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Frugal living doesn’t need to take a ton of time or require you to cut countless coupons. All it takes is a willingness to look at your purchases and the ways in which you could spend money differently.
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Here’s 10 quick and easy ways to save money:
1. Impulse Purchases
Before you check out, give your cart the once over. How many impulse purchases did you make? 1, 5, 10? Remove at least one impulse purchase and this will save you big over the course of a year.
2. Processed Foods
If you’re not using coupons and spend a lot of money on processed foods, then consider opting to eliminate those chicken nuggets and make your own. Eliminating this one purchase can save you as much as $150 per year. Multiply this by several boxes of processed food and you could radically change your food budget.
3. Save Energy and Save Money
I once read an article about how much money could be saved if you unplug what’s not being used. I tried it and it works! Turing off lights, unplugging what’s unnecessary, using less water, and closing the blinds in the summer to block out the heat and lower your air conditioning usage can really add up over the course of a year.
4. Use Less Soap
Most of the clothes we put in the hamper are barely dirty. So unless you are rolling around in the mud on a regular basis or working on the farm, try using half of the amount of detergent the manufacture recommends. I started using this trick and it really make the laundry detergent last.
5. Check Your Insurance
When was the last time you requested a review of your insurance coverage? For 30 years I had my auto and eventually my home with the same carrier. I asked a business associate for a review of my policies and she was able to save me $500 a year. And the kicker? My coverage was with the same company I had previously. When I think of all the money I wasted by not checking earlier I could kick myself! Don’t make the same mistake. Meet with an insurance agent and see where you can save.
6. Don’t Pay for Your Checking Account
This is one of the things I hate to see someone pay money on. Call your bank and switch to a free checking account with no minimum balance. If they don’t offer that option, check with your local credit union where interest rates tend to be higher. Check online banking accounts like ING, too.
7. Pay Bills On Time
I write about this very issue in my Good Money Habits Guide. Essentially, if you’re not paying your bills on time and incurring late fees, you are wasting a ton of money. Most late fees average $28 per fee, so missing a payment can really take a bite out of your wallet. Pay bills on time by paying your bills at the same time each month, day or week. It will save you hundreds in the long run.
8. Cancel Overdraft Protection
If you’re paying your bills on time and paying attention to your money, you don’t need overdraft protection. If you do, well, that’s a different conversation. Overdraft fees average around $27. To avoid paying these fees, start tracking your expenses weekly by writing the transactions in your check register or some other system that works for you. You will be glad you did, saving you big money over the course of a year.
9. Plan Your ATM Withdrawals
If you use an ATM that doesn’t belong to your bank you could be spending as much as $3.75 per transaction. And, if you do this weekly, it’s costing you almost $200 per year.
10. Work Together As a Family
Spend time discussing your financial goals as a family. Find ways the whole family can save money. It’s a great way to introduce children to saving and learning about how to be responsible with money.
What other ways do you save money? I would love for you to share your tips with me!