We all work hard for our money so its time we find a way to make our money work for US. There are dozens of ways, its just a matter of getting started.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Save Money on Entertainment.
Spending a lot of money on dates will not mean securing the love of your life. You can have fun and fall in love while still being thrifty. Enjoy our beautiful Arizona weather and go for a hike or a bike ride. Bring home Chinese takeout and dine directly out of the box. After taking a walk to the local coffee house and grab a dessert to go with it. It’s all about the company.
If you’re paying a lot for your cable subscription and watching very few of the channels, you aren’t alone. Plenty of people are realizing they can save money and still get all the shows they want (and more!) by switching to other choices. Maybe its time to dump the cable and find something that suits you better without the high price.
Banking, Credit, and Debt Savings Tips
Pay off credit cards in full each month. The miles and cash-back are only valuable if you’re not falling into debt or paying interest.
Use only the ATMs of your bank or credit union. Using the ATM of another financial institution once a week might seem like no big deal, but if it’s costing you $3 for each withdrawal, that’s more than $150 over the course of a year. Be sure to choose a checking account that works for you. Many require no minimum balance and cost you nothing and some actually reimburse you for your ATM fees.
Check your credit report for free once a year. Use your annual free credit report from the three credit reporting bureaus to look for inaccuracies or opportunities to raise your score. Credit scores are used by loan providers, landlords, and others to determine what they’ll sell you, and at what price. And on the off chance your credit has been breached, you will catch it relatively early.
Pay your bills on auto-pay. This ensures they are paid on time, in full to avoid late charges. Some loan providers offer a small interest rate deduction if you enroll in auto-pay.
Get free debt counseling if you are truly over your head. The most widely available help managing your debt is with a Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) counselor. CCCS’ network of non-profit counselors can work with you confidentially and judgement-free to help you develop a budget, figure out your options, and negotiate with creditors to repay your debts. Best of all, the 45-90 minute counseling sessions are free of charge and come with no obligations. Get started here.
Health Savings Tip
Don’t skip on preventive healthcare. Routine dental checkups, for example, help prevent fillings, root canals, and dental crowns – all of which are expensive and no fun. If you don’t have insurance, ask for a cash price, or choose a provider that gives a cash discount.
Go generic. Ask your physician if generic prescription drugs are a good option for you. Generic drugs can cost several hundred dollars less to purchase annually than brand-name drugs. And since physicians often don’t know the costs you incur for a particular drug, you often have to ask.
Comparison shop for prescription drugs. Don’t just rely on the closest drugstore because the cost to you can vary significantly from pharmacy to pharmacy. Make sure to check out your local pharmacist, supermarkets, wholesale clubs, and mail-order pharmacies. Did you know you can use Costco or Sam’s without a membership for your prescriptions?
Purchase store brand over-the-counter medications. Store brand medications often cost 20-40 percent less than nationally advertised brands, but are the exact same formula.
Entertainment Savings Tips
Take advantage of your library. Libraries are gold-mines of free entertainment. They offer several entertainment options including classes. Be sure to discover the endless e-book sites. Most are free.
Browse online for free or low-cost local entertainment. Check out local events on Facebook or Eventbrite to plan some downtime. There are often events and activities listed that you probably aren’t aware are happening.
Volunteer at festivals. Cultural festivals and events often offer free admission to event volunteers. Contact the organizers of your favorite event to ask about volunteer opportunities and benefits.
Create a family spending limit on gifts. Discuss placing spending limits on gifts within your family and/or a system where you only purchase one gift for one person over the holidays. Not only will it relieve financial stress for your family, but it allows you to focus on what really matters during special occasions and holidays.
Plan gift-giving well in advance. To go alongside spending limits, give yourself time! You’ll ensure that you’re giving the most thoughtful gifts, which usually end up being not as expensive. Besides, it will also give you the opportunity to look for sales.
Brown bag your lunch. This tip really works! If buying lunch at work costs $5, but making lunch at home costs only $2.50, then in a year, you could afford to create a $500 to spend elsewhere or for emergencies.
Commit to eating out one less time each month. Take small steps to reduce your dining budget. Start off by reducing the amount you eat out by just once per month. Or, choose a happy hour where you are getting a great deal then maybe splurge and go out twice!
Plan your meals in advance and stick to a list while grocery shopping. People who do food shopping with a list, and buy little else, spend much less money than those who decide what to buy when they get to the food market. The annual savings could easily be hundreds of dollars.
Have you ever tried Coupons? We all know that couponing can save you lots of money and if you buy when the item is on sale, its a double savings!