Contributed by Sally Shaws
Nowadays, saving money is at the top of everyone’s list. But actually being able to save is another story, altogether. Instead of making Herculean efforts to save money, you can simplify the task and achieve greater savings success with these seven everyday things you can do to save money.
- Read the News Online. Subscribing to the city newspaper can add up to anywhere between $240 and $500 per year. Put that money to other good use by reading the news online. Some newspaper websites now charge a subscription fee to read full stories, but many other sites do not.
- Bring Your Own Coffee To-Go. One small latte each morning at your favorite gourmet coffee chain can add up to almost $300 per year. Buy yourself some flavored syrup and a coffee bean grinder so you can make your own lattes, and you’ll still come out way ahead.
- Save Money on Gym Memberships. Fancy gym equipment isn’t necessary to get or stay in shape. Equip yourself with some dumbbells, an inexpensive yoga mat and a good pair of cross-training shoes. With these basic supplies you can get your aerobic exercise walking or running outdoors, stretch on the yoga mat and tone muscles with the hand weights.
- Don’t Buy Bulk. Many people believe that buying bulk is the way to save money. But some items actually cost more per ounce or weight unit when purchased in a larger size. Additionally, consumers often buy things they don’t necessarily need because they’re enticed by “bulk savings”. Buy larger, bulk-sizes if you really need them. But if you don’t, you’ll save money by purchasing the regular size instead.
- Cheap and Effective Cleaning Supplies. Cross items off your grocery list and save money on cleaning supplies by using old clothing as cleaning rags and making your own cleaning products. Old t-shirts and flannel shirts make great cleaning rags, and you can use diluted-vinegar to clean and deodorize just about every surface in the house.
- Save Money in the Laundry Room. Get stains and smells out of your clothing by adding ½ cup of baking soda or vinegar to the wash cycle. Once you’re ready to put everything in the dryer, add half of a dryer sheet, instead of a whole one. If weather allows it, hanging your clothing to dry outdoors saves even more money while also conserving energy.
- Take Advantage of Free Entertainment. One of the most overlooked places for entertainment is the library. In addition to having good books for the whole family, most public libraries also have DVDs, CDs and eBooks you can borrow. Since library memberships are free for residents, you don’t have to pay anything to read a book or listen to a CD and DVD rentals are often as low as one dollar.
The money you save each day may not seem like a lot until you add it all up. Many of us have a hard time with savings because we try to do it straight from the paycheck. But cutting corners and being frugal will result in steady savings that add up over time, eventually allowing your paycheck to stretch even further.
Contributed by Sally Shaws, who loves talking about personal finances, money saving advice and online resources to increase your income. She is also currently writing about volunteering for paid clinical trials and joining a volunteer panel as a means to earn extra income.