10 Money-Saving Tips for 2012
When it comes to improving your financial picture, small steps can yield big gains. Whether you’re saving for a down payment or dealing with increased expenses having just moved into a new home, the following tips from SWparents.com are great ways to save money in a variety of areas. Start today and you’ll quickly notice the positive impact on your bottom line:
- You’ve probably heard this since you were a kid, but really…turn off all lights when you leave a room. Train your kids—usually the worst offenders—to do the same.
- Have an honest conversation with yourself: If you haven’t used your gym membership in more than six months, cancel it. You can always rejoin and probably take advantage of a better deal when you do. Some gyms will even offer to “freeze” your membership, allowing you to pick back up after a certain period of time.
- Save Starbucks and the like for a special treat. If you buy a $4 coffee five days per week, that’s $80 per month. Record your coffee-buying expenses for a month and see what your own personal damage is…then adjust accordingly!
- Ditto for lunch. Even grabbing a burger at a fast-food chain adds up. Start packing your lunch instead. An easy way to accomplish this is by cooking extra at dinner or on the weekends, then packing lunch-sized portions in advance. If you’re banking on making lunch during the morning rush, odds are you’ll run out of time and end up buying lunch instead.
- Do everything you can to increase your credit score. You will save tens of thousands of dollars in interest from any loans you have simply by having a better credit score.
- Call every company you have monthly bills with and ask exactly what you are paying for each month. You will be surprised how many hidden fees are mysteriously added to your bills. You will never know this unless you ask.
- Consider paying interest-bearing loans twice a month instead of once a month. You might be able to knock thousands of dollars off your total bill. Arrange automatic payments with your bank on the first and the 15th of each month.
- Don’t leave the water running while brushing your teeth or shaving in the shower.
- Odds are you can reduce your cable bill. With the plethora of options for on-demand and online viewing, chances are you no longer need 200 channels and three DVR boxes.
- Buy anything and everything you can from second-hand stores. Second-hand doesn’t have to mean poor quality. In fact, most people donate items to these outlets because they are unused or hardly used, making it wasteful for them to be disposed of. Utilize this strategy with kids, who grow out of clothing and shoes at a rapid rate. Many teens also love shopping at second-hand stores where they can get the most bang for their buck, along with vintage or retro items.