When it comes to saving money there are an infinite number of ways to accomplish this. Anyone can turn their savings around if they work at it and think outside of the box. The key to saving money is to look for inventive ways to save it in the first place, on top of maintaining a healthy yet realistic budget. We will discuss some simple yet concrete things you can do today to start saving more money. While some of these methods do take some effort or work, they are simple to do and will save you money. These ideas are so simple that anyone can do them.
1: Change banks
If your bank is charging you any sort of fee for simply having a bank account look at your other options. My last bank for example started to charge $4.95 maintenance fee and I had enough of that, so I looked for other options and visited both banks and credit unions. That is when I found GE Capital Bank and their 0.95% APY interest rates, which is way above the .14% national average. I simply put my money to work in a better place and avoided fees. Never let your hard earned money get eaten up in fees nor settle for sub standard interest rates if you can avoid it, believe me the money piles up.
Many young people today do not know or understand the value of the good old fashioned coupon. Many of the products we buy every week have coupons available in the Sunday paper or online available for printing. On my shopping trips it is not uncommon for me to save $20 to $30 per shopping trip by using coupons. I then take the cash I saved and deposit it into my savings account, thus I get a savings account reward for doing something I was going to do anyway; buying food and supplies for the house.
3: Credit Cards & Interest Rates
You can call your credit card company to ask for a rate reduction. If they refuse ask to talk to a supervisor. When discussing this mention how well you have paid on time and that you have an offer for a better credit card. Ask for a reasonable rate reduction when doing so versus asking for a 10% cut instead ask for 2 to 5% less. Credit card companies can and do negotiate all the time. If they don’t want to renegotiate, there are numerous promotions for 2015 already posted online, find a good deal and drop that rate!
We cannot avoid paying these bills but we can cut down on how much we have to pay. Many cities now have competition when it comes to utilities. In Buffalo for example we have two options for electric, and the new company charges less per Kilo wat hour. Check and see if there are any competing utilities in your area and investigate their rates, you may be pleasantly surprised.
5: Power usage
Turning off devices and lights you are not using may seem like a no brainer, but every year Americans waste a lot of power. We waste so much power in fact that the amount of energy wasted by the US in 2012 could power the UK for 7 years! Wasting power is like taking money out of your wallet and lighting it on fire, no different.
6: Media Trades
Have old Cds, DVDs and books you no longer want? Do you spend a decent chunk of your budget on movies, music and books? You can always trade in your old ones thanks to a new service tips paper back swapped and their sister sites swapacd and swapadvd. You list offerings you have and receive \ credit for anything offered, a great way to save on media expenses. For the dvdswap site for example you post 10 DVDs and you receive one free credit to receive a dvd, then you receive 1 credit every time someone orders a dvd you have posted, plus a $0.49 exchange fee. Also, most cities still allow you to visit the public library and check out books and dvd’s for free.
7: LED Bulbs
If you like me live in an area with expensive electricity consider investing in LED bulbs, they are expensive now but they last for decades. Leds use about 2% of the electricity of an incandescent bulb, though of course they are not as bright unless you buy a good one. This will trim quite a bit of money from your utility bills every month.
8: Car maintenance
Did you know that keeping your tires filled up and cleaning your air filter out will save you serious money? You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. A clean air filter will improve the gas mileage by up to 7%, saving more than $100 for every 10,000 miles on your vehicle. That is some serious money!
These are just some tips to help you save money, I personally use more but many of the ones I use most people would not. Saving money can be better accomplished by thinking outside the box and coming up with inventive ways to save a buck. Remember to put anything saved away in a savings account.
John Stowers covers all things financial for the Buffalo Daily News and contributed to this article.