Money Saving Tips & Ideas

Building a savings can mean the difference between sink and swim in money management. However, sometimes finding money to save is like trying to walk on water.

Ben Franklin said, "A penny saved is a penny earned." Here are few money saving tips that help cut expenses and add cash to your coffers.

  1. Here's another old adage - "One man's trash is another man's treasure." Before you decide to trash something, find out if it has value. Sell it at Ebay, CraigsList, sell it on consignment, or sell it at a garage sale. You can always throw it away later if it doesn't sell!
  2. When you need to buy, shop and save by planning your shopping trips in entirety.
    • Always comparison shop for large ticket items. Subtract coupon and rebate offers from prices before you buy and check sale priced items against competition's regular priced items to see if the offered discount really is a bargain.
    • Buy groceries and department store items at the store that offers the most savings overall. With gas prices these days, it just isn't practical to drive across town to save a nickel on a can of vegetable soup.
    • If you wouldn't buy it without a coupon, don't buy it with one. If you are shopping with coupons, be sure to check and see if a comparable brand (or a generic item) is less expensive even with no coupon. If it is, toss that coupon out. You won't be needing it!
    • Using a shopping list can eliminate return trips for forgotten items and also help you resist impulse buying. Crossing off items as you find them lets you know when it's time to go to the checkout.

  3. Pay attention to fees when withdrawing cash at ATMs with debit cards. Look for ATMs that offer free cash withdrawals.
  4. Credit card balance transfers and debt consolidation offers may look very lucrative at first glance, but before you transfer that balance or roll your debts into one loan, make sure the total package, including fees and future interest rates adds up on the plus side of your budget. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has a wealth of tips on finding and doing business with reputable companies.
  5. Many insurance companies offer significant discounts when you bundle your insurances with them. Before you decide to purchase lower priced vehicle insurance, add up the totals for house (or renters), vehicle, life, and medical insurance policies and go with the company or companies that offer the best overall plan.
  6. Useful utility savings.
    • Set your thermostat to the temperature where you feel most comfortable and leave it there. Furnace and air conditioner stops and starts are big power drains, especially when they need to reheat or re-cool your home.
    • Before you turn on air conditioning in warm weather months, spend a few days with open windows and doors.
    • Before you turn up the heat, put on a sweater. When sitting idle while reading or watching television, stay cozy with a lap robe or small blanket.
    • Turn off the lights when they're not in use.
    • Turn off your computer when you're finished for the night.

  7. Consider going cell phone (or landline) only. Internet services like Skype offer affordable ways to reach out and talk to someone.

  8. Cable and satellite dish television connections are wonderful luxuries. However, do you really need 30 premium channels? Frequently check with your provider to see if new packages might better suit your needs at a lower price.

  9. Keep your checkbook in balance. Aside from the embarrassment of reclaiming a bad check, bank and merchant overdraft fees can quickly bust your budget.

  10. Track your spending for 30 days. Then decide what items you are willing to sacrifice to save money. Would you be just as happy with a glass of water at lunch or is that $2.00 cup of coffee or soda necessary to your diet? However, the important phrase is "willing to sacrifice". Although all of us could sacrifice a few things, the truth is that often we just won't. Don't make promises to yourself that you won't keep.

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