Bills, bills and more bills. Remember when you were a kid and wished you could grow up fast? Had we known that being an adult required bill paying, we might have savored those carefree days of childhood. Now, the bills are endless, and on top of it, we’re all trying to save for college, retirement and the next big family vacation. Saving money in these tough economic times is important, and we have some money-saving tips for you.
- Turn Down the Heat: This winter, turn your heat down by two degrees. Just a couple of degrees can add up to huge savings in your heating bill. If you set your thermostat to 68 at night when you’re sleeping, you can save even more. Bundle up with sweatshirts and blankets. Or, cozy up at night by the fireplace.
- Walk or Ride Bikes More Often: How often do you find yourself hopping in the car just to drive four or five blocks into town? Probably more often than you’d like to admit. All those short trips add up to money spent on tank after tank of gas. With the price of gas as high as it is, make an effort to walk or ride bikes more often.
- Clip Coupons: There’s no shame in clipping coupons. In fact, using coupons at the grocery store makes you a smart consumer. Why spend $20 more on groceries if you don’t have to? Also, many grocery stores have rewards programs. All you have to do is sign up for their free rewards card and you can save money every time you shop. It’s THAT easy.
- Buy Generic: Don’t pay more for a product just to have a brand name. For the most part, it’s all the same — just different packaging. This is especially true when it comes to over-the-counter medications. Always compare ingredients and prices when it comes to basic health and beauty supplies, as well as juices, butter, cereal and other everyday items.
- Buy in Bulk: Buying in bulk seems counterintuitive when trying to save money. It’s hard to walk out of those warehouse clubs without spending well over $100, but if you shop smart and stick to your list, the savings add up. For example, buying diapers in bulk may cost you $60, but per diaper, there’s a savings. Same holds true for most bulk paskages — IF you use them before expiration. Non-perishables are great to buy in bulk — especially paper products, such as toilet paper and paper towels. If it’s an item you use regularly, consider buying in bulk.
- Reassess Your Cable TV: Do you really need 500 channels? Cable bills nowadays can run well over $100 per month. A basic cable package can provide you with a great selection of entertainment at a fraction of the cost. Are you a movie buff? Consider renting movies for free from your library rather than spending $3.99 per On Demand movie. Or, sign up for a movie rental program, such as Netflix.
- Negotiate Interest Rates: What are you paying in interest on your credit card? If you have clean credit and a good credit history, many credit companies will lower your interest rate. All you have to do is ask.
- Refinance Your Home: Now is a great time to think about refinancing your home. Interest rates have never been lower and won’t get any lower. Refinancing can save you hundreds of dollars a month. It’s certainly worth looking into.
- Price Compare on Services: Insurance, television and Internet are all services for which you should comparison shop. Even your current service, presented with the possibility of you switching providers, might lower your rate.