Here’s my 2 cents on what you can do to save money in your daily lives. But before you start taking action, the most important thing you must do is answer this question: Do you know where your money is going? The reason you should answer this is because without knowing where your money is going, how would you know what to change? Take a pen and paper and make a list. Be honest. The only people who will benefit from this is you and your family. Good Luck!
1) Insurance: Call your company regularly and find out if you quality for any additional discounts. Switch companies if you find a lower rate. Raise your deductibles to pay lower monthly payments.
2) Movie rentals: Try using Redbox instead of blockbuster or Netflix. They’re everywhere and they’re cheaper.
3) Going to the movies: Locate a dollar movie theatre and take the whole family for under the price for ONE regular movie ticket. Bring your own snacks or buy advance tickets in bulk.
4) Gas: Use store cards like Kroger to get 3 cents off the daily rate. Run all your errands in one day and plan your route before leaving the house. Don’t make unnecessary stops unless absolutely needed.
5) Groceries: Buy in bulk at Costco or Sam’s and learn to cook at home. Instant family time!
6) Pack your lunch and limit dining out: Making your lunch at home might seem tedious but it’s so worth it. Do it the night before and make it a routine before bedtime. Limit dining out to special occasions and even then, combine them if there are more than 2 in a month.
7) Cell phones: Lower your high minute plans and text plans. Also, try switching to prepaid plans. It will force you to make sure your calls are “necessary”.
8) Electricity: Set your thermostat temperature and leave. Turn off lights when you leave the room. Turn on your ceiling fan. Shut down your computer at night. Do full loads of laundry or full loads of dishes. Change your regular light bulbs to energy saving light bulbs.
9) TV: Satelitte, Cable or DSL? If you must have it, find the lowest plan and stick to it. Do you really “need” 200 channels? Instead of watching TV, play a board game and create memories with friends and family. I promise that you won’t regret it. Still need to watch your favorite shows? Go online and watch them for free at hulu.com.
10) Gifts: Create homemade gifts at home. Find out what someone is really into and create a picture frame they will cherish forever. Write a poem from your heart. Invite them over to play a board game. Cook or bake them their favorite food.
11) Bills: Pay them online, save the postage stamp and never be late. Also, opt to go with a paperless statement. Save trees and go green at the same time! Review your bills, are you paying for something you don’t need? Cut it out.
12) Gym membership: Do you have one of these at work or in your neighborhood that’s going to waste? You’ve got great intentions but never seem to have the time to go? Cancel it asap and go walking at home. Call a neighbor or friend and make it a social event.
13) Subscriptions: Unless you’re actually reading the magazine from front to back and are getting some real value out of it, cancel it. Go to your local library and borrow it for free. It will save you money and clutter at home.
14) Prescriptions: Switch to generic pills. You can get some for as low as $4 at Walmart, Walgreens, etc. Call around and ask if they carry what you need and ask how much it is. Don’t be shy!
15) Credit cards: Don’t take them with you when you leave the house. Pay with cash for a few days. It’s amazing how quickly you’ll realize how fast the money goes.
16) Statements: Remember to always check all your statements monthly. You may find charges on there that aren’t yours. Get these fix as soon as possible.
17) Buy used: From everything from cars, books, clothes or electronics. They’re just as good and the price tag is a lot cheaper.
18) Regular maintenance: make sure you car, mower, a/c unit, etc. get their regular check ups. This could save you thousands in the long run. If you’re having trouble remembering dates, keep a log in the car or in the house. Put up a calendar and write important dates in the future. Now you won’t have to remember!
19) Grocery shopping: Shop after you’ve eaten a meal. Make a list at home and stick to it. Use coupons and shop on days when stores double or triple these coupons. Sign up for websites that email you coupons or tell you when a great deal is available.
20) Got items at home you’d like to sell: Do a garage sale by yourself or with your neighbors. Sell items online on Ebay.com, Half.com or Craigslist.com. It’s amazing what someone else will buy.
21) Use a cash reward credit card to pay your bills: You should only do this if you’re disciplined enough to pay it off every month.
22) Payoff high credit card bills: Don’t just pay the minimum, pay more. Every little bit helps. Credit card companies want you to take longer to pay off your balances because that’s how they make their money. Keep what’s yours.
23) Learn to save: Try putting just $1 into a piggy bank each day (coins are perfect). Have everyone in the family do the same. Who’s really going to miss $1 a day? At the end of the month, you’ve now saved $30 each! At the end of the year, that’s $360 each! For a family of four, that’s $1140! Can you imagine what you could save with $5 a day? WOW!
24) Barter with friends and family: Help people you know and yourself by sharing what you have with others. Have an extra toaster? Find someone who needs a toaster and ask them if they have something they could trade for it. Do this with services too. Could you mow someone’s lawn in exchange for them watching your kids for the week? Be creative.
25) Use your local library: Borrow movies, CD’s, books and magazines. Use their internet service to check your email, read the news or apply to jobs. Attend functions or classes for free. Call your library to find out what they offer. My local library is currently showing outdoor movies for free. Families bring their lawn chairs and enjoy and evening with each other.
If you’ve got a tip that everyone could use, feel free to add it in the comments section. This is one topic we could all use some help with. Here’s to your saving success!
Coach Dina Blas
Dina Blas is a Confidence Coach and Motivational Speaker in Dallas, Texas. Visit http://www.DinaBlas.com to learn more about her services and to request a free 30 minute phone consultation.
© 2009 Dina Blas. The author grants reprint permission to opt-in publications and websites so long as the copyright and by-line above are included intact and the article is not used in spam. A courtesy copy of your publication is appreciated.