We’d all like to save more money. There are plenty of sites that will tell you ways to save money, but many of them involve tips that require spending money, like “buy a hybrid,” or “refinance your home.” What if you need to save money because you don’t have extra money to spend? We would like to help with some practical tips.
Here are eight easy ways to save more money that won’t cost you anything.
1.Watch less TV: A recent report shows that Americans are watching, on average more than 7 hours and 50 minutes per household per day. If you watch television for five hours a day, the TV can cost as much as $10 a month for the power alone. Cut that down to half, and you have $60 a year. Better yet, cut the cable. The average cost of cable TV is just over $100 per month, meaning that you could save $1,200 in a year from that alone.
2. Make a list, check it twice: Impulse buys can cost a lot of money, especially over a year. Even if it’s just soda once a week while you’re shopping, that adds up to about $50 over a year. If you’re shopping for food, match your list against the weekly circulars of what is on sale to save more money. Many retailers will match the prices of competitors, which is particularly useful for things like meat and produce.
3. Instead of going out to dinner, invite friends over for a potluck: Eating out is expensive, and often friends would be more relaxed and have more fun in a casual atmosphere. Have everyone pitch in by cooking their favorite recipe, and get together for a movie night, board games, or some in-depth discussions.
4. Drink more water: A lot of money is spent on beverages in the U.S. -- especially soft drinks. If you cut those items out of your shopping budget, you could save $10 or more a week. And if you’re eating out, you could save $2 or more per person off of your bill by opting for water instead. And as a bonus, water is so much better for your health!
5. Pack a lunch: If you want to save more money, consider that a meal at a fast food place, or in the cafeteria at work, costs an average of $5 to $7. That’s a minimum of $100 a month, which translates to $1,200 a year. If you plan, it doesn’t take more than a few minutes a day to prepare your lunches -- which average about $1 a day, and helps you save a ton of cash.
6. Park Your Car: If you live somewhere where public transit is an option, then take it whenever possible instead of driving a car. If public transportation is not an option, consider saving by carpooling with a friend. You’ll save money, and you’ll help the environment as well. Additionally, there are programs such as Commute Smart that will pay you cash or in gift cards to change how you commute.
7. Inflate your tires: This one sounds weird, but for each two PSI points under the recommended air pressure, you lose 1 percent in gas mileage. Since most people’s cars are about 10 points under the recommended amount, you stand to save 5 percent on gas just from pumping up your tires. While you’re at it, try not to speed; the slower you drive, the better your gas mileage and the less likely you are to get a ticket.
8. Read more: You can’t get cheaper entertainment than the library! Try picking a new book each week or month, which will provide far more entertainment than a movie. Libraries often have movies and music available to borrow as well, helping you to save money there too. If you combine this with the first step on this list, then you will boost your intelligence and save more money!
Saving money doesn’t have to cost money. These eight tips can save you well over $1,000 over a year, without sacrificing anything or spending a dime.
The team at CESI is committed to helping you make wise financial decisions and to helping you understand how to get out, and stay out of debt. For a free debt analysis, contact us and find out how we can help.
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.
CESI is NOT A LOAN COMPANY