We all understand the importance of saving money. Even those most frivolous spenders among us recognize that they need to hold their money a little close to the vest.
However, the difference between the recognition of the need to save and the practice of it lies in the desire of the individual. That desire lies within her motivation to save and how easy it is to do so. Motivation is internal, but the ease of saving is not. There are tons of ways in which we can carve a dollar or two for ourselves. Here’s a few tips to do so in crucial areas of our lives.
Saving at home
- Cook all meals- This takes time and effort, but making casseroles and other large-pan meals can provide food for several days. That’s several days of not hitting Subway or the restaurant down the street.
- Make your home the place to be- We go out for dinner, for drinks and for other fun activities. Why not have it all at home. Invest in food and spirits as well as DVD’s and board games. You’ll save a ton of money and probably have a richer time.
- Turn off the lights- This is an old school tip, but leaving the lights on in the house does add up eventually. Also invest in CFL bulbs; they use about 25 percent of the electricity of an incandescent.
- Buy generic goods- Labels don’t matter . . . That much. With most items, you won’t sacrifice quality at all.
Drilling down debt
- Loan consolidation- If possible, consolidate your loans into one low-interest loan. Then pay it off!
- Avoid overdraft charges- They are a killer because it just gives money to the bank. Watch your account like a hawk!
- Pay bills on time- Not only will this help your credit, but it will allow you to avoid late fees.
Out and about
- Go to the library- Librarians are still a drag, but the library is much cooler than it used to be. If you can’t find the book, magazine or DVD that you are looking for there, they can find it at a branch nearby. And, of course, it’s all free.
- Avoid expensive friends- You know who they are. The people that can only hang with you if it’s a night on the town. Avoid them! They are money drainers and, honestly, real friends can have fun with you at the drug store as much as they can at a swank bar. You want real friends.
- Think deeply about big purchases- Most big purchases are expensive and friend-driven anyway. Give yourself a couple of weeks, if you still want that big purchase and you can afford it, get it.