49 Creative Ways to Save Money by Category

15 06 2013

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Source:http://www.richsinnerspoorsaints.com/49-creative-ways-to-save-money-by-category/

Looking for easy ways to save on money? Who isn’t! The good news is that there are many things you can do to reduce your expenditures. The truth is we pay for many things that we do not need and overspend when we don’t have to. So I have done some research and complied 49 creative and simple ways to save money! These are divided into different categoriesso you can choose which area of your life you want to cut back on!

Save on Auto

1. Check Your Tire Pressure

Driving your car with slightly deflated tires will have an impact on your gas mileage. Be sure to check your cars manual and determine what the correct PSI level is for your tires. Your gas could be taking you further.

2. Avoid the Extended Automotive Service Contracts

Car salesmen (and women) will always try to corner you into taking an extended service contract. According to Consumer Report you are better of putting that money in a savings account and keeping it for a raining day.

3. Slow Down

This is two money saving tips rolled into one. First, as your speed increases your gas mileage decreases, costing you more at the pump. Secondly, going too fast can land you a speeding ticket which will cost you dearly.

Bank Smarter

4. Eliminate Bank Fees

There is no reason to keep an account at a bank that charge annual fees for their accounts. Many banks today are waiving minimum balance fees and offering free checking accounts. Stop giving your bank all of your hard earned money! The deductions may seem small but they add up.

5. Switch to a Bank that Rewards You!

Currently I am at a bank that offers free checking and a rewards program for every time I use my debit card as credit. Several times per year I am able to redeem a $100 gift card to Wal-Mart or Target (among other rewards). Look for a bank that rewards your loyalty.

6. Utilize Automatic Payments

Taking advantage of automated payments will save you from having to purchase stamps and gas. Best of all it will save you on time … yes, time is money.

Budget Savvy

7. Create a Reminder

Keep a reminder of the crazy things you have done that have gotten you into debt. Dave Ramsey calls this ‘stupid tax’. Remembering where you are coming from will help deter you from returning. It will also help curb your spending habits.

Budget made easy

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8. Design your “Debt Snowball”

Line up your debts smallest to largest. Pay down the smallest and then apply that payment to the next debt in line. The small victories will give you motivation to attack the larger debt. Getting rid of debt will save you in interest fees. Your money can finally be yours again!

9. Keep an Eye on Your Cash

This is a trick of the mind … but it works. Create a budget and try to stick to it. Firstly, you will be amazed at how much money you have if you just buy the necessary things. Secondly, you will be shocked and wonder where all the excess money have been going all this time! Keep an eye on your money and you will find that it will stick around longer.

Stop the Credit Cards Blues

10. Keep Credit Cards at Home

One of the major reasons we spend so much with credit cards is because of the convenience. Removing the ease of paying with money you do not have will help you save big. You will not have to plan your purchases.

11. Payoff Credit Cards

You could be saving money if you did not have to pay additional interest fees on credit cards. You should make it your goal to pay off your cards in full each month. You should not spend money you do not have … it will cost you!

12. Remove Your Card Numbers from Online Accounts

Having credit card numbers already attached to online accounts encourage impulse spending. When you have to re-enter your card number this gives you time to think about whether or not you actually need that purchase. You probably don’t.

Locate Discounts

13. Find out about Work Discounts

Many employers have negotiated discounts with local businesses for their employees. Ask your human resources department if there are any employee discounts. You may be pleasantly surprised. If you company already offers these discounts, take advantage of them.

Manage Your Drugs

14. Buy Generic Brands

There is a generic/store brand for almost every over-the-counter medication available. These medications have the same active ingredient and are much cheaper than the name brands. Next time try generic brands of items you buy regularly. Some may work just as good as the brand names.

15. Give up Cigarettes and Alcohol

Although this is a difficult one the payoff is huge both to your savings and overall health … which also affect savings. You can start by determining to limit your use if you are not ready to go cold turkey.

Entertainment

16. Malls or Shopping Centers are not Entertainment.

Somehow window shopping has become a past-time. There is a reason food stores put the milk at the back of the store. They know that if you past the other products on the way to the milk you are likely to pick up something you did not intend on buying. Window shopping can be expensive.

17. Don’t Spend Big Money Entertaining Your Kids

Children are easily entertained. You will also find that the more expensive entertainment options are not as interactive and often not as memorable. Cutting back on the number of toys they have is not a bad idea either!

Food & Eating

18. Avoid the Vending Machine

Vending machines can become silent money guzzlers. While it is only a $1 for a tasty treat, it will add up over time to a considerable sum. You do not need more sugar.

19. Carry Lunch to Work

Whether you call it a Brown Bag Lunch or not packing a lunch and carrying it to work will save you a lot of money. My wife has been gracious enough to help me with lunch almost every day and trust me it works.

20. Buy Groceries in Bulk

If you have a wholesale food store near you this is another big saver. I personally go to Sam’s Club when we need to stock up. Note that this does not work for all food types, however for non-perishable items this can work pretty well.

21. Drink Water

Instead of filling up on soda or other juices/drinks try switching to water. Try replacing one can of soda with a cup of water and then continue until you are off of soda.

22. Eat Your Breakfast

Not only is eating breakfast a great way to jump start weight loss it also gives you the benefit of feeling full until lunch. This will help stave off those impulsive vending machine runs.

Cook at home

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23. Eat Out Less

Let’s face it the prices at restaurants are expensive! You can typically feed a family for one or two days for the price of the average meal out ($20). Practice preparing some of your meals at home. Your wallet will thank you.

24. Pack Food for Road Trips

It is often very difficult to keep track of the amount of money that you are spending on food and snacks while on long road trips. To help keep your budget under control consider packing food and snacks before you leave your house.

25. Plan Meals around Grocery Store Sales

Many grocery stores will provide shoppers with flyers advertising upcoming sales. A great way to save money is to plan your menus around these sales.

26. Refill Bottled Water with Filtered Water

It is much cheaper to refill bottles with filtered water compared to purchasing new bottles of water. Once you are able to get past the scene of lugging empty water containers into the grocery store the rest is smooth sailing.

Save on Friends

27. Encourage Less Expensive Activities

We all want to hang out and have fun with our friends. However, this can get expensive really fast. Try to take the offensive and suggest less expensive activities for your group to get involved in.

Make cheaper friends

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28. Invite Friends Over

You do not have to go out to have fun. Some of the best bonding experiences can be had right at home. Maybe it’s time to dust off those board games! It will save you some green without sacrificing your relationship with your friends.

29. Talk about Your Dreams

Sometimes you just need to communicate more. Your friends will not automatically know that you are trying to save money. Express what you are trying to accomplish and ask for their help. A good friend will help support you in plans.

30. Make Less Expensive Friends

If all of the above fail then maybe it’s time to look for less expensive friends. You will probably find that not only are they less expensive but they will probably be better friends!

Savings at Home

31. Turn off the Lights

Being diligent in turning off the lights before leaving the house and ensuring that the house is not unnecessarily lit at night is an easy win. It will however take some consistency in this practice before you start seeing measurable returns.

32. Use a Power Strip/Surge Protector

You may not know this but even when your radio, television etc. are not on they are still using a small amount of electricity. You can prevent this by using a power strip. Once you turn the power strip off your electricity will no longer be going to waste.

33. Use CFL/ LED Light Bulbs

Switching over to CFL or LED light bulbs will save you money over time even though it may appear that they are more expensive. They last much longer than ordinary bulbs and use far less kilowatts to produce the same amount of light.

34. Downsize Your Home or Apartment

Looking for a smaller or cheaper place to live can save you a lot of cash. You will not only save money on rent/mortgage but you will also save on utilities and taxes.

Adjust Your Lifestyle

35. Use the Library

You can use the library to get free books, DVDs and magazine subscriptions. If you are subscribed to a popular magazine or want to watch a movie it is likely at the local library for free!

36. Cancel Unused Club Memberships

If you have memberships that you have not used in a while cancel it … now … enough said.

37. Cut Your Own Hair

I used this one personally. Instead of paying $15 every two weeks for a haircut, I bought a shear at Wal-Mart for $20 and kept it for over 4 years. You can add up the savings.

38. Don’t Get a Pet

Some pets are more expensive to maintain than others. If you are however, contemplating saving money and do not yet have a pet … skip it. Okay you can get a rock pet.

39. Cancel Unread Magazine Subscriptions

If you have magazines stacking up in your house and haven’t opened them other than when they first came in the mail you need to cancel your subscription. No you will not read them later. By the way, as I mentioned earlier you can find these same magazines for free at your local library.

40. Work Out at Home

Skip out on the expensive gym fees. Instead purchase a $10 workout video or purchase two dumbbells and look up free workout routines online. You will save both time (no more traveling and waiting on machines) and money.

Personal Care

41. Wash your Hands Regularly

The #1 way you can prevent yourself from getting sick is by washing your hands regularly. Avoiding sickness can save you on medication as well as time off from work (if you do not have built in sick days).

Shopping

42. Use a Shopping List

Using a shopping list can help you stare clear of impulsive purchases if you stick to the list. Along with this tip will be … do not shop when you are hungry … you will pick up snacks.

Shop less

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43. Avoid Extended Warranties

While there are some individuals that have won big on extended warranties the likely hood is that you will never use the warranty. If everyone was using the warranty the company would have two problems. A bad product and they would be losing money on warranties … neither is usually the case.

44. Do Your Shopping After the Holidays

The little known secret is that the sales during the holidays are not real sales. The real sales are in the non-shopping periods. While there are some real giveaways during Black Friday, it is called Black Friday because the stores end up in the black … not you!

45. Sign Up for Free Customer Rewards Programs

Free customer rewards programs normally allow you to get discounts at their stores. If you can use the card for the discount without having to become a loyal customer this is a great deal.

Limit Television

46. Downsize Cable/Satellite TV Packages

Cutting back on your cable package can save you a lot of money. Let’s face it TV is a waste of time. You could be doing something productive. You do not need the ultimate mega sports package … no seriously you don’t!

47. Turn off the television

If you have successfully completed the above step it is time to move on to step number two. Turn off the television. Not only will you save on your electricity bill, you will get more done and be less depressed.

Vacation Smarter

48. Vacation on a Budget

Before you go on vacation try creating a budget. Vacation spending can quickly get out of hand when the mindset is that you are there to enjoy yourself. If not careful you can end up paying for your vacation long after it is over!

49. Plan Vacations Far in Advance

If you are willing to plan your vacations far in advance you are more likely to find great deals on travel and accommodations. Give yourself enough time to shop around and find great buys.

Can you think of any other money saving tips? Have you used any yourself? Pleaseshare in the comment section below.

For more great money saving ideas you can check these free resources: vertex42and the simple dollar.


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