Looking for more ways to trim a few bucks from your budget? Check out these 25 tips that will help you save money in your daily life.
Tips on Spending
- Budget! This is the cornerstone of all savvy financial planning. Use these worksheets to guide your spending and saving habits.
- Along with budgeting, make sure you track your spending so you know how much is going out and coming in each month.
- Cut many “extra” expenses. Paint your own toenails instead of getting pedicures. Brew coffee at home rather than buying coffee out. I know “stop buying lattes” is a cliche, but it’s become a cliche because it strikes a chord with so many people.
- Bundle your errands into one long, massive trip per week so that you can save on fuel costs.
- Reduce the amount that you dine out. This alone can save you $100 per month or more.
- Use the library instead of the bookstore. (Yes, the Kindle lending library counts!)
Tips on Paying Off Debt
- Clear all debts as soon as possible. You’ll save hundreds or thousands on interest.
- If you’re a homeowner, crunch some numbers to see if you can lower your monthly payments by refinancing your mortgage.
- If you’re paying mortgage insurance (PMI), and you think you have enough equity to waive the PMI, call your lender to start that process.
- Pay off debt using the avalanche method to save more money on the interest you’d be paying.
- If you’re in credit card debt, call your creditors and ask them if there’s any way they can lower your APR (interest rate).
Tips on Shopping
- Buy groceries in bulk at wholesale stores like CostCo or Sam’s Club.
- Shop at garage sales, thrift stores, eBay and Craigslist.
- Check prices online before buying something at a retail store, and check for coupon codes.
Tips on Recurring Costs
- Minimize your cable/satellite TV and internet packages. Do you really need 500 channels? Switch to SlingTV or Netflix or Hulu.
- Reduce your cell phone minutes to the lowest amount you need. Set an automatic calendar reminder to check your minute usage 4 days before the bill is due, so you can change your plan to avoid overage charges.
- Plant shade trees around your house to help you save on the cost of air-conditioning.
- Plug appliances into a power socket. Flip the socket switch off whenever you’re not using one of those appliances. You’ll save on the cost of ‘phantom energy’ — the slow drain of energy that comes from keeping things plugged in.
- Join a gym only if you’ll use your membership regularly.
- Take shorter showers.
- Keep your home a little hotter in the summer and a little colder in the winter. You don’t need to go overboard — simply turn the thermostat up by an extra 4 degrees in summer and down by an extra 4 degrees in winter.
- Put an insulation blanket over your water heater. This prevents heat from escaping.
Money-Saving Tips for the Future
- Teach your kids about money. Let them earn money for chores — 50 cents for this, $1 for that. Help them save their chore-money for the toy or video game that they want.
- Caulk and weather-seal all the drafts and gaps around your doors and windows.
- Sell or trade your gas-guzzler for a more fuel-efficient vehicle. If you live in an area with good public transit, commute on the subway or the bus, or consider becoming a one-car family.
- Service and maintain your car. It may feel like an extra expense but you’ll save big bucks in the long run.
- Use a bank with decent APYs so the money that is sitting in your account accrues more interest over the year.
- Keep copies of your receipts in an envelope or file folder, organized by store or by month. You’ll need these if anything breaks.