I firmly believe that with a very little bit of effort, everyone can find an extra $1,000 to $1,500 in their budget that is essentially wasted money. By being a little strategic about how you think about your money and the spending habits you have (and may want to change or break), there’s plenty of cash to use for something else.
The genesis of this show came from the nearly 10,000 miles I’ve logged in the past few weeks speaking to thousands of people about their every day money habits. Most folks I’ve spoken with have someone close to them who has been out of work for at least a year, some longer. They’re living on one income instead of two, and finding it difficult to make ends meet.
Here are three quick suggestions for ways to spend less and save more money every day:
- Save your change. This really works. At the end of every day, dump your change and your lowest denomination bill into a change jar. Repeat, and repeat, and repeat. Savings: You should have $250 to $500 in your change jar at the end of the year. One caller to today’s show says he saves $2,000 in change every year.
- Renegotiate your cell phone bill. Everyone who has done this (including me) has found a way to save $20 to $30 per month. Savings: $240 to $360 per year.
- Shop around your insurance. We recently shopped around our car insurance and saved $300. I met someone who saved 25% on all of his insurance policies by stacking them with the same insurance company. Try this – you have nothing to lose. Savings: $300 to $1,000 per year.
After I gave out my best three ways to save, I opened up the phone lines to find out how much you’re saving – and what is your favorite way to save.
Here are some of the show callers’ every day money saving suggestions – feel free to add yours at the bottom of the post:
- Charla is saving $384 per year on her insurance policy because she spends less than $25 for membership into a certain organization.
- Steve shopped around and is saving $75 per month on his cable, or $900 per year
- Lisa and her family agreed that when they eat out, they wouldn’t drink anything except water. They’re saving $5 to $10 per dinner, or about $20 to $40 per week, $1,000 to $2,000 per year.
- Chuck shopped around his gas rate and got it down from $265 per month to $14 per month. He’s saving about $150 per month, or $1,800 per year.
- Sue and her husband traded in their cell phones and got better service but at a fraction of the price. They’re saving $55 per month on their c ell phones and then they canceled their home landline, so now they’re saving another $30 per month. That’s $85/month saving, or around $1,100 per year.
- Venita purchased a digital cable antenna and now watches free TV. She is saving $100 per month.
- Dan has traded fancy vacations for camping ($41 per night). He joined a gym and canceled his newspaper subscriptions and cable subscriptions. He’s saving hundreds per month.
- Nathan turns off his gas from April to October, since he now has an electric hot water. He saves $90 per month during those six months.
- Kim recommends the website SouthernSavers.com and is saving $100 per month on her groceries by doing about one hour of week of research.
- Sandy triple-stacks her coupons and saves about 4500 per year.
- Jennifer wants to maintain her quality of life, but won’t pay for anything full price. She uses Groupon and other sites to get access to coupons for manicures, massages, etc.
- Paul has two cars 18 years and 10 years. He has maintenance done on a regular basis and is saving $10,000 or more by keeping his cars that long.
- Tom switched to a hybrid car and is saving $200/week in gas. He’s getting 60 miles per gallon.
- Renee said that for about 20 years, she has been buying groceries by the month – not the week. She will spend about $25 on fresh fruit and vegetables each week, but the bulk stuff is only purchased monthly. It helps her feed her family and helps her kids follow portion sizes. She thinks she’s saving at least $150 per month, but maybe as much as $400 per month.
- Sherry says she triple-stacks Kroger coupons and saves $200 to $300 per month on groceries.
- Michael bought a diesel car and gets 51 miles per gallon. He’s saving thousands a year on gas and doesn’t have to worry about replacing a hybrid battery at $8,000 a piece.
- Angel shops throughout the year for Christmas by looking at the clearance section of any store she goes to, including Target and Walmart. It saves her headaches (priceless) and gas (nearly priceless!).
If I add all this up, it seems pretty clear to me that you can save a TON of money is spend a little bit of time. What’s your favorite way to save?