Friday, December 4, 2009

Tips to save money...

Saving money seems to be on everyone's mind these days. Whether it's trying to reduce credit card debt or saving a few dollars on grocerys each month, articles on saving money abound everywhere. In a world where everyone is trying to be recessionistas, how can the frugal shopper become more frugal? Articles such as 30 Easy Wasy to Save Money, 101 Ways to save One Dollar a Week, and 66 Ways to Save Money all have good ideas on ways to save a few dollars and give ideas for a good starting point.

The biggest challenge I have found today is finding ways to save money. I have already took the advice of these articles such as cutting up credit cards, not drinking Starbucks every morning, and not dining out, but what am I to do if they have already followed these sound words of advice but are still not saving the money like I would want to?

Over a year ago, my husband lost his job. We had to do some serious cutbacks. Of course, the first thing I did was look up articles on ways to save money. When one has to find cutbacks, dining out, credit cards, and brand-name foods are the first things to go. Here are some ways I was able to go beyond the normal money-saving ideas.

1. Go All-in-One. One way to reduce expenses with insurances is to combine policies. Insurance agencies have home, auto, and life insurance policies that offer large discounts to multiple policies.

Phone and cable companies will also offer a package deal if you combine phone, internet and television.

2. Don't keep what you don't need. If you use your cell phone as your main phone, there is no reason to have a land-line these days. Cut the land line. If you are worried about losing your internet that is tied to your phone, many phone companies offer a DSL-only package. I signed up for this package and cut my phone bill by $30 a month.

3. Show me the money! If you have a savings account, make sure it is working for you. Many people put money in savings and don't think to look closely at the interest rate. See how much your bank will give in interest before you put that hard-earned cash away. I recently moved from an account that gave me 1% interest a year to an account that pays .09% interest a month. By making this switch, I have greatly improved the interest rate that my money will bring back.

4. Hang it out to dry. Line-dry the clothes when possible. I followed this tactic and cut my energy bill by $20. In the winter, I use the dryer, but mainly because it is a good source of heat for the apartment. I dry a load of clothes when the apartment is becoming chilly, and Bam! a two-for-one deal. Not only do I have nice, fluffy clothes, I also have a warm apartment. Did I mention that I haven't used my heater in over a year? .

5. Get a coat. In the winter, it isn't necessary to have a toasty room. If you are cold, put on a coat. If you get too hot, take it off. It's that simple. You don't have to have the thermostat set at 80 degrees when you feel a little cold.

These are just a few of the things I've done. Let me know if there are any other ideas.

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