Finance Friday: Some of the easiest ways to #save money

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If you are not usually a saver, you may be curious where to start.  You may also be overwhelmed by some money saving options.  Below I list some of the easiest ways to save, that keep money in your pocket without tons of effort.

  1. Live a healthy lifestyle. Health care cost can set you back for a lifetime so eat right, get sleep, drink plenty of water (instant money saver if you use a filter and stay a way from pricey drinks), exercise (take a walk in the fresh air for free), and think positively.
  2. Pay your bills on time. Of course your credit score is at the root of your finances.  If you pay your bills on time your score will be positively effected and you will be offered better interest rates saving you thousands of dollars. You will also avoid late fees and future penalties.
  3. Use retail coupons. If you already know that you are going to the store/mail.  Just quickly search the internet for coupons for the stores that you usually frequent.  Type “printable coupon 2011 INSERT STORE NAME HERE.” You will want to make sure your coupon is current and note its limitations and specifics.
  4. Take advantage of store rewards cards. Many stores offer deals to their loyal customers because they want you to keep coming back.  The prices are sometimes much much cheaper than if you did not have a member card.
  5. Try to cook and eat at home. Restaurants have a booming industry and by preparing your own meals you can maximize your households savings. You will also know what is exactly in your food so it will also be healthier for added benefits. If you are not a cook, search the interest for simple recipes.
  6. Before you go shopping anywhere, make a list.  A guide will help keep you from impulse buying. It will also help keep you from aimlessly walking around stores looking for items that are not needed. You will save time and money.
  7. Consider, getting rid of unnecessary luxuries like Cable TV, magazine subscriptions, and anything that you feel you can live without. We have not had cable since my husband and I have been married. Frankly, there are many other things that we need to accomplish and don’t have time to watch TV.  There are times that we crave an outlet and some entertainment so we pull up our favorite shows online for free (because having the interest was not an optional expense for us). You can go to the library and read your favorite magazines for free.
  8. Buy used. Get clothes, furniture, books and many other useful items second-hand. Frequent thrift stores, talk to friends, consider Ebay, and search Craigslist before you decide to buy new.
  9. Be patient. Make a list of the things that you need and want.  Don’t try to purchase them all at once. Instead, wait until you have money saved to buy the items. Don’t use your regular savings, develop a separate savings just for these items, but put money towards your other obligations first.
  10. Unplug when things are not in use. When I found out that unplugging things save money I have tried to be consistent and turn off lights when I am not in the room and keep things unplugged when they are not in use. Using a laptop is also a money saver because you don’t have to keep it plugged in all of the time. Desktops use up a lot of energy.
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