We all want to save money simply. There are so many simple ways that we can save money each and every day, but many of us spend without thinking. Then when we do start to save, instead of really saving we simply shift where we are spending. Watch out for this. If you are saving only to spend somewhere else the simple fact is you are not saving you have just shifted your budget. Know where and how you are going to save the money when you follow these tips.
So what are some simple ways to save:
1. Make savings automatic from your paycheck. If you haven’t already you should be having at least a small percent of your paycheck coming out off the top and going into savings. Your goal should be at least 5% but ideally 10%.
2.Get rid of bank fees by keeping a balance. Most banks waive fees if you keep a certain balance. Find out what the balance you need is and make it a priority.
3. Make your own coffee or tea for work and brown bag it. We have all heard about the “lattee factor” where if you bring your own coffee instead of stopping at Tims or Starbucks,you can save about $500 a year, add packing your lunch and think 7*5=$35.00 and you can do the math. Practice both and you save big!
4. Use rewards credit cards. Personally I use a rewards Mastercard that is attached to Airmiles and that works for me. You can either get a rewards card or a cash back one. Shop around and find what works best for you.
5. Use coupons and coupon codes. Awhile back I wrote about where to find Canadian copouns and you can always google and look for codes that you can use to save.
6.Menu plan. I have planned my weekly menu for a long time now, it automates my dinner time and I am not looking in the fridge in the eveing thinking what am I going to cook now.
7. Shop from a list. Do you shop with a list? One of the best ways to save when you go to shop have a list and shop from it instead of mindlessly wandering a mall or grocery store.
8. Install CFLs to save energy. The first thing we did when we moved into this house was change the lightbulbs out, all ours are energy efficent.
9. Watch how you drive. Do you really need to take the car on that trip, can you do more then more thing when you go, are you watching your speed. The little things matter when you drive.
10. When making a big purchase, do your due diligence. When purchasing a big ticket item for the home, you want to buy quality at a good price so do your homework, compare brands, compare store prices, look for sales. Google is your best friend when you have to do your research.
11. Buy quality products. Sometimes that dollar store item is ok, but really if you need it to last do not just look at price, look at quality or you will be spending money again in a very short amount of time.
12. Buy generic when you can.When shopping is there a generic substitute you can use? Often you don’t lose any taste points. Now there are a few things that I do buy only certain brands..ie Kraft Dinner is always Kraft. Chicken noodle soup is always Campbells and laundry soap is always Tide.
13. Look for rebates. Here again google comes in handy as do forums like Frugal Shoppers.
14. Use store reward cards. I collect both Air Miles and Optimum points. I cash in both every December for me the best reward has been grocery store certificates. I find they are the best value for your point. At Shoppers Drug Mart I use my points to buy holiday gifts for my family.
15. Don’t eat out. How many times do you eat in the average month? If you cut it in half think of your savings.
16. Use up them leftovers. How many times have things gone bad in your fridge and you were left wondering what was that? Have a left over night once, twice a week and use it up, think it is good for the budget and the planet.
17. Use your community resources. Do you rent movies, take lessons, buy books..all of these can be done in your community at the fraction of the price. Use the library, use parks and recreation programs, use free or frugal community services to save.
18. Look for free activities in your town or city. Here in Toronto almost every weekend you can find free events to attend. Most communities have free festivals, art installations etc. Make use of them.
19. Get rid of the cable..stream your tv. I recently wrote a post on how to watch most of your favorite tv shows in Canada for free, you can even watch them on your tv. Buy getting rid of cable you can save yourself almost a $1,000 a year.
20.Plant a garden. Instead of just buying veggies and fruit why not grow your own?
21. Hang your laundry to dry. Think you are saving money and helping the planet too.
22. Use Group buying sites. I love sites like DealPage that aggregate all the daily deals. Remember though it is not a deal unless you had already planned on making the purchase.
23. Use Twitter to save. I use the list feature on Twitter to follow some who are fellow money bloggers, to chat with brands who often point you to coupons, to find freebies and so much more.
24. Be content and grateful. Attitude is everything when it comes to money. Are you chasing the Jones’s or are you sincerly happy with what is placed in front of you right now.
25. Most of all avoid debt. Avoid at all costs. Do you really need to buy that on credit? Do you really need those interest fees in your life? More and more consumers are carrying way too much debt and are just one emergency away from being bankrupt. Avoid debt whenever you can.
What are some of your favorite ways to save?