There is no denying the fact that saving money is easier said than done. But as the saying goes ‘Nothing is impossible’, you’ll realize after reading this article that saving money is also not impossible! It does not have to involve making life-changing sacrifices, all it requires is to take some wise decisions and make a few minor alterations to our lifestyle.
Here are some easy ways to save money, by bringing in minor changes to what we consider to be a desiderata in our daily lives:
- Make a budget. It is the first and foremost thing which should not be ignored.
- Make a list before walking into the store.
- Before leaving, check the pantry, fridge, and cupboard to ensure that you don’t buy what you already have at home.
- Inquire about the sale period in your store.
- Avoid buying prepared food, instead cook yourself double the usual portion and freeze it for later.
- Be open to buy in-store brands, as the quality is the same as the regular brands and anyway, the brand name mustn’t matter when saving.
- There is nothing wrong with using coupons, they are as good as cash. Look for them in the Sunday newspaper.
- Look for your store’s weekly advertisement fliers on any offers or discounts.
On Holidays and Christmas:
- Plan a holiday during the off-peak season.
- Go to an offbeat vacation spot.
- Conduct a thorough research on the offers available with different travel agents.
- Opt for a family package, instead of individual deals, while holidaying.
- If you are the adventurous kind, then plan a vacation yourself, instead of having it done from an agent. Choose the destination, mode of travel, and plan out the expenses accordingly.
- Book the flight tickets in advance to get cheaper fares.
- Avoid shopping at duty-free stores, as they are overly expensive.
- Make a list for your Christmas shopping.
- Don’t wait for the last day, start your Christmas shopping early. Grab the offers as they come, or else you might have to spend much more later.
- Try to make homemade gifts for your near and dear ones, as they are not only cheaper, but they would mean much more than merely buying gifts from the store.
- Disconnect the landline phone in the house, if all members of the family use cell phones.
- You could also use Skype to make free phone calls.
- For electricity, opt for fixed-bill plans, wherein a specific amount is payable every month.
- Change your incandescent bulbs to the energy saving CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp).
- Use a fuel efficient car.
- Get a programmable thermostat, as it automatically regulates itself according to the outside temperature.
- Instead of washing your clothes with hot water, use cold water, as that can save a lot of energy.
- Obtain credit cards without annual fees.
- Make ‘auto pay’ payments to the credit card companies, to avoid being charged a late payment fee (if you are not in the country or just forget to do it on time).
- Avoid getting a cash advance, as they come with a higher interest rate.
On Entertainment, Eating Out and Exercise:
- Rent a DVD, instead of buying one or watching the movie in a theater.
- Avoid eating out, except for weekends or so, and take a brown bag lunch to work. This would take care of your health too.
- Book your tickets online and in advance, for events and concerts.
- Instead of taking your friends to a fancy restaurant, invite them home for a house party, it will be more fun and you wouldn’t have to spend a lot.
- Get yourself a library membership, where you can get free books and magazines, and could also get free Internet access.
- You don’t really need a gym membership. The best alternative would be to spend quality time with your family. You could play a sport with the kids, which is a much more enjoyable workout.
- Visit local museums and zoos, they usually have annual passes, which means that with a one-time fee, you can make multiple visits to see your favorite animals.
- Read online magazines, instead of subscribing to the print ones.
- If you must go to restaurants, then go for lunch, instead of dinner, as they are relatively cheaper.
- Kids can earn their daily allowance at home by doing some chores. It also helps them become more responsible and frugal.
- Sell the ‘no longer in use’ stuff like old toys and comic books.
- Set up a savings account for the children.
- If the kids have saved any money, then make sure to invest it, by opening an investing account, wherein you get returns in the form of interest.
- Teens can take up a job like babysitting, pet sitting, gardening, and many more.
I am sure, while reading through the article, you must be thinking that you already knew about most of these points. But what’s important is how much of it, do we actually follow. Hence, it is better to start now than repent later.