Top 7 Ways to Save Money
Even with a thriving economy, many Americans continually struggle to save money. While it’s certainly tempting to spend that extra cash, socking it away for the future in an IRA or investing in stocks makes much more sense. Try out a few of these tips, and you may find yourself with extra money to put aside for college or retirement.
- Reduce utility use. Utility costs are one of the easiest ways to save money, though most people don’t bother to take advantage of it. Many energy companies will provide you with a free audit of your energy use, so you can see just where you’re spending money, but even without an audit, it’s easy to make changes immediately including unplugging unused appliances and equipment, turning your air conditioner up in the summer and down in the winter, and making sure that you’re using newer appliances with better energy ratings.
- Adopt the repair-not-replace methodology. Today, while it may be much easier to toss out that old coat, TV, DVD player, cellphone, blouse, shirt, or jacket, in many instances, it’s much cheaper to have the item repaired. If the repair cost exceeds the replacement cost, by all means replace it, but check first.
- Curb your bad habits. In New York, the cost of a pack of cigarettes is almost $13.00, meaning that even a half-pack-a-day habit costs over $200.00 a month. Quitting smoking will not only save your lungs, it will save you a decent amount of money each month.
- Work with your credit card companies to lower your current interest rate, or transfer to a low interest rate card. While not every credit card company will lower your rates, it’s doesn’t hurt to ask.
- Drive a fuel-efficient vehicle. When gas was hitting $4.00 a gallon, Americans started trading in their 8-cylinder trucks for 4-cylinder economy cars, but with gas prices stabilizing, many have started to trade up large vehicles again. But keep this in mind: over a five-year period, you can save over $5,000 in fuel costs by driving a vehicle that gets 25mpg versus one that gets 15mpg.
- Stop impulse buying. We’ve all been there, and a small impulse buy will not make much difference in the long run. However, if you’re always buying expensive items on the spur of the moment, try the 24-hour rule, where you consider every item for at least 24 hours prior to purchasing. If that’s not long enough, try the 30-day rule. You might be surprised how quickly must-haves become a firm no.
- Think about where you live. While not possible for everyone, living in an expensive area (think San Francisco) can use most of your monetary resources each month, while living in a less expensive area can provide you with more disposable income as well as additional resources to put aside.
- Be proactive with home maintenance. Don’t wait until the air conditioner stops working on the hottest day of the year, or your water heater explodes, flooding your living room. Take measures to handle monthly and annual maintenance, which can catch issues before they become major, and prevent a large repair bill in the process.
While there are so many more ways to save money, these are just a few of the easiest ways that have can also the biggest impact.
*This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. Individuals involved in the estate planning process should work with an estate planning team, including their own personal legal or tax counsel. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a representation by us of a specific investment or the purchase or sale of any securities. Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets. This material was developed and produced by Advisor Websites to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. Copyright 2014-2018 Advisor Websites.