Simple money saving tips.... decreased my monthly spending by $1500
I never knew about the discounts available online. There are coupon websites as well as blogs that help walk you through some money saving ideas. I was going into the red each month for my basic spending. Then I realized I didn't need to make more money to change my situation. It was I needed to change the way I viewed my spending.
There are almost always coupon codes for online shopping
I do a lot of my purchases online. One day I was looking for a free shipping code and stumbeled across www.retailmenot.com this site has saved me hundreds of dollars. They have coupon codes for percentage off, dollars off as well as free shipping codes or any other type of promotion. I never complete an online purchase until I have searched this site for any useful codes.
Coupons can be worth your time if you choose the right sitesThe idea of saving $0.25 when you purchase 3 of one item is hardly bargain shopping. But when I discovered high value coupons that save between $1-3 for purchas of one item.
The first place I start is it is a valuable database that you can type in specific products and find the coupon you are looking for.
Shop at stores that price match or have a lowest price guarentee
Stores like Target, Walmart and Home Depot are just a few of my favorite stores to shop at because of this guarentee. It means doing homework ahead of time and actually paying attention to advertised items. Watching shows like Extreme Couponing is exhausting but can give you the extreme version of price matching.
Slow the flow
Most water companies have money saving tips on their website. Many of the services they suggest are free. In my state you can have a free water check. They come out an measure your usage and come up with suggestions on how to decrease your consumption of water. Usually the items they suggest are free. They may suggest things like slowtheflow.org.
Decrease your energy usage
http://www.nrdc.org/air/energy/genergy.asp Gives great tips on how to help decrease unnecessary electricity consumption. I never realized how much I was wasting with little things like temperature setting on my refridgerator and freezer. Making these small changes have made a big impact on my bill but has not changed my quality of life.
Winterizing your home to save on heating costs
http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/winterize-home-tips-energy-461008#slide-1 Another great link to simple things to do around your home. It may take you a few hours to do these checks or just a few minutes. Most of the tips suggested are free to do. Like putting a towel down to block drafts at doors. Or closing vents off in rooms you don't use are two very fast and simple things to do.
Shop around when making large purchases
I have found that when I am ready to make a large purchase the best thing I can do is shop around. Make a plan of what you want to purchase, color, price, features etc. Figure out where you can get the item as well as what you are willing to pay. Services can usually be negotiated when it comes to cost but many other items can be discounted as well.
Just because it is a good deal doesn't mean you need to purchase it.
I used to subscribe to groupon, social living and other deals. My inbox would be flooded each day with great offers. I found myself making purchases on things I didn't really need but felt I had to take advantage of the opportunity because the savings were great. I have since unsubscribed and visit the sights with a product or service in mind.
I often go into stores like Target with a specific purchase in mind and find myself adding extra items to the cart. Like a cute new shirt or hair accessory. I have started this internal dialogue. I put it in my cart and continue to shop. I think about if I have a real need for the item. What would I need to get rid of to replace this item. Why am I wanting it? Is it a good deal or is it really something on a list of things to buy. I would say 7 out of 10 times I end up not getting the extra items.
Before leaving home, eat and pack snacks for the road.
I found myself stopping at drive-thru windows frequently because I was gone longer than planned. Feeling hungry or too tired to cook. I never realized it was a drop in my blood sugar. I found that if I take a bottle of water with me as well as a few snacks I can usually keep myself fueled and find myself less tempted to stop at a drive-thru. Each time I would stop I would find myself spending between $3-10. And doing that a few times a week adds up.
By being prepared and changing the way we spend our money we can increase our savings and decrease our spending. It doesn't have to be difficult but usually includes a few more steps. I can now plan for those dream vacations or new car because I have money building in a savings account. Now that I have taken control of my spending I feel more in control in my life.