How to Save Money
In today’s lesson you will learn how to save money while at the same time reduce your debt load.
If you want to reduce your debt and achieve financial wellness, you must figure out creative ways to save money and reduce your expenses. These money saving tips will not only save you money and reduce your debt load, it will also be the equivalent of adding a second income – because of the amount of money you’ll be saving by following these suggestions.
Note: It is estimated that approximately 23.5% of your income goes towards lifestyle/living expenses. And because there is such a large percentage of your income that goes towards lifestyle/living expenses, you need to minimize (reduce) those expenses as much as possible if you want to expedite the wealth building process. The following are some terrific money saving tips and ideas that will help you minimize some of those lifestyle/living expenses that cut into your income and erode wealth.
So without any further ado, here are some creative ideas on how to save money while at the same time reducing your debt load.
Tips on Saving Money: Simple and Creative Ways to Reduce Lifestyle/Living Expenses
Let’s get started with our money saving tips and strategies.
- Always try to pay for everything in cash. Never finance anything unless it is as a last resort; or if it’s an extreme emergency. In fact, there are only two things that you should ever finance (1) purchasing a home (2) purchasing a car. Everything else that you purchase should be paid in cash.
- Buy generic products. Generic (store brand) products have the same quality as brand name products but without the added cost. For example, I do my grocery shopping at Kroger’s and purchase Kroger brand products almost exclusively. This reduces my food expenditures substantially.
- Share a meal when dining out. Most food entrées are big enough for two. Try sharing and cut your bill in half.
- Do your laundry during off-peak hours to save money on your electric bill. You can save nearly 40% off your electric bill by doing your laundry during off-peak hours. Here are the off-peak hours: 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays and 24 hours on weekends.
- Try to keep the thermostat in your home as low as possible during the winter months. Doing this will make a huge difference in your monthly utility bill. Believe me because I know from personal experience. I recommend you get a programmable thermostat.
- Make sure that you turn the lights out when you’re not in a room. And obviously make sure that the lights are off when you’re not home.
Another energy saving tip is to minimize the run time on your dryer. For example, set the timer on your dryer for 5-10 minutes less than usual and see how you do. It works well for me. You can save up to $11 per year.
Note: This is my area of expertise: energy savings tips. I just recently received a letter from my energy company (Duke Energy) congratulating me on how energy efficient my home is. Here is a direct quote from the letter correspondence:
You are among the most efficient homes in your area and the envy of your neighbors.
So the point I am making here is you should take these tips I giving you here under strong advisement.
For more energy savings tips go to your favorite search engine and type “how to save money on your energy bill” in the search box.
- Buy in Bulk. Places like Costco and Sam’s Club are a good place to start.
- If an item is on sale like “buy two and get one free”, or “buy ten for ten dollars” (a dollar piece) for example, then take advantage of the sale item and stock up on the product.
- Try to use coupons whenever possible. Always look in your local newspaper or online.
- Negotiate a lower interest rate on your credit card. Talk to the customer service representative of your credit card company and ask for an interest rate reduction. They may be more willing to work with you than you may think.
- Transfer high interest rate credit cards, to a lower or zero percent interest rate credit card. See if you can transfer balances from a high interest rate card to cards that offer introductory zero interest financing, and/or a low ongoing APR. This will save you a lot of money on finance charges and allow you to pay off your card sooner.
Note: When you do a balance transfer from one credit card to another, you will have to pay a balance transfer fee. Normally this fee is 4% of the total dollar amount. So you will have to do some number crunching to determine if you really will be in fact, saving money on the balance transfer.
- Pack your lunch when going to work. Eating out at fast food restaurants every day is expensive and will add up. In fact, I just don’t think most people realize how little things add up when spending money. Let’s say that you spend $10 a day at Starbucks for coffee. Or, let’s say you spend $10 a day for lunch at McDonald’s. Let’s do some number crunching and see how that adds up:
$10 PER DAY
$300 PER MONTH
$3600 PER YEAR
$18,000 OVER 5 YEARS
$36,000 OVER 10 YEARS
So as you can see the little things like that cup of coffee or going out to lunch every day may not seem like much, but it really adds up. Author David Bach coined the term “Latte Factor” which represents the ways we spend money unnecessarily every day: cup of coffee, vending machine drinks and snacks, fast food restaurants. And this does not even take into consideration how unhealthy those foods and drinks are.
Let’s continue on with today’s lesson where you will learn how to save money while at the same time reduce your debt load.
- Preparing your own meals with unprocessed (whole) foods is cheaper and more nutritious than buying processed foods.
- Plant your own garden. Grow your own vegetables for example and in a few months you have many meals and will reduce your food expenses. Here is a terrific resource that I recommend for you to get started: https://www.clickandgrow.com/
- Try to keep your power supply – to all of your electronic devices – off as much as possible. People nowadays utilize so many different electronic devices; and they normally have them all plugged in at once. You can save a lot of money by making sure that all of these power sources are turned off. Try to have them all connected to one power source (e.g. power strip) so that you can turn them all off at one time. You can save up to $25 per year by making sure all of your electronic devices are turned off.
- Buy clothes during the off season. For example, buy winter clothes during the spring.
- Utilize all the great resources that are now available on the internet to shop and compare prices. Here is a really good app that will help you compare prices while shopping, thus saving you a lot of money; http://www.pricegrabber.com/. And here’s another suggestion. Go to your favorite search engine and type “best price comparison app”, or “best price comparison software”, or “best price comparison website” in the search box.
- Scrap your landline. Everyone has a cell phone these days, so why have an extra monthly phone bill when you can use your cell phone as your primary phone. I scrapped my landline about five years ago, and I am now using my smartphone as my primary phone. This is one less monthly bill/expense, and I am now saving myself about $35 per month.
- Go on a wellness program. As indicated, I have been on a wellness/preventive health care program since 2004 and have saved myself thousands of dollars (literally) in health care cost. For more detailed information about our wellness program go to http://joinourwellnessteam.com/physical-wellness/
- Do not live beyond your means. The secret to rich people getting rich is that they are generally speaking very frugal people and they live within their means and pay for everything in cash. In other words, rich people create wealth by living a debt-free and frugal lifestyle.
- Try to car pool whenever possible. Even though gasoline is much cheaper these days, you can still save some money (and consolidate your expenses) by carpooling with friends and co-workers. Whether it’s going back and forth to work or school, or even going to the store, there are some cost savings that can be had here. And depending on the length of your commute, you can use a bike to reach your destination during the warm weather summer months.
- Never loan money to friends or family members. This can get you into trouble in more ways than one. Watch the T.V. show “Judge Judy” (one of my favorites), and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.
- Take advantage of credit cards that offer you cash back rewards. Discover card and American Express, have two of the better cash back reward programs. But make sure you pay the balance-in-full and/or the statement balance, each and every month.
Here’s a really cool website that provides a list of all websites that provide cashback rewards, rebates, and coupons. Go to: http://www.cashbackholic.com/
Let’s continue on with today’s lesson on the Best Ways to Save Money