7 Easy Ways to Save More Money
In many ways, living life on a budget is freeing. However, especially when funds are really tight, finding easy ways to save more money is crucial for success as well as peace of mind. Now, while all of us here at Living Rich with Coupons understand the benefits of cost comparisons as well as basic couponing, there are actually a number of additional ways that you can save more money without a lot of extra effort.
Use these 7 easy ways to save more money to boost your budget and save so you can get past those leaner times.
1. Keep Your Change
When you use a cash envelope system to buy groceries or other staples you are likely to end up with your fair share of loose change. While keeping that change in your envelope in order to get every bit out of your budgeted funds can make sense, alternately, keeping that change in a separate jar or box and “saving” it is an easy way to build up funds without much work.
Those of us who use credit or debit cards to buy staples can benefit from this practice as well. Just get into the habit of emptying your pockets, car cup holders, change purses, and more on a regular basis and setting the coins away. This is also a great way to finance a large purchase overtime or find money for a weekly “splurge” on something like a gourmet coffee, cocktail, or ice cream treat without having to specifically carve room for it out of your budget.
2. Check Your Tire Pressure
This is such a simple practice, but one that is neglected by too many people. Deflated tires affect your fuel efficiency and even with gas prices at record lows, saving money on fuel costs is important. Check the inside of your drivers’ side door for the ideal PSI for your tires and try to find a gas station that offers free air for a really frugal boost.
3. Request an Interest Rate Reduction
Banks and credit card companies are in business to make money so while it behooves them to offer great deals to try to get you to sign on the dotted line, many of those deals (such as introductory interest rates) are short-lived. However, if you are responsible about paying your bills and have a good credit score, getting interest rates reduced may be as easy as asking about it. Take a look at your credit cards and other loans interest rates. Older accounts may still have higher rates that were set when you were young and had little credit history. Call up individual banks and credit card companies to inquire about a rate reduction. You may need to reapply (i.e. refinance) in order to qualify, but you also may be able to get a lower rate on the spot.
4. Use Open-Source Software
Are you a Photoshop hobbyist? Are you putting together a screenplay or novel or even a letter to your friend in MS Word? Do you track your budget in lengthy Excel spreadsheets? While these premium programs are synonymous with work in their respective fields, they are also subscription services that cost you every month or year. Consider using open-source software such as GIMP and Google Docs instead. By using these free services, you are able to enjoy many (if not all) of the same benefits without the monthly fee.
5. Increase Your Auto Insurance Deductible
Are you a safe driver? Is your car older and/or paid off? Consider increasing the deductible on your auto insurance to save money on your monthly payment. For example, changing your out-of-pocket cost from $250 to $1,000 can equal close to 15% in savings on most insurance plans. Look at other details of your policy for savings as well. For example, while those with leased cars or a loan do not have this option, if you own your car outright you can also eliminate collision coverage.
6. Get Healthy
Investing in your health is one of the most effective ways to save money now as well as over the course of your life. From eliminating bad-for-you processed foods to reducing your alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking, health-conscious life choices save money now (because you aren’t buying those expensive, bad things) and later. In addition, take time every day to focus on your health through good-for-you and free practices such as taking a walk, meditating, or stretching. Also, make sure you go to the doctor at least once per year for a physical (this is free with any health plan).
Taking care of problems early is the best way to avoid higher costs down the road. In fact, according to the AARP, the average couple retiring in the 2010s will pay more than $250,000 in healthcare costs in their retirement, despite medicare coverage. Staying in top health not only reduces your own likelihood of paying these costs, but also allows you to save more money now for retirement, which must include a consideration of healthcare costs along with other daily living expenses.
7. Choose Your Company Wisely
Whether you are on a tight budget out of necessity or because you want to save for a big purchase such as a car, a home, or a vacation, surrounding yourself with people who share your frugal ideals is an easy way to stay focused. We all have those friends and family members who, either because of affluence or ignorance, spend money without thought. It is easy to get caught up in these habits when you are around these types of people, which is why it is so important to be aware of who these people are in your life and, if you cannot eliminate them completely, manage when you see them and what you do when you are together.
Keeping your eye on the prize means dedicating yourself to savings and frugality in a way that only other savers understand. While these friends may not care whether or not you participate in their more lavish lifestyle, being around them can breed resentment and discontent which makes the task of saving all the harder.