On a Budget
10 Simple Ways to Save in 2013
Have you already made all your New Year’s resolutions? If you don’t already have a resolution to start saving this year, it isn’t too late to add this beneficial commitment. Saving money is easy and can start you on a financially successful path for many years to come.
Here are my top 10 easy tips for saving in the New Year.
1. Pay yourself first with a savings account. It is simple to open a savings account if you haven’t already. Start with just a $25 automatic deduction each pay period and increase it if you are able to in the future. Having money automatically go into your account will help you stick to your resolution and save for your future, such as an emergency fund, a child’s college education, or retirement.
2. Record all your expenses for one month. It is an eye-opening experience and will allow you to figure out what you can cut back on, as well as what is a necessary expense. Are you spending too much on coffee each month? What about eating out? Do you need cable? These are all things that you can cut back on so that you can tuck away extra cash each month.
3. Avoid impulse buys. Before heading to the store, make a list of what you need and stick to the list while shopping. Don’t shop hungry, and if your kids aren’t helpful with shopping, you may want to leave them at home so you can concentrate on getting the best deals.
4. Be a savvy spender by using coupons. You can find coupons in newspapers, magazines, by mail, or online to help you save each week at the store. Utilize coupons with a sale and you’ll see a 50% savings on your grocery bill immediately. Don’t like to cut coupons? No problem with eCoupons, which can be loaded directly to your shopper’s card.
5. Enjoy FREE family friendly events. Home Depot, Lowe’s, Michael’s, the LEGO store, and more stores offer FREE kids events each month. Bank of America card holders can enjoy FREE museum membership once a month. Don’t forget to check your local library for FREE events, movie and magazine rentals as well. And when you are eating out, you can find a restaurant near you that offers FREE kids’ meals by visiting KidsMealDeals.com.
6. Sign up for Daily Deal sites, like Groupon and Living Social to save on everything from dining out and salon services to car maintenance and vacations. We all like a little splurge now and then, but why not save 50% to 90% the next time you get a pedicure!
7. Pack a lunch and watch your savings grow. Buying a lunch each day can be pricey, even if you are finding a good deal. For example, a foot long sub sandwich and drink can cost approximately $7. When you multiply that by 20 work days, you end up spending $120 a month, or $1440 a year! Packing your lunch, as well as your kid’s lunch will not only be a healthier option, but it can also help you cut back on extra expenses.
8. Lower your utility bill by turning off lights, electronics, and other appliances when not in use. My son was constantly forgetting to turn off his bedroom light, so we installed a motion sensor light switch in his room. Installation was simple, the cost low, and now we aren’t paying extra on our electricity bill.
9. DIY. Household cleaners, body scrub, baby food, as well as many other household items are easy to make, and cost a lot less than the packaged items from stores. For example, vinegar is an effective household cleaner because it kills most molds, bacteria, and germs. Plus this non-toxic cleaner only costs a few dollars.
10. Save at the pump by finding the cheapest gas wherever you go. Use the smartphone app GasBuddy, which is free, to compare prices before you head out. You can also save by watching your tire pressure, driving the speed limit, and filling up at stores that offer reward programs.