I've heard it all: cut cable, grow your own veggies, eat beans & rice. But what is something unexpected that can help people save money? Something that you don't usually see when you google how to save money.
Sasha: you have to look at everything you spend money on and think about alternatives. Little things add up, we all hit the low hanging fruit then stop looking. Once a year I do a check up on my contracted spending, I check for better rates on auto and homeowner insurance, TV , Internet, and Cell, then there is groceries. We buy them every week. some savings could be had by 1. buying store brands instead of national brands. 2. cutting out prepared foods, quick heat and eat meals and everything that goes in the microwave. 3. buy paper products, cleaners, toiletries in bulk at department or discount stores instead of the grocery store. 4. Before buying any furniture or household items check out second hand stores, thrift stores, 5. Where do you get your gas ? your oil changed ? can you find better pricing ? 6. Consolidate trips to the store to save gas and mileage. 7. Clothes, buy off season for best discounts, check out second hand and consignment shops. 8. Eating out, stop getting any food outside the house, set up a schedule where you eat out on birthdays only. 9. No drive through coffee, vending machine food either, coffee and breakfast at home, pack your own lunch 10. learn to cool lower cost meals, make enough for the next day's lunch. 11.When not in use turn off the juice. Install LED's and turn off when not using. 12. Sell unused items instead of throwing them out.
Negotiate better rates from credit card companies, cable companies, insurance companies, natural gas companies, drug companies, service companies (garbage, cleaning, HVAC, lawn service, and car service), and medical bills. Many people are simply afraid to ASK, but that's usually all it takes.
A lot of places offer employee and alumni discounts. I save 20% on my cell phone bill because I updated my employer information with them and was eligible for a preferred employer discount. My husband's employer gets a discount for our car insurance as well, so that's more money saved. When we rented, we'd even get preferred employer discounts for that because of where he works (we never paid a security deposit and got around $50/month off of our rent). Always, always, always check to see if there's an employer, alumni, AAA, or senior discount (assuming those categories apply to you). Most people never think to ask and they miss out on a ton of benefits.
Look into how your checking, savings, and credit accounts are set up. After doing some research, we were able to find interest bearing checking and savings accounts. We also were able to compare credit cards to find the best cash back programs. Setting that stuff up in advance means that we get money just for doing what we would normally do anyway. You've got to bank somewhere. Most people have at least one credit card. If you're going to do those things, you might as well take the time to choose accounts that benefit you.
Make saving money a lifestyle rather than a chore. Saving money is a lot like dieting. Sure, you can go on a crash diet and lose thirty pounds in three months. But you know what happens after you get off that diet? You're ******* hungry. You haven't formed the habits you need to keep that weight off and, as a result, you're statistically pretty likely to gain most or all of that weight back. Saving money works the same way. If you develop lasting financial habits that save you money, your bank account will get healthier and healthier. Consistency is a lot more important than intensity.
Do all of the things that most people are not willing to do.
Don't take vacations, don't have a cellphone or home computer.
Read the Art and Science of Dumpster Diving, it's very educational. I would have rejected that before I lost my job at 43, and could only get a job paying half of what I made before. In fact, the first time I saw dumpster diving, I was completely horrified.
When you're just about stone broke, you'll open your mind to more possibilities.
I stopped a few years ago, but years ago, it actually helped me.
And one more thing: Tithe. Really do. I used to believe that was a crazy idea, but since I've started doing that, I find that God is good as his word, he really does open up the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing. I never want for anything.
nope, pretty much what you suggest
only existing on the absolute necessities, moving to a cheaper place, eating less, get rid of the car and use other means of transportation, eliminating anything you don't actually require to exist
All "found" money goes into a special savings account. I track what I save with coupons, store loyalty cards, sales, discounts, refunds, rebates, reimbursements, etc. and deposit that amount into the special savings account each month. I started doing that ten years ago to save some money for my wedding, and just kept it up. You'd be surprised how quickly it adds up. The trick is to actually put the money into a savings account: it doesn't help at all if you just spend the money you "saved" on something else. It's not saved unless it gets put aside.
For me, what you're describing is how to reduce your expenses, but if you go and spend that money on something else then you aren't saving anything.
To save, separate your income prior to you even seeing it. Take 10% and put it in a different bank account (through direct deposit so you never see it) or into a 401k or IRA. You will adjust your spending for that reduction and you will be saving 10% every paycheck. It will add up nicely over the years.
Sell your car. Use a bicycle, moped, or motorcycle.
Yes! Update your employment info for your car insurance. Cook meals in. Shop at second hand stores.