll keep cash. Keeping credit cards “out of sight and out of mind” is one the best strategies around.
4. Cancel cable or satellite channels
Many people with cable services often pay for premium packages that they don’t really use. For years, our family subscribed to premium channels we’d watch once a month at best. We deceived ourselves into believing that it was well worth it only to see wasted cash flushed down the drain. We found out its far cheaper just to rent a $1.59 Redbox movie now a then. Find out how “Americans Waste Money” or try Internet Sling TV to put that cash back in your wallet.
5. Turn off the television
Most people can’t image the amount of electricity a television uses. One big way to keep cash is to cut down on the amount of television you watch. There are many strategies to save money with this: less exposure to TV ads, lower electric bills and maybe lower cable bills if you downgrade your subscription.
6. Turn off the lights
With utility bills, turn off lights any time you leave your house – or even when you leave the room. If a room has plenty of natural sunlight turning off lights can also help keep your electric bill down over time. The bottom line: If you aren’t using lighting in a room, turn them off.
7. Install a programmable thermostat
Try installing a programmable thermostat. They help regulate the temperature in your home and cut down on energy usage. By setting your heating and cooling times, you can make sure your utilities aren’t being wasted while you’re asleep or at work.
8. About groceries
Because most people end up making impulse buys when shopping it’s recommend to write down a list before going to the grocery. That’s right, create a list before you go grocery shopping – and stick to it. Another easy is to only shop when you have a list. Not only will this help you buy items that fit with your meal plans, but it can also help you avoid buying food you might waste.
Bonus: We tend to spend big money when shopping online. Use your desktop –rather than a tablet or smartphone. According to one Journal of Consumer Psychology study – we’re likely to avoid impulse buys when using a desktop computer. Touching a digital image with your fingertips makes you feel like you already own the product, which makes you buy it, the study revealed. Shopping online with a keyboard and mouse will help you keep big money!
9. Do price comparisons
Most people program themselves to shop at the same grocery store knowing well they’re not getting the best deals. Fortunately, finding the cheapest stores around is just a Google search away. Make a list and keep track of 20 or so grocery items you buy most often. Next, shop for these items at a variety of stores. Finally, note the stores that house your items the cheapest and buy there. By making these stores your regular shopping destinations you’ve keep more cash in your bank account.
10. Use generic brands as often as you can
Instead of buying popular brand names, try out the store’s generic brand version this time. Not only will you likely save a few pennies now, but you may discover the store brand is just as good. Often times, my family has discovered the only difference between the two is the marketing. Once your family gets on the generic side of the fence, you may find the grass is a little greener on the other side.
11. Use savings coupon strategies
Try using coupons along with grocery store flyers and a shopping list. Doing so can help you save double – both through the initial sale savings and through the use of the coupon. This strategy also helps you avoid buying items you don’t really need. Buying items you don’t use just because you have a coupon or discount isn’t a smart savings option.
12. Avoid shopping malls
Trust me temptation lies in the seeing. You may tell yourself you’re only going to window shop but, once you’re in the mall the temptation to buy goes up ten notches. That’s why you should avoid malls unless you actually need to buy something. If you’re bored go for a walk, find fun puzzle, or pop in a good movie.
13. Shop the day after the holidays
Most savers use this strategy for Christmas, but any holiday will do. Wait until about two days after a holiday, then go out shopping for gift items. You can buy a Fathers’ Day card for next year the day after Fathers’ Day. Get Easter egg decorating kits the day after Easter, and Halloween costumes and decorations the day after. You can also save by buying cards, gift bags, bows, and wrapping paper the day after Christmas. The discounts are 50% – 75% off, and you can just put these items in the garage until next season.
14. Cut out cell phone services you don’t use
There are plenty of methods to save on your smartphone bill, and that includes switching from one of the big providers to one of the smaller ones offering service in your area for less. At the very least, you should take a look at your monthly bill and see if you are paying for any services you aren’t using or don’t need.
15. Buy used cars instead of new ones
The fact remains that new cars make horrible investments. Not only do new cars drop in value the moment you drive off the lot, but they continue dropping in value each year. If you want to save as much as possible on automobiles, look for used vehicles in relatively good condition. By focusing on cars that are only a few years old, not only will you save on the car but maybe on the auto loan too! Plus, you may even find one still its warranty period..
For more savings ideas here are other resources:
America Saves, is a blog that seeks to motivate, encourage, and support low to moderate income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth.
Dough Roller is a blog about finances. How to make it, give it, save it, and spend it in a way that moves us closer to financial freedom.
Greatist is a blog that helps the world think of health in a healthier way.