Thursday, February 2, 2012

~Simple Ways to Save~

Want to save hundreds of dollars this year? Making simple changes in your spending habits can lead to big savings each year. This is how I am going to give my savings a boost and become debt free.

1. Spend less than $100 a month on groceries.

Clipping coupons has already saved us hundreds of dollars. I have spent the last year clipping coupons, scouting deals and stockpiling my finds. We will live off of what we have stored and try to only spend money on things like milk, eggs and fresh vegetables. I will also be cooking from scratch and limiting our eating out or ordering in. With coupons, I have also been able to purchase soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, toothpaste and toilet paper for pennies on the dollar. We will not have to buy any personal care items for quite some time. This will save us approximately $2000 by the end of the year.

2. Pay off all balances in full.

Interest and fees will drain you faster than anything. We purchased a new mattress for our anniversary (our other one was 18 years old) with a 120 day same as cash offer. That means we have 4 months to pay it off without interest. If we were to pay only the monthly payments for the term of the contract we would’ve actually spent twice the amount the mattress is worth. Why give a company the money when it could be earning interest in our savings account. We will also pay our auto insurance premium in full at renewal time. Choosing to pay the full amount will save us over $200 this year.

3. Open savings account with a higher interest rate.

We opened a ING savings account because it offered a better interest rate than our bank. It was free and we were able to connect it directly to our checking account. There are no fees and we can easily transfer funds.

4. Make a budget and stick to it.

There are many systems for budgeting and saving. We are going to use cash only by trying the “envelope” method. We will designate an envelope for different spending areas and put the allotted amount of money in it. I think seeing the money actually disappear will make us more conscientious of our spending habits.

5. Pay bills with bill pay or by phone.

When you consider all the bills you pay monthly, stamps and envelopes can get spendy. Bill pay is free and most companies will allow you to pay by phone. It may not seem like much, but as  they say "a penny saved is a penny earned".

6. Discontinue our garbage service.

Our service was costing $12.50/month. We started hauling our garbage to the dump once a month for $4. That save us $8.50 monthly or $85/year.

Evaluate your spending habits, make some simple changes, and you'll reap big rewards.

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