7 Easy Ways to Save More Money Today

downloadSaving more money doesn’t necessarily mean giving up restaurant meals for good or never buying a new outfit again. In fact, there are plenty of ways to save money without making too many sacrifices. The following seven ideas might take a bit of extra effort, but they also have the potential to pay off, right into your bank account.

  1. Get healthy. For people who struggle to stay fit, eating healthy and staying in shape is easier said than done. But for those who are in good shape, you can save a lot of money on life insurance and individual health insurance plans. And as an added bonus, you’ll feel better and have more energy. You don’t have to join a pricey gym, either: You can take up walking or jogging, or download a free app that helps walk you through different exercise programs.
  2. Rethink auto insurance. Every year, re-examine your auto insurance policy for savings opportunities. For example, consider raising your deductible, which lowers premiums. For older vehicles, evaluate whether you really need collision coverage, which covers damage to your car when your car hits or is hit by another vehicle or object. And make it a habit to compare auto insurance quotes annually, which can be done online in minutes. (While you’re at it, consider taking time to compare other insurance policies that you currently have, including homeowners insurance).
  3. Improve your credit score. Of all the painless ways to save money, improving your credit score is arguably the most important. From home loans and car loans, to credit cards and auto insurance, a good credit score can save you a small fortune. Over a lifetime, the savings can easily reach tens of thousands of dollars. The simplest way to improve your credit score is to make on-time payments each month on all of your accounts.
  4. Think triple play. One of the biggest monthly expenses for some is the cost of Internet service, cable and phone. The majority of providers offer discounts when you bundle all three of these services together. Called a triple play, you not only save money, but you also get the convenience of a single bill each month.
  5. Go prepaid with your cellphone. While this option won’t be right for everybody, many can save a small fortune with prepaid cellphones. You can find prepaid cellphone plans that start at $25 a month. And because they are prepaid, you don’t have to commit to long-term contracts. Two of the more popular prepaid cellphone carriers are NET10 Wireless and Cricket.
  6. Shop online. There are several benefits to shopping online – convenience being chief among them. But shopping online can also save big money. Many retailers offer special discounts to online shoppers. And virtually every company that sells products or services online offers promo codes, discounts or coupons. Particularly if you have a big purchase, make sure to search the Internet for deals before buying. You can also track discounts and coupons through online tools, including RetailMeNot and PriceGrabber.
  7. Get cash back. If you have good credit, there are a number of cash-back credit cards that pay up to 5 percent on purchases. The key is to use the card for monthly bills and everyday expenses, not to charge things you don’t need. Put monthly bills that accept credit cards on automatic payment, and use the card for everyday purchases such as groceries and gas. And as an extra precaution against overspending, pay the credit card bill in full several times throughout the month. It’s easy to do online, and it prevents any surprises at the end of the month.

*Original article source courtesy of US News – Money.

10 Simple Money Saving Tips

bigstock-Saving-money-jarSome of the more frequently talked about personal finance tips can come across as unreasonable, too difficult, too time consuming, or irrelevant. Yet, the search continues across all income brackets for how to comfortably spend less and save more.

Below are 10 simple money saving tips that you may not have thought about – each with some serious financial benefits. Saving money does not have to be a chore, it’s an accumulation of habits and adjusted perspectives, none of which are detrimental to your daily routine.

The goal of these 10 tips is to not overhaul your life, but to make manageable, tiny tweaks that carry a big bang at the end of the year.

1. Use Cash. After setting a budget, take out cash for your entertainment spending pocket. It’ll ensure that you do not spend above the designated amount. Since a coffee here and burger there, really adds up and quickly – making sure that those erroneous expenses are always paid in cash will help you stay on top of that expense area (an area frequently a victim of the swipe and forget plague).

2. Adjust That Thermostat. Turn your heat down ten degrees and the a/c up two degrees. Utility companies have reported that even just a consistent two degree shift can save you money without leaving you miserable. The same principle can apply for pre-setting programmable thermostats to change throughout the day, adjusting for when you are away from home or asleep; with a more drastic change while you are away (10 to 15 degrees for eight hours). Your savings could be as great as 15 percent a year, says Energy.gov.

3. Help Santa Save. Consider early prep for holiday shopping. Either look throughout the year and really benefit from sales, or consider the benefits of buying a gift card monthly and setting it aside for yourself. Come December, with just $25 gift cards each month, you will have set aside $275 specifically for holiday spending.

4. Drink More Water. By replacing just one soda, coffee or beer each day, you not only invest in your health, but you could save some serious change. If you eliminate one $5 coffee just three days a week, that’s an additional $780 dollars at the end of a year’s time. Or, if you have that fancy coffee addiction, consider getting a coffee machine and buy your favorite grounds in bulk. Bulk buying can save money as well.

5. Eat In. Avoid the frequent trap of not wanting to cook and resorting to dragging the whole family out to eat despite your pantries being full. If inspiration is the missing link, try setting a weekly menu for the household, alternate cooking responsibilities or even involve the whole family in meal prep every night. And, instead of letting the “I have to cook or we will end up eating out” mentality get you in trouble, keep a few home cooked meals prepped and frozen for those moments of dinner despair.

6. Shop Smarter For Groceries. Clipping coupons isn’t for everyone. It can be time consuming and require more organization to truly be effective than some people’s attention spans and patience can handle. Shop smarter, even if you don’t use on coupons. Look for sale items and weekly promotional deals. Shop what’s in season for your fresh produce. Try store brands; many canned products and dried products have the same ingredients as name brand products.

7. Find A Penny, Pick It Up. Save loose change. If you were to save an average of fifty cents a day, you would have almost $200 set aside at the end of the year. Keep an old water jug set up so that you can watch it fill up throughout the year.

8. Stop Before You Swipe. Sometimes it’s all about perspective. When looking at a frivolous purchase, consider the cost against your income. If you earn $15 an hour and are holding up a $300 suit, ask yourself if you are willing to work 20 hours with only the suit to show for your labor at the end. The same can be done for smaller purchases as well. Is that 32 ounce, blended chai tea latte with soy worth the first thirty minutes of your workday? This method is not a way to talk yourself out of making purchases, but simply to put the expense in a framework.

9. Keep The Car In Check. Stay on top of regular, necessary car maintenance. Doing so can save a pretty penny in gas costs alone, not to mention the costs you can avoid from a side of the road breakdown or preventable tire blow out.

10. Use Your Phone. Sometimes it’s as simple as knowing what is going in with your finances. Awareness brings control; so go ahead and download a personal finance app. There are plenty available that have been professionally reviewed and approved. Additionally, many of the highest rated are free. Remember though, the key is to not only have the app, but to use it. The icon or widget is only as useful as you make it.

Article source courtesy of Joe Young of NASDAQ.