It’s America Saves week – the perfect time to get on track financially and jump-start your savings. The easiest way to do that is to go back to money-saving basics.
Use these 10 simple and easy ways to start saving money today, taken from Ilyce’s book “50 Simple Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Personal Finances.”
1. Buy in bulk. Buying your items in bulk will save you both money and precious time since you won’t have to go to the store as often. But think carefully about what you actually need: Just because you’re buying something in bulk doesn’t mean it’s useful.
2. Purchase your auto and homeowner’s insurance from the same company. You could get up to a 15% discount if you do. While we’re discussing insurance, you could also try raising your deductible: You might be able to shave off 15-30% of your annual costs.
3. Adjust your thermostat. Moving your thermostat lower or higher by just two degrees can mean significant changes to your energy bills (around 10%).
4. Skip the coffee shop. Spending $15 a week on coffee and a muffin can cost you $780 over the course of a year, so grab the best coffee beans from the grocery store and make it at home.
5. Rent a movie. Going to see a movie with the normal drink and a bag of popcorn can cost you serious cash. Stick to renting movies and save going out for special occasions, or for movies you really want to see on the big screen.
6. Cook more. Take the time to cook your own food and you’ll not only end up spending less, but you’ll also eat healthier since you can control everything that goes into your meals.
7. Embrace public transportation. Test out the public transportation near you to see if you can cut costs by taking the bus or train to work. If you’re not close to public transportation, see if you can organize a carpool with co-workers or friends who live nearby.
8. Save your change. At the end of every day, empty your pockets or purse of any loose change and put it in a jar. When the month is over, put the accumulated change in your bank account – you’d be surprised at what you can save!
9. Buy a used car. Leasing a car is an expensive ordeal that is almost a complete waste of money. New cars begin depreciating the moment you drive them off the lot, so save some cash and go with a used car.
10. Kick a bad habit. Smoking a pack of cigarettes a day will cost you about $3,360 a year. Have a few drinks every weekend? You’ll be spending around $1440 a year. Kick your bad habit completely or begin cutting back to see more cash in your pocket (your health insurance will thank you as well).
Want more tips? Check out these helpful sites:
- Learnvest: Great resources for personal finance help.
- Wisebread: A community of bloggers dedicated to helping you live well on a small budget.
- Investopedia: They have a wonderful guide on how to plan your budget.