A roundup of the best cost-cutting tips from bloggers
Who can’t use a little financial advice? We all want to sock away extra money; however, most of us more commonly check our bank statements, wondering where exactly the money has gone. Every cent spent — from groceries to gas — may not immediately feel hefty, but these costs do add up.
Pinching pennies doesn’t have to be difficult, however. A few simple cost-cutting tips can be incorporated into your everyday life, and make all the difference. Take a cue from these top bloggers about how to save your money, and start applying their advice to your own situation today:
Save spare change – You know those annoying coins swiveling around on the bottom of your purse or in a front-seat car compartment? It’s money that you don’t think twice about, but if you toss all of that spare change into a bucket, you may be surprised at how quickly it can add up. That’s what The Thrifty Peach blogger Robin’s husband did and the couple saved $357.
Cook – It’s that simple. Even just a few meals a week, preparing a homemade meal can save you big (and it’s healthier for you, too).
“The best way to save money on groceries is to prepare meals at home using as few convenience items as possible — this means hamburger helper, frozen dinners, and canned soups that have ridiculous amounts of sodium. Prepared foods are more expensive than staples,” according to Gary of Gajizmo.
Find a creative way to reduce energy expenses – A great example of this is curtains. These pieces of fabric are all you need to lessen the costs of heat or air conditioning.
“Look at ways to regulate the temperature in your apartment so you can use less energy on cooling it during the summer and heating it during the winter. A simple way to do this is invest in some ‘blackout’ curtains that cover windows and can reduce energy costs by up to 25%,” says Ben Feldman of ReadyForZero.
Track your net worth – “Tracking your net worth is an essential step to managing your finances,” says Rob Berger of the blog Dough Roller. “In a single number your net worth can measure your financial progress, whether you are climbing out of debt, building an investment portfolio, or both.” Your net worth is a way to measure your financial progress each year. That said, you don’t have to have a large income to have money in the bank, as long as you have a high net worth.
Use (and decode) coupons – Something you might already know is to spend time clipping coupons — they are, after all, free paper money. But what you also should know is how to make sense of them, which will save you more money in the end. Tracie Fobes of PennyPinchinmom.com explains further:
“When you look at a coupon, you should disregard the photo you see printed. Many manufacturers will run a shot of the most expensive item in the product line in hopes that you will spend the most money.”
Repurpose items – Before dumping things in the trash, consider if you can use them again.
“Look twice at things before throwing them away. Could you cut off the fronts of some of your Christmas cards to use as gift tags next year? Could you paint that old piece of furniture or spray paint a chandelier to give it a new life? Save nice glass jars for giving. You’ll never have to buy a box for shipping if you save a stash!” says Kristl Story of TheBudgetDiet.com.
Save on gifts – If each year during birthdays or around the holidays you realize you’re spending a lot of cash on gifts, you may need to slow it down. If you have a large family, consider picking a name out of a hat to find out whom to buy a gift for.
“Instead of giving gifts to each one of your siblings and their children consider drawing names. In my family, we only give gifts to the children, no longer to my siblings,” says Mercedes Levey of CommonSensewithMoney.com. Also, consider gifts that don’t cost physical money. “Offer to bring me a homemade dinner for my family, or maybe just come and visit while I get stuff done around the house. Consider doing this also with older relatives. They probably appreciate more you coming over to visit and helping with household chores or maybe doing their holiday shopping for them. Help is an often overlooked gift and it’s probably one of the most appreciated.”
There’s advice everywhere, so be sure to do what’s best for you.Used with Permission. Published by IMN Bank Adviser Includes copyrighted material of IMakeNews, Inc. and its suppliers.