Most of us are looking for more ways to save money. But, we get so wrapped up in ways to save on outings, products and activities that we overlook the budget changes we can make in our everyday lives.
It's easy to save on things we want to do, but it's also important to save on the things we have to do. Here are five ways you can turn mundane, everyday activities into opportunities to save some cash.
As environmental issues become more prominent, there are more and more options to buy and use environmentally-friendly products. The best part is that going green isn't just great for the environment; it's also great for your bank account.
Water bottles are perfect for those on-the-go activities, but we all know that plastic isn't good for the environment, let alone your pocketbook. A better option is to use your own home-filtered water. There are very sophisticated water filters on the market that will allow you to filter your own water and save big on your grocery bill. They can get expensive, but the initial investment of a water filter will save you hundreds of dollars a year in the long run.
If you're still using incandescent bulbs, you're wasting time and energy. Compact fluorescent lamp bulbs (CFLs) are the most efficient bulbs for your home and your wallet. They last much longer than incandescent bulbs and cost much less than other economically-friendly choices.
Get car maintenance:
Regular car maintenance is extremely important in saving money. Now of course, this is a service, so you will have to spend money. But, getting regular oil changes, tire rotations and checkups will lower your risk of car trouble. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather spend $40 every 4,000 to 5,000 miles than have to pay for major car maintenance or a new car altogether.
Make it automatic:
Paying bills and credit card debt can be quite the task. You have to remember when to pay each bill, how much you owe, how you make your payment for each company, login information and so on. It can be exhausting. Luckily, there's also a more efficient way.
Most banks have you covered on this one and will let you set up automatic payments. Sometimes you have the same option directly through the company you're buying from. This way, you don't have to stress about what day it is and when everything is due. Plus, you'll save a lot of money dodging late fees.
Keep it out of sight and out of mind:
Regularly putting money in your savings account is vital for emergencies. When you need emergency money, it's much more efficient to spend money from your own bank account than to use a credit card. You'll save a ton on interest if you have a healthy savings ready when you need it.
Put a portion of your paycheck into savings before you even see it. You can set up an automatic draft from your checking account to your savings account, or you can make the switch yourself every time you get paid. (I do it this way, because it makes me feel good, like I accomplished something.) This ritual will eventually just feel like a tax coming out of your paycheck, and you won't even notice it's gone. By moving a portion of your pay to savings as soon as you get paid, you'll lower the risk of spending that money on things you don't really need.
Carry cash with you:
I know it seems crazy to carry cash around when technology has passed up the need for paper money, but hear me out on this one. Carrying cash with you makes you consciously think about how much money you're spending. You can physically see the payment you're making and feel your stack of cash shrinking. Try it out for a few weeks and see if it makes a difference in your spending habits.
I find this tactic extremely helpful when I'm on a vacation or a shopping spree. It's difficult to keep up with how much you're spending when you're having fun. If you have the bills in your hand, it's a little difficult to use the excuse that you didn't realize how much you were spending.
What do you do to save money on a daily basis?
Amber Sager is the PR Girl for Offers.com. She prides herself on leading a fun, frugal lifestyle.
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