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Tips for Saving Money

save-money

We live in an age of rapidly growing technologies, where science doesn't slow down while we do, and where the gadgets we spend thousands of dollars a year on are obsolete before they ship to the store. It seems like every day there is a new gadget, some new technological breakthrough toaster-iron-massage chair which we just HAVE to buy.

This couldn't be further from the truth. As adults, we are supposed to possess maturity, life experience, and a level of self-control. So how are we supposed to save money? There are a few really handy ways, but bear with me because some of them may seem pretty silly.

  • Keep the Change, and similar programs. Some banks are introducing (or have had in place) programs which assess each purchase made from your checking account and place the remaining change from the nearest whole dollar into your savings account automatically. It helps if you actually HAVE a savings account, first. Contact your bank and see if you can get this service.
  • If you can, inquire about switching to a more restricted savings account. Some savings accounts will severely penalize you for withdrawing more than a specified number of times a month. This will prevent you from justifying the withdrawal, especially if your bank only allows one withdrawal from savings every statement period.
  • Get a piggie bank. Let me know when you're done laughing. Good to go? Ok, so get a piggie bank and start shoving your coins in it. Every day when you walk through your front door, put every coin you have in your pocket in this piggie bank. My suggestion is a big one. Now here is the hard part: Don't touch those coins! Let them continue to multiply as you go through your life as normal. Before you know it your piggie bank will be spewing coins it's so full. You'd be amazed how much money you can save this way.
  • Get help from a friend. Find a buddy who wants to save money also, and put together a plan to help one another out. Often, having a support group, however small, aids in reform and change. In this case, you will help one another become a bit more money-conscious, and also bond in the process. Sharing a trial or change in lifestyle can deepen a friendship.

The most important reason to save money is in case of disaster. Do you have enough money to cover a blown out tire? What about if you injure yourself and require hospital treatment? Are you prepared? If not, then start saving now. A good rule of thumb is to have no less than three months of bills and living expenses in savings at any given moment. By having that much in savings, you have additional insurance should something terrible happen.

Money Saving Items

Everyone likes to reduce the amount they're paying in heating, cooling and electric costs, right? Here are a couple of tips on things you can do to save money on your utilities - and once you start seeing reduced utility bills, I've got one more tip for you.

  • Purchase CFL (compact flourescent light) bulbs for every normal bulb in your house. They'll save you between $30 and $60 over the life of the bulb on your electric bill (per bulb, folks!) and because they don't get as hot, will help you control your temperature in the house.
  • Do your household chores after sundown. Not only will this keep you from working up a sweat in the first place, but it saves you money on your cooling bill during the summer, and your heating bill during the winter. Doing your laundry in the evening provides a slight boost in the temperature in that region of the house, and nothing says love on a winter night like a blanket fresh out of the dryer.
  • Have your HVAC checked regularly. Even a small leak in your ac/heating system can contribute to hundreds of wasted dollars a year.
  • Check the seals around doors and windows for any areas where air gets in or out. This not only will help you save money, but in some areas may help save your allergies, too!
  • Consider purchasing UV blocking curtains for your windows and sliding doors if you have them. You can always throw the curtains back, but these curtains help block the transfer of hot or cold from the outside through the glass of your windows.

Now - once your utility bills lower noticably:

PUT THE EXTRA MONEY YOU'RE SAVING ON THOSE BILLS INTO YOUR SAVINGS! By creating savings, you give yourself not only a buffer for hard times, but also a pool of interest-earning money.

Comments

formosangirl from Los Angeles on November 14, 2011:

Hi Gamergirl, you make a good point about running your appliances after prime electrical rates. Everyone should check your local utility company to find out. For example, where I live, after 5 pm, weekends, and holidays are the cheapest. When one runs the dishwasher, it seems like a 5 hour wash and dry cycle. The loud noise is like $ being sucked down the drain.

Kiz Robinson (author) from New Orleans, Louisiana on April 11, 2008:

You're right. Most often just paying the minimum balance on your debts is paying purely interest, which you'll continue to rack up at the highway-robbery style rates because your principal balance isn't being touched.

I have learned with my credit card that paying even $10 more than my minimum balance makes a huge difference in the long run. The trick with a credit card is to never spend your entire available balance. Always leave yourself a 50-75 dollar buffer so that if your interest rate goes up a little, or your annual fee hits, you're not stuck with over the limit charges like I was.

Thanks for coming by!

Kiz Robinson (author) from New Orleans, Louisiana on February 22, 2008:

Every penny counts, Bogey! Thanks for stopping by!

Bogey047 on February 22, 2008:

A penny earned is a penny saved in the piggy bank!!!

Kiz Robinson (author) from New Orleans, Louisiana on February 22, 2008:

Thanks highwaystar! I think it is important for everyone to know these kinds of things. Saving up for a rainy day really comes in handy during a thunderstorm!

highwaystar on February 22, 2008:

hey gamegirl, thanks for your excellent money saver tips, should come in handy for a bunch of thrifty folks over the next coming months and those trapped in the morgage squeeze, cheers!

Elisabeth Sowerbutts from New Zealand on February 22, 2008:

True !

Kiz Robinson (author) from New Orleans, Louisiana on February 22, 2008:

Actually, if you want to travel, that's not really -saving- money. :P

Elisabeth Sowerbutts from New Zealand on February 22, 2008:

Well actually the most important reason to save money is for travel -but that another hub - which I've written ROTFL! The best way to save- pay yourself first - 10% say of your gross income into a savings a/c you cant touch!

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