You probably think that you can’t possibly save any more money than you actually do. You live pretty much paycheck to paycheck, like the rest of us, and your meager savings is for emergencies only. Here are a few tips to begin saving more than you thought possible, and the first trick is to rethink your spending habits!
In order to get a good idea about your spending habits compared to a society who was bent of frugality (out of necessity) you can go online and find out what saving during the depression and the war was like. Ever wonder why your Grandma saved aluminum foil and wrapped it back around the roll? My Grandmother rinsed out Ziploc baggies and turned them inside out, dried them in the dish drainer and reused them. Now I know why. Do a little research, and if you’d like, do a little research on how all the things we throw away (especially clothing) ends up in landfills and hurts the environment.
Okay, enough said about that. One of the best ways to save money is to never see it. That’s where direct deposit comes in. when you sign up for direct deposit through your company, you can designate that some of your money go directly into your savings account. After working up a realistic budget, you can choose the amount and you don’t have to think about it again.
Did you have a parent who threw all their change into a jar or tray each night? It’s a great way to save up money. You can even get a cool, beautiful jar (at a garage sale, please, not Pier One) and make a game of filling it up. The Coinstar machines at your grocery store alleviate the need to roll your change before cashing it in, as well.
Did you know that when you over pay your taxes that you are in effect loaning the government your money– tax-free? Just once, instead of doing your own taxes, take a tax company up on their offer to recheck past tax papers when you hire them to work out this years refund. And ask them for advice on how to save on taxes.
If you raise the deductible on your insurance, your premiums will drop. Interest rates for home owners are low right now; maybe it’s time to look into refinancing. Those are big expenses that you can save on. There are little expenses that chip away at money you could be saving, too. Late fees for movie rentals, ATM surcharges, that Latte you buy every morning along with your paper? Buy an espresso machine, and have the paper delivered and take them both with you out the door. You may have to get up a little earlier but that never hurt anyone. (Being caught in the rain because your car broke and you don’t have bus money because you bought another latte is kind of a drag, though…)
One more: Barter. If you like to paint and your neighbor spends a lot of time in her garden, exchange chores. Hire the neighbor boy to mow the grass, not some landscaping company! Okay, that was two, but you get the idea.