How To Save Money
With the credit card biting hard it's important that you make your money go as far as possible. Find out some simple tips to save money and leave more money to live without debt or finance worries.
As the USA and much of the world struggles to fight off a looming recession many families are looking for ways to save money. Here are a bunch of ideas that could help you save money.
Make a Budget: Start out by creating a simple household budget. Add up all the incomings such as your wages and regular interest, share income or government benefits. Once you've found out how much money you have coming in you need to know what money is going out and where it is going. Make a list of how much you spend on items such as rent / mortgage, going out to restaurants or concerts, food, clothing, electronics etc. Hopefully you will find your incomings are greater than outgoings but it's often not the case. Having a look through where your money is being spent is the first step to spotting areas where you can save money each month.
Shop Around: You can save a lot of money by shopping around. For the type of items that are available online then take advantage of shopping comparison websites that compare the price of products from hundreds of online stores.
Buy in Bulk: When it comes to your grocery shopping then you can save money on non-perishable items such as canned foods, toilet roll and laundry detergents by purchasing them in bulk.
Savings Accounts: As part of the household budget you create make sure you allow some money each month to add to a savings account. High interest savings account rates are currently very competitive as banks try and boost their deposits during the credit crunch. Because you earn interest on your money before you use it to make a purchase then your lowering the real cost of future purchases.
Use Debit not Credit: It's good to minimise the interest payments on your credit card bill each month. An easy way to stay in control is to use a debit card such as a Visa Debit card for most of your purchases. This takes the money directly from your bank account forcing you to spend within your limits.
Cut Price Movies: If you love going to the movies then why not consider making some changes. Some movies offer discounts during off-peak periods or on certain nights of the week. Cinemas also make much of their profits from the candy bar. Why not bring along your own refreshments.
Eating Out: Consider cutting back on how often you dine out or purchase takeaway food. It is almost always far cheaper to eat at home. For those meals you do eat out then check the papers for discount coupons. Eating at home is normally better for your health as well as your wallet.
Take Your Own Lunch: Cutting out that morning coffee at Starbucks or bringing your own food for lunch can save a small fortune. It's easy to spend over $10 on coffee and food at work. Just cutting out the morning Starbucks or bringing your own lunch could easily save you over $2,500 per year.
Pay TV: Do you get much out of your pay TV. Why not consider scrapping it and getting a digital set top box so you can enjoy free to air TV channels in the best quality without any monthly fees. If that is too much then why not cut back to a package with just the channels you value and enjoy the most.
There are of course many other ways of saving money but these are just some ideas to get you started. Why not make it a challenge at home to all come up with ten ways you can each cut back on your spending. Use a spending diary for a couple of weeks to see where your money is going and where you can make further cuts. By using a number of these suggestions combined with ideas you brainstorm at your house you may find you can quickly cut hundreds of dollars per month from from your budget without any drastic lifestyle changes.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Greenwood's company Click 4 Group runs banking comparison websites to help consumers compare interest rates and fees to get the best savings account. The sights feature high interest savings products from leading Australian banks.