10 Easy Ways to Save Money
Whether you have student loans, a mortgage, credit card bills or all three to pay, it can be helpful to learn some money-saving tips early in life. The earlier you begin to develop cost-saving financial habits, the more likely you will be able to save thousands of dollars in your lifetime. Cutting out unnecessary expenses can also help you pay off major debts in a shorter period of time. Here are some basic tips that can be easily implemented in your daily life and help you keep more cash in your pocket.
1. Cut out the expensive cups of gourmet coffee.
Buying just a single gourmet coffee can be incredibly expensive over time. Paying just four dollars for a cup of coffee every month can cost over $120. Over a year, that amount adds up to over $1,400. Using a thermos instead of buying a gourmet cup of coffee is one of the easiest ways to get back onto the road to financial frugality. To help you in forgoing the daily cup of gourmet coffee, just think about all of the things that you could do with $1,400 in your savings account.
2. Pick one day of the week for eating out.
Eating out at restaurants is another way in which you can quickly burn a hole through extra funds. Eating out with just two people can easily cost over $50, while it may only cost $8 or $10 to create a meal with leftovers for days. If you truly feel like you cannot live without eating out, then designate a single day for eating at a restaurant that you enjoy. This can also serve as a reward for when you stick to a budget and follow your own cost-saving tips throughout the week.
3. Pay bills on time to avoid late fees.
For credit cards, it is vital to make all of your payments on time. Missing just a single payment can cause a credit card company to increase your monthly payments and also hit you with late fees. These fees are usually in the $20 to $30 range, and they can add up over time. Enrolling the automatic payment option can be a great way to make sure that you stay on top of your bills.
4. Learn how to cook at home.
Cooking at home does not have to be something that you try to master over night. Rather, you can gradually get yourself into the habit of cooking at home to eliminate the costs of fast food and dining out. There are plenty of free and simple recipes available on the Internet for busy professionals. Print out one or two to try every week and gradually become excellent at mastering the art of cooking at home.
5. Be aware of credit card fees.
Before you sign up for a new credit card or bank account, you should always be aware of any annual fees associated with the accounts. These accounts may charge you an annual fee for your use of the account, and the fees can add up over time. Also make sure that you read over the contract terms to make sure there are no other types of fees associated with the account.
6. Research routes on the Internet before traveling to a new destination.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but you should not always rely on your GPS system to send you to the right place. GPS systems are frequently not updated and can cause you to burn through precious fuel. You may also find that a GPS does not provide you with the most efficient route for ultimately arriving at your final destination. Instead of buying a new GPS or continuing to use yours, you should always use a free map service online to print directions ahead of time.
7. Check for prices of expensive items online before splurging at the store.
Whether you feel the impulse to buy a new television set or other type of electronic, you should always make sure you check prices online before buying an item in the store. Just remember the general rule that you should always run an online search for any item that you want to purchase which costs over $100. Chances are you may be able to find a similar item sold on the Internet at a more affordable price or may even be able to purchase a used or refurbished version for a great price. Their are also certain sites you can go to, such as Craigslist, where people are trying to get rid of items and will either give them to you or sell them for cheap.
8. Rent books and DVDs from the library.
Instead of buying new books or paying for an online movie service, you can save some extra cash by renting books and DVDs from the library. Renting DVDs from the library can also save you from wasting precious work hours in front of a computer screen. You will find that you can be more productive in.
9. Be aware of your data usage for cell phones.
Cell phone companies have recently begun to hit customers with high fees for data overuse. In the smartphone era, it can be easy to listen to hours of streaming music or watch funny movie clips without realizing one’s data usage. Overuse fees can be at least $30 or more, so it is a good idea to start paying attention to your data usage on a smartphone to eliminate unnecessary costs. Here is an example of a cell phone data usage bill gone wrong.
10. Keep the same car for as many years as possible.
Another way in which people can dig themselves into a financial rut is by purchasing vehicles that they cannot afford. You should do everything you can to maintain and keep your current vehicle in excellent condition. It is also better to own a car rather than lease it, because you can always try to resell the car at a later date.
By following these tips, you can position yourself for financial success in the future. Being careful with your money will yield great rewards in the long run, and you may be able to save yourself from paying thousands of dollars in pure interest fees on student loans, auto loans, mortgage payments or other types of necessary fees in your daily life.