Five Important Tips for Starting to Save Money
Perhaps your grandparents or parents told you the importance of saving money. They may have stressed the importance of putting a few pennies away out of every dollar. However, even accounting for inflation, it’s safe to say that they weren’t paying $4 for a gallon of gas or $5 for a gallon of milk. It was simply a lot easier to save money back then; today, well, you need a little more guidance.
The first thing you should do if you really want to start saving money is to cut out those excess luxuries from your life. You don’t need so many cable channels. You don’t need the largest internet connectivity package. You don’t need comprehensive coverage on everything for which you’re insured. You also don’t need fancy clothes, expensive dinners and other money-draining items. If you’re serious about saving money, you need to emphasize frugal living.
Not everyone realizes, but it’s incredibly easy to save money on your grocery bill. You can check with about 100 different websites to find printable coupons that could drop your average grocery bill by around 40%. That’s big savings, and that’s only getting started! You can also switch to store-brand merchandise and make sure that you only shop while items at the store are on sale. If you plan around the deals instead of searching for deals while you’re shopping, you can turn a $200 grocery bill into a $80 bill with ease.
Water and electricity are always large expenditures that people wish they could save on. A great way to conserve electricity is to make sure that your home is properly insulated. This will keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. You can also switch to LED lights or fluorescents to save on electricity. A solar water heater and other energy efficient appliances, while they cost a bit up front, will pay for themselves and then some in only a few years.
If you’re shopping for a child 8 years old or younger, then purchasing secondhand clothes is a great way to save big money. After all, you’re only going to get a year out of any clothes you purchase for your children if you’re lucky. They’re constantly outgrowing shoes and clothes. Stopping in at the local thrift store, you can find clothes that are practically brand new for a fraction of what you’d pay at a retail store. You can also try sites like eBay and Amazon.
A savings account is always your best bet to keep your money safe from immediate spending. While it is true that you’ll have ready access to your account, there’s just a huge difference in actually having to go to the bank compared to grabbing a wad of cash out of that old shoebox under the bed. An account eliminates impulse spending.
There aren’t any tips on this list that are going to make front page news in the Wall Street Journal, but they’re common sense tips that can help you save money. Just remember to follow them if you want to save.