30 Tips for Saving Money! Live on a budget

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30 Tips for Saving Money!

  1. Live on a budget – Tell your money where to go and make sure you spend less than you earn.

  2. Cook at home – eating out is expensive and unhealthy. Try to cook at home as much as possible. Instead of buying lunch, bring a bag lunch.

  3. Make your own coffee – it’s easy to blow $3-5 (or more!) at Starbucks. Save money; brew your own!

  4. Make a list before going shopping – otherwise you will buy on impulse and spend more than you budgeted.

  5. Go grocery shopping while you are in a hurry – squeeze your grocery shopping in before another commitment so you are less likely to linger and buy things you don’t need; you’ll be forced to stick to your list that way!

  6. Buy in bulk whenever possible – when it comes to non-perishables that are on sale…cereals, canned goods, rice, beans, pasta, coke, toothpaste, body wash, shampoo, toilet paper, etc. Buy these items in bulk at a place like Sam’s Club can save you oodles of money in the long run.

  7. Buy generic products whenever possible – don’t pay the extra money for a name when there’s a generic item that’s just as good.

  8. Use grocery store bags to line trash cans – these are especially good for small bathroom wastebaskets

  9. Consolidate and pay off debt as soon as possible - If you carry any debt, focus on consolidating it to a lower interest and paying it off as soon as possible. Money paid in interest is money thrown away! Why spend your hard-earned cash to make the financial institutions rich?

  10. Pay your bills on time and avoid late fees - Get organized about your regular bills. If possible, automate the payments. Most utilities and other recurring bills can be set to be charged to a credit card or deducted from a checking account these days. Also, many banks offer free bill pay programs. So there really is no excuse for forgetting to pay a bill on time and forking out the late fees. Say, by chance you do forget a bill, if you are a first time offender, call the company and request politely to waive the late fees, and more likely than not, they will oblige.

  11. Be aware of your bank balance and avoid over draft fees - If you use your checking account often or have some bills that are paid automatically from your checking account, be aware of the balance and avoid overdraft fees.

  12. Avoid ATM fees - Be aware of the ATM withdrawal fees charged by your bank. While some banks waive fees for all ATM transactions on any ATM machine, most don’t. So be sure to use only those ATM machines where your bank will not charge the fees, or withdraw directly at your bank.

  13. Avoid credit cards with annual fee – If you have a credit card, pay it off each month. Credit cards with their cash back bonuses and reward points are a great way to save some money. Just make sure that the card does not charge you any annual fees! There is no dearth of cards that offer fee-free reward plans, so there really is no reason to pay the annual fees.

  14. Instead of buying books, borrow books from the library - Whenever possible, borrow your books instead of buying them. The card to your public library is free and the libraries are generally well stocked.

  15. If you have to buy books, check if you can buy it used - Used books do not quite give the same feeling as leafing through the crisp pages of a brand new book. But considering that you can get used books for almost as much as half the price of a new book, it is a small price to pay.

  16. Price check before buying anything expensive -For other items that are expensive, do a price check before buying the item. If you can wait for a while you can track the prices and grab a great deal when it comes along. 

  17. Frequently available online coupons make it even more easy to save some money. This is especially true while purchasing any electronics.

  18. Avoid impulse buying -Make it a habit to avoid impulse buying. Many of the things you want to buy do not seem all that necessary, if you only you wait for a day or two. Also, waiting means you will be able to check prices and make an informed decision to buy it at the best possible price.

  19. Avoid watching television – most commercials convince you to buy things you don’t need; read instead!

  20. Avoid the vending machines - Almost everything that is dispensed via vending machines has a huge markup (and is rarely healthy). If you suffer from snack attacks at school, consider creating a secret stash of snacks.

  21. Keep your car as long as possible - When possible, try to keep your car as long as possible. Find the balance between the money spent on repairs versus the monthly installment on another vehicle and choose to run your old car as long as the repair costs are low.

  22. Do regular scheduled maintenance on your vehicles – An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Do not skimp on or forget to do regular oil changes. Remember to check the air in your tires often. And use the grade of fuel that the owner’s manual recommends. These small acts can significantly lengthen the life of your car, giving you years of use.

  23. Avoid buying a new car - When you eventually buy a car, see if you can make do with a pre-owned vehicle. A new car depreciates significantly the moment you drive it out the dealership. Is the new car small really worth thousands of dollars? Pre-owned cars that are only a few years old with low mileage are the best bargains. Regardless of the purchase, learn to negotiate with car dealers.

  24. Ride your bike or carpool whenever possible - save gas money any way you can!

  25. If you like watching movies at the theater, go before 6:00 pm – Same movie, much lower price!

  26. Regulate your electric use - When not in use, unplug electric appliances. Apparently, unplugging the TV instead of just switching it off can save a lot of electricity! When not in a room, switch off the lights and the fan. Use a programmable thermostat to control your A/C and heater usage. If that's too much, at least know what each appliance uses and unplug a few of them.

  27. Buy clothes at Goodwill – don’t knock it till you try it…one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. 

  28. Look for after-season clearance sales – buy Christmas gifts in January for the next year. Buy seasonal clothing at discount after the season is over. You’d be amazed at the deals you’ll find.

  29. Ask for practical gifts for Christmas/birthdays/etc. – new tires for car, gift card to hair salon, gas card, etc.

  30. Adjust the thermostat – especially at night & when you’re gone, turn the heat down to at least 65 degrees (winter) or turn up the A/C to at least 75 degrees (summer) to save energy. Consider wearing a sweatshirt around the house in the winter so you can keep the heat turned down.

  31. Pray instead of pay – If there’s something you really want, don’t just go out and buy it for yourself. Pray and ask God for it. He loves to give us good gifts. This builds your faith as you wait on God, and He gives you the desires of your heart!

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