18 Ways to Save Money
Follow these 18 money-saving strategies to stay within your budget and reach your financial goals.
Make a list of 10 good reasons for creating healthy spending habits. Frame it, and place it where you pay your bills.
Fight the impulse to buy something simply because it’s on sale. It’s not a “good deal” if you buy too much of something, or buy something you don’t especially need or want. Discount coupons are great, as long as you use them to buy necessary things.
Avoid impulse buying by staying out of stores unless you have a particular purchase in mind.
Shop at consignment stores for clothing. For lamps, furniture, and other big-ticket items, try tag sales.
Make a shopping list, and stick to it. Bring it with you to the store and cross off items as you add them to the cart.
When shopping for groceries, set a firm spending limit before entering the supermarket. Take along a pocket calculator, and keep a running sum of the total cost after adding each item to your cart.
Stifle the urge for “designer” coffee. Drink homemade coffee or tea from your own thermos.
Look for free or low-cost leisure activities. Many zoos and museums are free on certain days of the week. Take advantage of matinee rates for movies. Ride a bike, bring a picnic, take a nature walk. Throw potluck dinners with friends instead of eating at restaurants.
Switch to a bank that offers free checking and no-charge ATM transactions.
Leave your credit card and extra cash at home. Remember, if you don’t have it, you can’t spend it.
Keep a credit card just for emergencies — but put it in a block of ice in your freezer.
Hold off buying milk and other perishables until you’ve used what you have.
Each evening, make a lunch for the following day. No need to pay a high restaurant tab for your midday meal.
Shop around for a discount telephone service. Call a few providers and find the plan that’s best for your family. Take into consideration whether you need more minutes, a family plan, or rollover minutes.
Start a holiday spending fund, and contribute to it each week. That way, you’ll be less likely to overspend on presents — and find yourself in debt come January.
Delay any unplanned purchases. If you see something you want while shopping, sleep on it. If you still want it the following morning, go back and buy it. (Most of the time, you won’t bother.)
Pay all your bills on time to avoid late fees. If you have trouble remembering, set a specific day as “bill-paying day.” If you use a computer regularly, write yourself an electronic reminder. Some phone companies offer a reminder service that forwards a message to your telephone number on the requested day.
Adopt an “attitude of gratitude.” You are not doing without if your basic needs are being met.