When people think about saving money, they usually think about cost-cutting measures that involve going without things they would have spent money on. Although this is one way to cut back on spending, it can also be an unpleasant process. If your need to save money is not too critical, there are several ways to keep your bank account fuller without negatively impacting your quality of life.
1. Buy Used or Refurbished Products
One of the easiest ways to save money without changing what you buy is to purchase used or refurbished products instead of brand new. This applies especially to consumer electronics, such as computers, smartphones, tablets, televisions, cameras and sound systems. These are some of the most expensive items people buy, and it is possible to save a great deal of money simply by not buying them brand new. To find these products, go to websites that specialize in used or refurbished products. A simple Google search can help you find some great options.
2. Buy Food on Sale and Freeze It
No matter how cost-conscious you are, eating is a reality of life that costs money. The larger your family, the larger your food expense will be. There are ways to save money on food without switching to ramen. Keep an eye out for deals on foods that will keep well when frozen. When you find a great deal, buy enough to use that night and for one or two other meals later on, and freeze the excess. By doing this, you can cut down on your overall food expenses over time. Be sure to use what you freeze before it needs to be thrown out to eliminate the expense of wasted food.
3. Share Major Purchases With Others
Sometimes, major purchases are unavoidable. However, if you are buying something that multiple people you know can use, you may be able to bring the cost down considerably. For example, if you were buying a new lawnmower, and two of your neighbors also needed new mowers, you could arrange to split the cost three ways and to share the mower. Although this type of sharing arrangement is a great way to save money, be sure to only enter into one with people you know well and trust.
4. Consider Refinancing Your Mortgage
The most expensive single purchase most people will ever make is that of a house. In most cases, buying a house requires taking out a mortgage that must be paid back over the course of many years. If you have already had your mortgage for several years, and have paid down a good amount of the principal on your loan, you may benefit from refinancing your mortgage. Many homeowners can reduce their monthly mortgage payments by refinancing, allowing them to save more money. Be sure to consider this option carefully, and consider all the costs when making your decision, as most refinance loans come with closing costs. A quick search online can turn up the current interest rates as well as online calculators that can estimate your potential savings.
5. Learn to Love DIY Projects
When you have tasks and work that need to be done, it’s common to spend large amounts of money to have other a contractor or expert tackle the work. Whether you are paying someone to spray your lawn with fertilizer or to repair your vehicle, the cost of hiring labor adds up quickly. While some projects will always need the expertise of someone more experienced, there are many things that you can learn to do. The next time the kitchen sink is leaking or the roof needs some new shingles, consider doing it yourself. For most common projects, there are plenty of in-depth tutorials available online for free.
With a few small changes, you can start to see a cash surplus that will help your budget as well as give you the confidence that you stretched yourself to learn a new skill. Every little bit helps!
The CESI Team is committed to helping you reach your financial goals. If debt keeps you from living the life you dream of, contact us for a free debt analysis today and get started on the road to a brighter future!
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Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.
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