No one ever said that saving was easy. It’s tough to put away money for your future, for a rainy day or for your peace of mind. But there are a few fairly painless things you can do to save a little here and there, and a little here and there can add up. Read on to learn proven ways you can increase your nest egg. And don’t forget: every time you save some money, sock it away in your savings account.
Start By Saving Your Own Money
Perhaps the easiest place to start saving is from your own wallet. Block ATM access to your savings and lower the amount you can withdraw from your checking account. (Think of it this way: if you don’t have it, you can’t spend it.)
Another good tip is to have funds automatically deposited from your paycheck to your savings account, no matter the amount. Something is always better than nothing.
Save on Your Insurance
Review your auto/home/renter’s insurance with your agent. Depending on your policy, you may be duplicating coverage and paying for options you no longer need. Also, make sure your insurance is up-to-date regarding those covered. For instance, if your son or daughter is no longer driving a car in your name, remove them from your auto policy and net some savings on your premiums.
Another good idea is to check your health/dental/vision insurance for possible savings. Perhaps you can get the care you need from an HMO instead of a PPO. That would save you an average of $100 a month for an individual.
Save Money and Water
Save on your water bill by only running your dishwasher when it’s full and replacing your old shower head with a low-flow head. The “always run when full” rule also applies to washing machines. Running a load of laundry that’s less than full makes your washer work harder and that costs you more in energy.
Digital is Supposed to Help Us Save Money
Take a look at your cell phone and cable agreements. You may not need all the bells and whistles or premium channels you’re signed up for. Scaling back these services can result in marked savings. You may even be able to lower your Internet speed and consequently your bill. Don’t forget to look into bundling your services for extra savings.
On the Road to Savings
One way to make sure your car performs at its best, lasts a long time and doesn’t need expensive repairs is to keep it in tip-top condition. Be certain to change the oil and check the fluids on a regular basis. The correct tire pressure alone can save you lots of gas money.
Save Energy and Money
Save on your electricity costs by switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, making sure your home insulation is up to snuff, and installing a programmable thermostat. Given that energy is the largest bill other than housing, it pays to save every way you can.
Put Your Grocery Bill on a Diet
Shopping at no-frills grocery stores, bagging your own groceries, and buying generic brands can save you as much as $5 per bag of groceries. It’s also important to shop with a list. A list will ensure you buy only what you need and help you save by not springing for impulse purchases.
Eat, Save, Repeat
Food is one of the toughest areas in which to save. After all, everyone wants a delicious meal. Start by committing to cooking at home more often and get everyone to help prepare the meals.
Another real saver is packing lunch at home instead of purchasing lunch. One way to make brown-bagging it easier is to cook in quantity and freeze portions for lunch later in the week. The good news here is that you’ll be able to buy meat and poultry in bulk and save money.
If you eat out, try some of the popular chain restaurant’s specials. Applebee’s offers two entrees and an appetizer for $20 while Olive Garden offers two entrees (one for now and one to go) for $12.95.
Skip Some Trips to the Dry Cleaner
Cut back and save on dry cleaning costs by using home dry cleaning kits. These kits cost about $10 and provide premoistened dry cleaning sheets and a special plastic bag to hold your clothes. Twenty minutes in the dryer and you can get a few more wearings out of sweaters and such.
Your Public Library Can Save You Money
In 1727, Benjamin Franklin said, “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” It was his love of learning that motivated Franklin to found our system of public libraries. Today, the public library not only offers the latest best-sellers, but the most current CDs and DVDs. And just as Franklin intended, borrowing is absolutely free.
A Penny Saved
Even following some of the tips above can help you save money and as Benjamin Franklin said, “a penny saved is a penny earned.” The best method to start saving today is by spending less, and saving more today.