If saving money were easy, then most would not be living paycheck to paycheck and everyone would have an emergency fund, no credit card debt, and a solid retirement savings. The truth is, it takes hard work, patience, and discipline in order to really have more money staying in your account as it is going out for expenses. Obviously, making more money on the side is the ideal choice, but is not as easy as it sounds. The first step to saving money would be to take a long look at exactly how much you’re spending by looking at last month’s debit or credit card statement and going line by line, while in addition making a few money moves.
Use a Rewards Credit Card
Naturally you wouldn’t associate saving money with a credit card, but provided you can keep credit card spending to a minimum and only the necessities, then earning points or cashback on the purchases you would be making anyways just makes sense. By getting a credit card with the best rewards, you can avoid leaving any free money on the table that you would otherwise be doing with a credit or debit card without. If you do not currently have one, it’s worth the few points in credit score that could be dropped by applying for a new card.
Cut the Cable Cord
While it has become a normal part of our daily lives, thinking about living without cable could be a scary feeling. If you actually think about the number of channels you actually watch, let alone without your DVR, then seeing the cable bill and wondering why you’re still paying could become a reality working towards cutting the cable cord. If you’re worried about missing network shows, you can still get an HD antenna for around $30, not to mention still getting streaming service for a fraction of the cable cost to still keep up on the best shows and movies.
Ditch the Gym Membership
Speaking of an expense that you really could do without is the gym membership. Now if you use it, great, it may be worth it, but for the vast majority that signed up during new year’s resolution time, by now you’ve already stopped going and are paying for monthly membership dues when you haven’t been in months. By going for a daily walk, you can still get some steps in, make your dog a little happier with quality time, and you can save around $50 a month.
Review Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
Sure, it could have helped with your electric bill by saving the amount of times your air conditioning kicked on during the summer, but by reviewing your home’s energy efficiency in time for winter, you can save on your heating bill. By taking a walk around your home, you can seal up doors and windows, not to mention electric outlets that share a wall with the outside, that could be giving off a draft with heat/air loss. Don’t forget to change your air filter every three months for around $20 and you can ensure that your furnace is running at its maximum efficiency, while keeping the inside air free of harmful particles.