Tips for Saving Money

You might think saving an extra $1,000 a year is hard to do, but the little things will add up. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

• Use an electronic bill pay service. By paying your bills online, you’ll save on postage and supplies. At an average of 10 bills per month, you’ll save over $40 per year. Plus, you reduce the risk of late fees, which can tally up to $35 per account.

• Find a bank that rebates ATM fees or doesn’t charge them. Depending on your usage, you could save another $100 every year.

• Getting rental car insurance at the rental car agency is unnecessary if you have regular auto insurance that has coverage for rental usage. Some of the business credit cards, such as Diners, cover you automatically when you use your card to pay for the rental. Check your benefits. Savings can range from $25 a year to hundreds.

• Get a library card and read books for free. Let’s be honest, how many books have you read twice? Depending on your reading habits, this could save you $300/year at ($25/month, 1 hardback or 2-3 paperbacks). If you still insist on buying books, buy paperback.

• Buy a flowering plant instead of cut flowers. It will last longer ($20 in cut flowers/month vs. one flowering plant at $40 – annual savings of $200).

• Eat dinner out one less time per month ($20/month, you’ll save $240/year); if there is more than just you, the savings multiple.

• Pack your lunch. At an average cost of $6/day ($1,560/year) to eat out versus bringing a brown bag ($15/week, $780/year.) you’ll save $780.

• Cut back on the lattes, designer coffees and teas

• Consider a twilight matinee instead of the evening movie. Oftentimes these tickets are discounted up to half. At two movies a month with an average $9 ticket price, you’ll save $108/year. Other options: renting DVDs; do a monthly movie night with friends—pot luck it, the host rents the movie and you save lots of money.

• Go generic in your brands. Realize that huge amounts of money are spent on packaging and branding. TP, dish and washing machine soaps, etc. are all similar. If you want to really check out how they compare, there’s always Consumers Report to do an analysis.

• Buying new costs lots more money when it comes to equipment and cars. Once a car drives off the lot…look at a quick 25% depreciation from what you just paid. Use the Internet to check your prices out.

• CostCo and Sam’s can be great… and you can also spend more money getting the “deal” and tossing half of perishables away because they spoil. Better yet to share the “crop” with friends with all pitching in to the joint cost. Hundreds to thousands can be saved, depending on your spending habits.

• Start paying your mortgage bi-weekly versus monthly. Over the life of your mortgage, you will save mega thousands in dollars.

• Open an account that will withdraw moneys monthly from your checking or savings. It’s the “pay yourself also concept.” You will get use to it and it adds up quickly. Some on the online accounts, such as those offered by Capital One High Yield Savings,  Expect a higher rate of interest than what your traditional bank offers.