Creative Ways to Save Money
It is tough to save money. You may not gain much, or you may have a pile of debt that you’re trying to get rid of. That’s when you can turn up your savings and get creative.
We’ve put together a comprehensive list of some of the simplest and most creative ways you can cut back and put some extra cash on your debt— or off for a rainy day. You may already have some to do. Others might be so easy, they seemed too obvious to try.
Pick a bank that give back
Check for a bank that makes you feel the most sensible. Look for perks such as no ATM fees, high interest on savings accounts, and no overdraft charges. Often smaller banks offer higher interest rates and perks. If your bank is not providing such incentives, call them and ask if they want to.
Grow Some Veggies
Even city dwellers can begin a vegetable garden. Make a list of your staple vegetables around the kitchen, and then do some research to grow your own. At the grocery store, this will save a little bit, and it might even become a relaxing activity to you.
Stop collecting, and start selling
There was a time when people were hoping their collections would hold wealth for them. During one time Beanie Babies was a big fad, just like Longaberger baskets. Now you can find those things for a fraction of their initial cost on resale sites like Craigslist and at garage sales, leaving many people who poured thousands of dollars into their “investments” wondering what happened.
Do not collect objects of questionable value if you wish to avoid this scenario. And if you want to recoup some of the money you’ve already invested on collectible items, you should start selling it now and use those funds for any number of worthy financial goals.
Divide your paycheck
Ask the human resources department of your company to divide each of your paychecks between your savings and checking accounts. Set a specific amount to deposit into your savings automatically so you’re less likely to touch it while out at the pub.
Write a list before you go shopping – and stick to it
One of the best ways to save money is to shop only when you’ve got a list. Because when you are without one, you typically end up making purchases of desires and unplanned purchases-all items that cost money.
It is particularly important to draw up a list before you go to the grocery store. This can not only help you buy things that suit your meal plan, but it can also help you avoid buying food that you might be wasting. Please create a list, and stick to it, more importantly.
You can also take advantage of a cash back loyalty card at grocery stores that offers bonus cash–just make sure you pay off the balance every month.
Turn off the electronics
So often people get out of the house for work and forget to turn off the TV. Try setting up a daily reminder on your mobile if that is you. You might just fall asleep with it. It is worth setting a nighttime sleep timer.
Repair clothing instead of tossing it
Due to a broken button, don’t chuck a shirt out-sew on a new one with a closely matched thread. Due to a hole in them, do not throw pants out–place them in some sort of patch and save them for occasions when you’re working around the house.
Anybody can complete most simple sewing jobs and a bit of practice goes a long way. Learning basic skills in sewing is a great way to save some money–and prolong your clothing life.
Get an accountability partner
There is no pride in trusting someone you’re trying to save or pay off your debt. Having a friend to give support will potentially also help you achieve your goal. Researchers at Boston College found that when people dealing with debt asked for help and inspiration from friends, they were 50 percent more likely to remain on track.
Avoid convenience foods and fast food
Try to make some easy and nutritious substitutes that you can take with you instead of eating fast food or just nuking some prepackaged dinner when you get home. One weekend worth an hour of planning will leave you with a lot of cheap and easy dining and snack choices for the week that follows.
Consider also breaking out the ol’ crock pot for some cheap meal choices that not only save money but also time.
For those days when you just can’t avoid eating out, maximize your savings with coupons and a credit card rewards that offers a restaurant spending bonus.
Ask for discounts
Don’t be timid at a store or restaurant. If you’re in school, in the military or over 60, ask if you’ve got a discount by them. Usually they don’t advertise them but it’s worth asking. Many retailers may even have discount days where for being a student or senior you can get a percentage off.
Make Your Payments on Time, Every Time
We all know that we have to pay our bills in due time. First, it’s the right thing to do, but second, it makes up 35 percent of your credit score in your payment history. If you have a good payment history, you could still have a decent credit score (even if you still have debt), since it makes up such a large percentage of your score. So, is it important, right? Lenders want to learn that they can be sure you can make payments on time. If you have shown that they are more willing to offer you a lower interest rate with your payment history, because you are a lower risk to them.
At work stop your regular order at the coffee shop, and instead make your coffee at home. You’ll pay between $2 to $5 at a coffee shop. You spend a fraction of that cost at home and you can configure it exactly the way you like it.
(source: creditdonkey.com, lifehack.org, dollarsprout.com, greatist.com, thesimpledollar.com, and debt.com)