Just recently, US consumer data pointed out that spending for goods and services have increased but the savings rates are at a 10 year low. Despite an increase in economic activity and payroll, more people are saving less.
Perhaps this is why many can’t weather loss of job or other economic hardships. Saving might help us to save for a rainy day and keep us in a better financial course.
1. Cut Cable or Negotiate a Better Rate
Cable bills are one of the highest household bills and, yet, most consumers don’t know that you can negotiate your monthly cable bill. One of the first things items you can negotiate is the premium channel subscription. If you have HBO, most cable companies may waive or provide a substantial discount.
If you have internet access with your cable provider, you may be able to ask for a price discount. If not, you may even get a free upgrade to a faster speed without a change in the bill rate.
One of the best methods is to get a quote from a competitor, especially when the quote is lower than your current bill. You even threaten to leave if you don’t get a match in price. The key is to gain leverage by showing others are willing to give you a better price.
Consider also removing cable completely. Shows are now available in various streaming service.
2. Shop Around For the Best Insurance Rate
Insurance rates can vary from company to company. The best way to check is go to competitor website and see if you can get a better rate. Car and Auto insurance can be a huge part of your monthly or bi yearly bill. Insurance companies want to keep your business. If you can show that others will lower your bill, they may capitulate and offer a match or lower bill rate.
To lower your bill even further, ask for higher deductibles. By having higher deductibles, you will pay more money if an event happens. However, the probability of an accident or incident may be low and taking this slight risk for higher deductibles may be worthwhile.
3. Stay Physically Healthy
Being healthy may not be the most apparent way to save money. However many experts believe you can save money by making sure that you’re fit and healthy. Co-pays and medical expenses that come from sickness and weight gain can add on to your expenses.
Take also the vices like soda and tobacco. If you can avoid them, that’s less of a dent in your wallet.
Being healthy keeps the doctor away. Less doctor visits mean less money.
4. Insulate Your House
This is an often missed assessment when it comes to saving money. A house that isn’t well insulated can cost you a fortune in the long run. During the winter and summer months, the lack of insulation or inefficient insulation can allow unwanted cold or heat. Your heating or cooling bill goes up and you lose money.
Check the cracks in the insulation by hiring an energy assessment pro or inspect your house on your own. You’d be surprised to see how your home could be compromised by lack of proper insulation.
5. Create Automatic Saving To Your Retirement or Savings Account
If you work for a company, one common benefit might be a retirement savings plan like a 401(k). Company retirement plans allow the ease of automating contributions through automatic deductions. Once you set a percentage of your paycheck, the pre-taxed dollars are invested without you thinking about.
Given that a typical a stock investment fund will produce average annualized 8% increase in your investment, the assets can snowball and even double in around 7 years.
If you don’t have a retirement plan, there are plenty of other savings plans that you can easily create and have money taken automatically from your paycheck. Check with your local bank.
6. Meal Prep For The Week
Meal prepping is the act of cooking and prepping your meals for the week. In most cases, meal preps work well for lunch work week. Sundays are common days where one would cook and prep for the entire week and place the prepared lunch in containers that represent each day of the work week.
Why does it save money? Meal prep allows you to buy the meal ingredients in bulk. Buying bulk can save you money because meat or other staples will cost less on a unit basis.
Moreover, it saves you money by not disposing meals. The meal prepping allows you to get into the habit of saving items for another time.
7. Skip the Coffee Shops
Considering an average cup of coffee or latte is around 3-5 dollars from a coffee shop, the cost to your wallet can add up. If you were to spend on a cup every date on a $5 cup of latte, you can spend $25 per week. That’s about $100 every month and maybe even $1,200 every year.
Skip the lines and look at brewing coffee every morning. By making this part of your morning ritual, your wallet will thank you.
8. Become a Better Shopper
Shopping sometimes requires a lot of work to find the best deals. If you’re a busy consumer, you might want to frequent sites like SlickDeals.net or Groupon.com. You can find great deals from the comfort of your home. You don’t have to drive around town to see what is the best offer..
Sometimes you can even save when you time the market. For example, check after the Super Bowl for TV deals, or check the shopping centers after Christmas.
9. Cook at Home
Cooking at home requires work. However, you can literally save hundreds of dollars by cooking at home. If you’re new to cooking, try simple recipes first and gradually work your way up to more complex recipes. By making this a habit, cooking at home can become effortless.
10. Buy Restaurant Gift Cards/Coupons
If you frequent restaurants and feel compelled to dine out, consider restaurant gift cards at a discount. You can find a wide variety of gift cards from wholesale warehouses like Costco and Sam’s Club. Most of the cards have a 20% discount tied to them. For example, you can get a $100 gift card for a popular restaurant chain for $79.
Groupon.com and other online coupon sites also provide significant discounts for dine-in restaurants in your neighborhood. Check the menus and see if the coupon makes sense for you.
Although this is a list of 10 ways to save money, there are so many other ways you can save money. This is just a list to get you think or started. Consider your finances and see if you map a game plan to save money.