7 Simple Ways to Save Money Without Giving up the Things You Love
I was talking to my brother the other day while I was preparing to write this article and asked him if he had any advice on how to save money. He quickly responded, “Yes, spend less and earn more.” While it was true, I thought I would be a little more specific in giving you some advice on how to spend a little less without make the big sacrifices or giving up what you want to buy. You don’t need to stop eating out to spend a little less. So here are a few tips that might splash a little more black ink in your pocketbook:
1. Select a bank that respects you, not just your money
You worked for it, now you want it to work for you. The bank wants you to invest and save so that they can turn around and use your money to earn more for themselves. Having access to your money is their reward so why would you let them charge you for accessing your money. You are the prize so choose a bank that respects you for it. Banks like Chase and Bank of America have accounts with low or no fees and interest rates higher than 0%. Not all banks are created equal, so a little shopping around goes a long way.
2. Check your Auto Insurance Policy
If you have a car, then you have insurance. But when was the last time you took the time to understand your policy. Every year the interest rates and your circumstances change. If you added a new car or bundled you house into your policy, maybe you can take advantage of an umbrella policy that covers all your liabilities under one rider instead of paying for them all separately. You might also consider raising your deductibles or if your car is showing its age, consider taking the collision coverage off. There is no sense paying $2000 per year to insure a $2000 car. Again, shop around for the best options before you fork over the cash. They need to earn your business, not the other way around.
3. Save money on groceries
The cost of groceries is one of the highest monthly expenses for most people. You can’t cut out eating completely, but there are several easy ways to reduce your spending and still cook great meals. For example, Target has inexpensive groceries and with their ‘Red Card’ you can save an extra 5%, which stacks with any sales or coupons that may be running.
Another thing to consider when looking for deals is that not all rewards cards offer much value. Many companies use practices of posting inflated prices for ‘non-members’, so the member price looks like a better deal but, in fact, it is the same price as the shop down the road.
4. Combine the play (for Cable, Phone and Internet services)
For most people, it seems like life with Internet Services, Phone and Cable is hardly worth living. There are numerous providers such as Cox communications offer discounts when you are ready to bundle altogether. The bundling of all three altogether is referred to as triple play. By going with triple play, you are not only saving money but you are also having convenience in handling the payment for every month.
5. Have prepaid connection for Mobile
There are two main ways to save money on your mobile bill, Prepaid wireless or Pay-as-you-go.
Prepaid wireless contracts are great for people who want a plan with lots of minutes and data but have no interest in the inflated monthly payments that come with a new phone. Most of these plans start in the $40 range for unlimited calling and text, with varying data plans. This is a good idea for someone on a budget who has a smart phone or who will buy a used phone from Ebay or Amazon.
The other option, Pay-as-you-go may not be appropriate for every individual, but people who do not tend to speak on the phone much could save ample funds. There are several different plans ranging from a small monthly fee with a lower cost per minute and next to no upfront cost but higher per minute and text costs. These plans should be considered for people who use phones that are not data capable. With so many cell providers offering plans that let you keep your number while saving money there is no reason to continue overpaying.
6. Online shopping
Every year there is more and more competition for the online consumer dollar and more competition means better prices for you. Most, if not all, big box retailers have an online presence and many of them offer you incentives for shopping with them. Kohl’s is constantly having online sales with heavily discounted prices which also stack with their rewards points that are accumulated with each dollar spent. Target and Walmart have expanding clearance sections that have great deals which apply towards free shipping if you meet their minimum purchase requirements.
On top of all of these other incentives, you can still accumulate points or cash back from your credit card.
7. Marketing strategies that cost you thousands
There are tens of millions of people in the world who are professionals at getting you to spend your hard earned money on things that you do not need or quite frankly, even want. Check out areas account for 1% of a typical supermarket’s merchandising space but 4% of its profit — Find out on The Guardian. So what we can gather from this information is that you are getting the least amount of value for your dollar when buying items at the checkout. So put your blinders on and resist the temptation of those delicious chocolate bars.
Money influences every aspect of our lives and it can be difficult to know what to do. Most of us haven’t taken courses or officially studied how to manage it so we end up going head to head with trained marketers, sales agents and bankers who are all trying to get their hands in our pockets. That is why we developed the PocketGuard app. Finally, you have someone on your team whose only job is to help you protect your hard-earned dough.
Stay tuned for our future posts where we will share the secrets of how these professionals dig deep and how to keep your money safe. I will be breaking down these points one-by-one, giving you real-world, actionable advice and money saving tips. It is time to change the tide and get more while doing less.