Everybody’s on board with the idea of saving a few dollars here and there, but very few people are prepared to make drastic lifestyle changes in order to do so. I understand – who would want to? Getting to that point is something of a journey, but fortunately there are steps to every journey. Here are 10 steps to start saving money in little ways.
1- Round up on all your transactions
Next time you use your debit card or write a cheque for something, round up to the next dollar when you’re recording your purchase. It will make it feel like you’re spending a little more, and at the end of the month you’ll have more left over than you expect. Do it for a few years and you’ll be surprised at the direction your savings account has taken.
2- Bank with interest
Do you receive interest on the balance in your bank account? If not, look for another place to bank that offers it. Those dollars really add up.
3- Rent movies online
More things than ever are going digital, and if you haven’t joined the gravy train with online rentals yet, now might be the time. Obviously if you never rent movies this won’t save you any money, but if you do, you can usually grab unlimited movies for about $20 a month.
4- Use alternate transportation
Do you know how much it really costs you to drive your car? Petrol is obvious, but you also have to factor in oil changes, maintenance, insurance, and tyre changes. If you live in a large city, public transportation is quick, cheap, and easy. If not, you can always carpool or ride a bike to work.
5- Take advantages of money saving offers
Lots of stores (pharmacies, electronics stores, supermarkets, cinemas, etc) have programs that let you find coupons or specials just for being a member. It just takes a few minutes, and you can cash in on little things that may add up.
6- Buy generic brands
Most of the time – not all, but most – generic brands are the exact same thing as the name brands. What you pay for is the name, not the ingredients. One example is medications, but food works the same way, and clothes are often just as comfortable. Try a few new generics and see what they’re like. It can’t hurt!
7- Use kitchen efficiency
One place where a lot of waste happens is right at home in the kitchen. How many times have you decided to use paper plates to save on washing the dishes? How many times have you thrown food away because nobody ate it? Start a compost heap. Reuse and recycle items. Make your kitchen the greenest place in the house.
8- Look for cheap community programs
You never know where you might find a bargain on activities or programs. Lots of cinemas offer kid’s discounts/free days in the school holidays. Some local gyms have low cost programs for exercising, yoga, or pilates.
9- Pool your resources
Sometimes you need to get some expensive item, but you know you’ll only ever use it once or twice. Go in on the purchase with a friend or family member so that you can both get some use out of it without paying so much.
10- Trade in your media
Look for places to trade in DVDs, CDs, video games, or books so that they don’t go to waste. Some places will give you cash, while others will offer credit for other items in the store. Either way, you save.