People are always trying to save money, especially with today’s economy. No matter what your reason for saving, through some of the tips below, you will discover ways never considered.
The price of everything has gone up, requiring people to be more conscientious about money. The problem is that by the time the mortgage, car, utilities, and credit cards are paid, there is little money to put aside. Saving money is not that hard, just a matter of learning all the different options and being creative.
In addition to the obvious of putting money into a retirement fund or savings account, there are hundreds of ways to save money. Although some ways of saving may not seem like much, once you add them up at the end of the year, you will see how substantial the savings really are. Keep in mind that saving is more than a single lump sum of money put aside. Saving is something found in your everyday life by the way you live and the choices you make.
Rome was not built in a day and neither will your bank account be. Each penny saved is one more penny than before. If you have the ability to save big, that is great. However, most people are not in that position, which is why these tips will show you how little savings can add up quickly. Be encouraged that it is never too late to start saving, regardless of your age. Set your mind that now is the time to start building your future.
Holiday Gift Giving
This tip is especially helpful for large families. Although it is fun buying for and receiving from everyone, it can be very expensive. Make an agreement with your family that you will continue to buy for the children but that the adults will go with a name exchange. This way the children are not disappointed and you can spend a little more on one or two people rather than spreading your moneythin. For the members that you did not pick to exchange with, bake a loaf of their favorite homemade bread or cookies.
Always head straight for the clearance rack where you can find amazing bargains. Sometimes you may have to dig a little to find the right item but the savings will be well-worth your time. Most clearance racks offer variety, current trends, and great value. For example, Bed, Bath & Beyond has a clearance section where you can find all kinds of wonderful household items for a fraction of the original cost.
Thrift / Surplus Stores
Unfortunately, thrift and surplus stores have been given a bad rap. Many of these stores are filled with hundreds of top quality items. Name brand merchandise is easy to find but just like clearance racks, it takes some time to find. Find a thrift or surplus store close to where you live and then plan spending some time to find those outstanding bargains. A woman located such a store about 20 minutes from her home. After shopping through every isle over the period of two hours, she walked out of the store with eight huge garbage bags filled to the brim with designer clothes for her and her children, many with the original tags still attached. She even found a couple of Liz Claiborne suits for herself at $5.99 each and a Dooney & Burke purse normally valued at $225 for $19.95. Her children had an entire season of school clothes and best of all, she paid less than $200.
Everyone should create a budget. If you are not sure how or just not good with money, many businesses such as H&R Block, offer free financial consulting to help you put a budget together. Knowing where you are spending your money is by far the best way to save. In most cases, people have no idea where their money is really going and once they see it on paper, not only are they surprised but eager to change their spending habits.
Buy in Bulk
It is true that warehouse shopping can save a lot of money. Even if you have a small family, you can always split large quantities. The price of items in bulk is generally a great bargain. If you are single, you might go in with friends or family on bulk items.
Do not forget to give yourself an allowance for things you enjoy. Even if on a tight budget, buy something that you enjoy, which could be as simple as buying a new shirt or grabbing lunch at your favorite café. If you do not allow yourself this small “splurge”, you could find yourself in the same position as if dieting. Total deprivation leads to overindulgence.
What Matters to You
Make a list of the 10 most important things in your life. Next to each item, rank them in order of importance using numbers 1 through 10. The purpose of this exercise is to help you see the things you consider the most and least important and to provide you with a visual of why you need to save. Some examples of things that a person might put on their list include new home, car, special trip, artwork, starting a business, or pay off debts.