If you are on a tight budget and you need to find those “extra” dollars that seem elusive or non-existent, here are some neat tips as to how you can do just that. Some of these 10 tips can be applied to your personal budget as well as your business budget. The goal to keep in mind is that the dollars you manage to free up by using these tips will give you the opportunity to put those dollars towards something better.
10 Thrifty Money Saving Tips
1. Ask for discounts with your cable, phone, and insurance providers. You never know, they just might grant your request. If they value you as a customer, they may be willing to lower the cost rather than risk you taking your business elsewhere. For instance, if your cell phone service provider is unwilling or unable to give you a discount on your cell phone bill, you may have to consider finding another provider that provides the same service at a cheaper rate. AT&T used to be my service provider; I am now using another provider that is much cheaper.
2. If you own real estate property, challenge the value of the property to get your property taxes reduced. Oftentimes, the property tax is erroneously high, and if you successfully challenge the property tax assessment, the amount of money saved can be substantial.
3. Instead of paying your utility bill in full (which can vary from month to month), ask to be enrolled in the company’s “budget billing” program. This program is designed to allow you to make equal monthly payments spread out over the course of a year. The equal payments will help you stabilize your budget and eliminate the highs and lows that can occur.
4. Resist the urge to spend your tax return money unnecessarily. Instead, put this money into a savings account. If you do this regularly, you will eventually have built up a savings nest egg that can be reserved for emergencies only. In addition, if you do have an emergency, you won’t have to use your credit cards and incur more debt.
5. Open several checking accounts to separate your funds in order to help you keep track of your funds. Do your research to find a bank that offers no fee checking accounts with no minimum balance requirement. The purpose of having separate checking accounts is to:
- help you “remember” to save for periodic payments (quarterly or twice/year)
- help you keep track of your personal spending (expenses incurred on a bank debit card)
- help you make scheduled electronic loan payments and avoid costly insufficient funds charges and postage
With a Periodic Payment Account, figure out what is the actual cost of the payment per month and then just deposit or transfer the exact amount of the payment into the account each month. As the payments become due, they can be deducted from the account as a lump sum. With the Personal Spending Account, you can use your bank debit card to make everyday purchases and track the balance instantly. This will help you see where this money is going and it will not be hidden or “lost” in your household account.
6. Make a real effort to save some dollars from your paychecks each month if at all possible. This money could be used for either an emergency or pleasure; just make sure that you put this money into a separate account so that it does not get “accidentally” spent.
7. Get rid of unused “stuff” and sell it on eBay or at a garage sale. If you have a lot of stuff around the house that you are no longer using (and is still in relatively good condition), you can sell your stuff on eBay. Some good items that can be sold for example are, old music CD’s or movie videos/DVD’s, clothing, etc. What you consider junk can be a treasure to someone else.
8. Avoid impulse spending. Master the 30-day rule. If you are up in the air about buying something, wait 30 days. After 30 days, that is usually enough time to see whether or not you feel the same about making that purchase. More often than not, the urge to make that purchase will have passed and you will have saved yourself some money simply by waiting.
9. Avoid buying fast foods and convenience foods. Much money is wasted here as people tend to be lazy and do not want to cook–either because they feel they can’t or they just don’t want to spend time cooking. You do not have to be a gourmet chef; there are dozens of simple recipes online and in cookbooks that teach you how to cook healthier meals. One hour of cooking for example, can leave you with several days of meals and possible snacks for the following week.
10. Brown bag your lunch at work. This is another big money waster. It amazes me that some of my coworkers spend as much as $35-$40 per week ($7-$8 per day) on buying lunch. That same money can be used instead to buy the food you need in bulk to prepare your lunches for the week.
Currently, I am on a tight budget myself, and I am always looking for ways to stretch what little dollars I have available. I can personally attest to using tip #’s 3, 5, 7, and 10. Overall, I have saved a lot of money that I would not have had otherwise.
This list is not all inclusive; also, some of these tips may not be possible for everyone. The most important thing is to implement the tips that you can do. There are many more ways that you can save money if your budget is tight. In fact, you probably can think of other ways that I have not mentioned. If you know of other ways to stretch your dollars, I would love to hear about them. Feel free to share your money saving tips, comments, or questions in the field below; I will be happy to respond in kind.
The sooner you get started, the better off you will be.
Have a great day,
1. “How to Save Money: 100 Great Tips to Get You Started” by Trent Hamm, posted May 21,2015 in The Simple Dollar newsletter. www.thesimpledollar.com
2. “Budget Tips” by Janet Harper, Superior Debt Relief Services, Jan. 2012 www.superiordebtrelief.com
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