Even Small Changes Can Add Up
I think one of the biggest money saving tips people overlook is that even small changes can add up quickly. I know I didn’t pay much attention to a few cents savings here or a dollar there. For the most part, unless I could save ten, twenty or more dollars I didn’t bother too much. What a mistake.
For anyone who is living on a really tight budget there probably aren’t many « big things » they can save on. If you aren’t using credit cards to buy new clothes or go out to a movie or take a vacation, you don’t have that much to cut back on in the first place so you have to start small.
In this article I will provide you with some simple money saving tips you can start using today. Not all of them will be appropriate for you and your situation but some may be.
Plus, it may be enough to get you thinking in a more frugal type of mindset. You will probably come up with your own tips!
1. First of all you really need to have an accurate picture of your finances. It sounds weird but many times we don’t. Many times we are living beyond our means and not even fully aware of it.
Another benefit is that when you see your income and expenses all written down in black and white it can be easier to identify patterns and possible changes you can make.
When doing this step just make sure you are accurate. Go back over a few months of bank statements so you include everything – even those things that only get paid every other month or every few months.
Just make a list with two columns, include all of your income in one column and all of your expenses in another. Than subtract your expenses from your income. If you have a positive balance good for you, if you have a negative balance, you have your work cut out for you.
2. Now that you know exactly where you stand financially you can set up your plan of attack. The first place to start is right with your monthly household bills.
If you can find something to cut here, you will likely save quite a bit of money each month. These types of cuts usually generate the biggest savings.
Just go down the list of bills, one by one. Take a look at each one. Can you cut it? Is the bill for a service you can get rid of entirely or at least get a lower monthly payment?
Bills such as cable or satellite may be good places to start. You may have added a few things over the years. A few years ago I wanted to watch a particular show that was on one of those premium networks so I added that network to my cable plan.
The problem was that after the show ended I forgot to cancel that addon even though I didn’t watch that channel at all. Make sure you don’t have any unused « addon’s » on your bills.
Can you save some money on your car insurance? Can you refinance your car loan? Consider changing your grocery shopping habits, maybe you can buy some store brands instead of name brand items.
I did that and found that most of the store brands were just as good but a lot cheaper. There were a few things that I didn’t like so you may have to do some trial and error but you can save a bundle this way.
If you really give it some thought, you should be able to come up with your own money saving tips. After a while, it gets kind of fun to see that extra money start to grow!