TEN WAYS TO SAVE ON A BUDGET
Our paychecks don’t go as far as they used to, which is why it so important to keep track of every dollar. There are so many things we do everyday that waste so much of our hard earned money. It doesn’t take much to save a little money in places you may not have thought about.
1. WRITE OUT A BUDGET
When you actually know how much money you have, it will help you to make better decisions when it comes to your money. I know some of you will say, you don’t make enough money to budget. Whatever amount of income you bring into your household, it should be budgeted. It is not enough to keep it in your head and keep a monthly budget because you may not take into account the little expenditures that eat away at your paycheck. YOU MUST PUT IT IN WRITING. You need to either create a spreadsheet on your computer or get a pencil and paper and prepare a simple budget. When it is in writing it is more beneficial because you can actually see where your money is going. Also, by putting it in writing you can refer back to it to compare how much your saving or spending in certain areas. Write down your income after taxes, then list your monthly expenses. Don’t forget to add in all the extra things you spend on such as personal items, pet care, etc. Seeing it in writing allows you to be able to see where adjustments need to be made.
2. CHANGE YOUR LIGHT BULBS
Go through your house and change all of your light bulbs to the energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs. They energy efficient light bulbs are a little more expensive than the standard light bulb, but you save a lot of money on your electric bill every month, which makes it worth the extra expense.
3. CUT BACK ON CABLE
We all love cable television, but if you get all of the channels they are offering you could be paying a couple hundred dollars a month on cable. Call your cable company and negotiate your bill. Most cable companies will go over your bill with you and make adjustments to try and lower your bill if you are persistent. If they don’t co-operate with you, threaten to go to another cable company and follow through with that threat. There is so much competition in the cable industry that you can find a deal out there if you do your homework.
4. CONSERVE ON WATER
If you pay a water bill, you know like everything else the rates have risen considerably in the last couple of years. We all use water for just about everything in our house, but there are little things you can do to save on water. Taking showers instead of baths. There is nothing like a nice long bath sometimes, but taking more showers than baths saves water. Also, I know people that start the shower running and proceed to shave, check food on the stove and all sorts of things while the shower is running for five or ten minutes before they get in it. This is a big money waster. Another one is washing clothes in hot water when it is not necessary. Most clothes clean just as well in cold water as they do in hot water. Using hot water settings in the washing machine costs more money.
5. INVEST IN ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES
Most of us can’t afford to go out and replace all of our appliances at will, but as an appliance breaks and needs to be replaced, replace it with an energy efficient appliance. You will be surprised how much money old appliances cost compared to the newer more energy efficient ones.
6. JOIN A WHOLESALE CLUB
Joining a wholesale club can save you money. I hear people say that I don’t have the room to store bulk items or I don’t need that much stuff. The fact is that there are real bargains in the wholesale clubs. You can see a considerable savings on products such as paper products, cereal, milk, gas, tires, and many, many other things. Everything in wholesale clubs are not a deal, but there are so many things you can save on when you shop at wholesale clubs. Also, many wholesale clubs offer cash back rewards, and they send members additional coupons for savings. Take the time to go visit a wholesale club for the day just to check it out. I bet you will find a reason to join.
7. BUY YOUR PRODUCE FROM LOCAL FARMERS
Find your nearest fresh produce market or flea market to purchase produce. Usually they are only open on the weekends, but the quality and the price can be so much better than buying produce from the supermarket. I have found great deals at our local flea market that has a wonderful produce market every weekend. You also will be supporting your local farmers.
8. KEEP YOUR VEHICLE MAINTAINED
Keeping your vehicle in tip top shape can save you thousands of dollars. I realize that some people say they can’t afford to get their oil changes regularly, but if you don’t it could cost you hundreds of dollars on a repair that could have been avoided. Listen to your vehicle. If you hear a noise that doesn’t sound right, go and let a mechanic look at it and at least tell you what it is and how much it will cost to fix it. Even if you can’t afford to fix it right then, you can begin to save for that repair, but the last thing you want to do is ignore it. Ignoring it can cost you a lot more money in the long run.
9. BRING YOUR LUNCH TO WORK
Eating out at lunchtime cost so much money. I don’t think people really add up how much money you are spending when you eat out at lunchtime. Add up how much you spend in a week. That is how much you could be putting in a savings account or paying down a bill. What I do is make a little extra food at dinnertime and pack the leftovers for my lunch the next day. Eating out at lunchtime is big money waster.
10. VISIT YOUR LOCAL CONSIGNMENT SHOP
Consignment shops are not what they used to be. They have some really good stuff. I have bought designer suits for less than $15.00. It is worth taking a look around your neighborhood consignment shop because if you have been to your local shopping mall recently, the price of clothes has gone through the roof. A pair of jeans can cost you $100.00 or more. A designer suit could be $300 and up. There is a savings to be had at your local consignment shop.
These are just some tips to save you money on a budget. I am sure you all can come up with many more. Please share them with me in my blog.
Remember to save, save, save.