Stop Buying Stuff You Can Get For Free
It’s estimated that Americans spend about 40 million dollars in books each day. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if you didn’t acknowledge the fact that you can get them for free at your local library! But books are only one example of things that people buy that they can actually get for free. Long distance phone calls are another example. They cost, on average, between $0.10 and $0.25 per minute. But…Skype is 100% free. Finally, there are checking accounts. Rather than pay $10 per month, online banks will give you a checking account absolutely free.
Stop Purchasing New Things When Used Will Do
From computers to cars, people love buying new stuff. But you can help your budget, and the planet, by going pre-owned rather than buying new. For example, did you know that most new cars depreciate in value by 19% within their first year of ownership? So, if you purchase a new vehicle for $20,000 in 2015, then by 2016 it will only be worth $16,000 (or less). That’s not a very lucrative investment.
Buy Things Out-of-Season
For example, rather than go shopping for school supplies in July or August (when the prices are high), go between February and May (when they’re cheaper). You can apply the same strategy to just about anything. Shopping for patio furniture in the fall will prevent you from paying higher prices during the summer. Likewise, purchasing winter gear during the spring will save you hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars per year.
Don’t Go Grocery Shopping When You’re Hungry or Sad
The average American spends between $150 and $200 per week on groceries. This equates to about $10,000 per year. A great way to cut down on this monthly expense is to shop after eating. This way, you’ll be less likely to succumb to your cravings. Likewise, try to avoid grocery shopping when you’re feeling anxious or depressed as you’ll be less likely to overspend on “feel good” foods.
Get Help From Friends (But Don’t Borrow Their Money)
You can receive indirect financial benefits from your friends without having to take their money. For instance, do you and your friend work at the same place? If so, consider carpooling. The average person spends a minimum of $40 per week in gasoline. By carpooling, you automatically cut this amount in half. The more people you carpool with, the cheaper your weekly gas expense becomes. To keep your entertainment costs down, consider swapping games, movies, or books with your friends rather than buying them new.
Limit The Amount of Renting You Do
Places like Aaron’s or Rent-A-Center are budget destroyers. They lure people in with attractive down payments on popular items like iPads, televisions, and mattresses, and then they charge high interest rates. As a general rule of thumb, limit the amount of renting you do. Remember this famous Warren Buffett quote, “If you buy things you don’t need, soon you will have to sell things you need.” This couldn’t be further from the truth when trying to save money.
Every day, we’re faced with opportunities to save. Look out for these great techniques to save a bit of money and you’ll find that at the end of the month, there will be more money than usual in your checking account at the end of the month. None of these tips take much effort, but the effects can be tremendous!