Many people are under the assumption that in order to save more money, it is necessary to earn more money. Fortunately, it's entirely possible to increase your rate of savings by following a series of practices that will decrease your expenditure and increase your disposable income. A good point of departure is how to save money within the place where you’re most comfortable – your home. Typically, it's not possible to decrease your rental expenditure or your mortgage repayments on a whim. Therefore, what you can change are the peripheral payments. These include things like utilities, what you eat and where you eat it, whether you recycle or not, treats for your pets or toys and other luxury items for your kids, and so forth. Financial gurus have poured over the data and they recommend the following money-saving techniques:
• As soon as you have established buying patterns at the supermarkets, grocery stores and the like, you can easily start to strategize. A great place to start is to get in-store debit cards, membership cards, coupons and the like. These will save you a small fortune in weekly/monthly fees when you do your shopping.
• One of the areas where most everyone can save big is what food they eat and where they eat that food. Our mothers and fathers have always taught us that home-cooked food is the best food. This is true for many reasons – including the financial aspect. The amount of wastage that is incurred by purchasing food at restaurants is substantial. The food you can prepare at home is healthier, more nourishing and a lot friendlier to your wallet. If you are prone to eating out occasionally, then you may wish to consider takeout as this will cut down on service costs, tips and other associated fees.
• While you're at home, there are many cost-cutting techniques that you can follow. These will dramatically cut down on your utilities bill which can cost you a pretty penny at the end of the month. For example, turn off all the non-necessary electrical appliances at night. These include things like all lights, TVs, boilers, swimming pool pumps, computers and so forth. A great way to shave off between 5% and 10% of your electricity bill is to purchase energy-efficient light bulbs. These are an expensive initial investment but they will pay dividends in the long-term.
• Depending on how much you spend on postage, you may wish to consider going paperless by using online payment services. A couple of $/€/£s saved here and there certainly add up at the end of the month.
• Brand names cost more than generic products. Most of the time, the quality is comparable. Try using a no-name brand alternative and enjoy the cost savings associated with it.
• If you work from home, you may wish to consider bundling your telephone, Internet and cable services together. You're likely to get a much better rate and you will enjoy the cost savings associated with it. Many people nowadays are forgoing a home telephone and are using free Internet connectivity such as Google, Skype and other instant messenger programs to communicate with one another.
• When it comes to transportation to and from work, school, social excursions and the like, consider carpooling. If this is not to your liking, you may wish to consider public transportation now and then as an affordable alternative to costly parking fees, wear and tear on your vehicle and gasoline costs.
• Bottled water is one of the most common expenses that people incur across Europe, the Americas and beyond. Consider getting a water purifier/filter fitted to your tap and purchase yourself a water bottle. The cost savings are dramatic.
• When it comes to personal appearances, you may wish to get your teeth cleaned at a university with a dental program (it's often free) and get your hair cut at a beauty school. Other expensive personal items such as age-defying creams and lotions should also be evaluated on their merits.
• If you're planning on going to college, you may wish to consider a community college to complete a great many of the required credits before you transfer to a more expensive college.
• Debt consolidation and debt management can dramatically help you to save money. Various programs are available to folks looking to consolidate their debts.
• When it comes to banking, it's important that you do not go into overdraft. The fees associated with overdraft payments are extortionary. Much the same can be said for cheques that are issued with insufficient funds in your account. Practice safe financial management at all times, and reap the fruits of your labours.
• If you're planning on taking a much-needed vacation, try to take it in the off-season. You will save a ton of money by avoiding the tourist season. Cost savings are dramatic and you will enjoy more of your favourite place with less interruptions and lower costs.
• Avoid impulse purchases – no matter how good the deal appears to be. If you don't need it, you don't need to spend money on it. Much the same can be said for special occasions like anniversaries, birthdays, baby showers, housewarmings and the like. You may wish to consider helping somebody with chores, sending gift cards, baking them a fantastic meal and so forth as opposed to spending lots of money on gifts.
Combined, these money-saving tips will turn your frown upside down and help you to adjust financially to the challenges that you face. It is not always necessary to earn more money in order to save more money. As can be seen from the aforementioned tips, careful money management is worth its weight in gold!