While everyone wants to save money, it's sometimes hard to know exactly where to begin. In today's economic climate, even some of the necessities of life have become virtually unaffordable for many households.
Saving money in these hard times isn't as easy as it sounds and may even involve breaking some long-ingrained habits. If you're willing to make some changes and stick to them for the long haul, there are a number of ways you can save enough to make a substantial difference to your monthly budget.
Eat InThis doesn't just refer to dinner; it refers to lunch as well. Taking your lunch to work can save you a lot of money every week. It's also a good idea to make your own coffee; coffee house prices are astronomical these days and you won't believe how much you'll save just from bringing a thermos to work every day. As for those evenings out once or twice a week, save your money and eat out only on special occasions. If you can't cook or simply don't have time to, learn to make a few staples that are quick, easy and economic, or rely on frozen dinners that are on sale.
Check For Sales And Clip CouponsIt's worth taking a few minutes to check the weekly ads from your local grocery stores. If there's an item you buy every week and it's on sale, stock up and buy a few extra packages. Likewise, make use of your freezer when meat and frozen goods are on sale. These days, a lot of people are investing in a separate freezer unit so they can stock up on sales and buy in bulk.
Shop OnlineInternet retailers sometimes post promo codes offering discounts and free shipping. In addition, online prices are often cheaper than the prices in your local department store. Online auction sites are especially good for bargain hunters; just make sure that you're purchasing your item from a reputable dealer with good user reviews and feedback. Another benefit to buying online is that you often don't have to pay sales tax. However, this depends on the retailer, so find out about this first before you order. If the item is discounted, shipping is free and there's no sales tax, you can end up saving a considerable amount by shopping online.
Pay Your Bills On Time To Avoid Late FeesThere's nothing more unnecessary than having to pay an expensive late fee because you've overlooked a bill payment. This type of negligence is not only costly, but it can also do considerable damage to your credit score. Automating your payments online can help you remember to keep track of them, so you might want to consider going paperless when it comes to your monthly bills.
Try To Pay More Than The Minimum Payment On Your Credit CardsPaying the minimum amount is only for those months when you can't afford to make a larger payment. The more money you can shave off your credit debt, the less interest you'll have to pay, which translates into a lot more money in your wallet.
Get Rid Of Your Home PhoneIf you're using a cell phone all the time, it may not be necessary for you to continue paying for a landline as well. Unless a landline is necessary for other things, such as your fax machine or internet service, it's better to get rid of it. This will result in one less bill to stay on top of and you'll end up saving money.
Streamline Your TV/Internet CostsFind out if your TV, internet or telephone service provider offers a bundle package. In addition, sometimes these service providers offer a discounted rate that's good for three or six months at a time. If you've already got a discount rate, keep track of how long it's good for. When it expires, you can usually call and get on another discount plan.
About The AuthorSam Sinton is a qualified financial adviser from the UK. He writes on a number of subjects and owns and runs a website dedicated to comparing log book loan lenders.
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