Seven Ways to Save Money Without Sacrificing Your Lifestyle

Simple Ways to Save Money

Are you looking for ways to save money, but don’t want to sacrifice your current lifestyle? Well it is possible. Below are just a

1. Eating Out: Nope – you are not keeping your local businesses in business  – especially if it’s putting you into debt. For many families,  eating out is one of their biggest variable expenses – even if it’s picking up a pizza.  If you can’t stop completely, try these tips to save money at the local bistro.

  • Look for coupons online. Check out coupons.com or groupon.com – many times you can get a $25 off coupon for $10 – or a two-fer, kids eat free, etc.
  • You can also cut your bill in half by sharing a meal. We all know restaurant portions are huge and can probably feed at least two people. Cut down on the amount of food you eat and save money by sharing a meal with a friend or spouse.

2. Gas:  Nope – if you’re looking for ways to save money, you don’t have to give up your car.  There are several other ways to save money on gas.  Start by better planning your errands so you’re not making as many unnecessary trips.  This is where planning your day and clustering errands into one trip is key.

  • Be Fuels Efficient – if one person in your family drives a lot more – either around town or commuting then have them drive a more fuel efficient car.

Ways to Save Money – Rate Yourself

3. Consolidating Payments or Getting a Better Interest Rate:  Some great ways to save money sometimes come with the big things, like how much interest you’re paying on consumer loans.  Take your credit cards and start calling – ask for a lower APR – annual percentage rate.  You can check out rates at www.bankrate.com to see what a reasonable number is. You’re probably going to get laughed off the phone if you ask for a 4% rate, but a reduction from 19% to 12% or 10.99% may be doable. And don’t be afraid to ask for a supervisor and/or threaten to walk.  Have an offer in hand – even one of those offers with a teaser rate of 0% for a year will work.

4. Cut Out Unnecessary Fees:  Credit cards and banks love fees – they can make lots of money – so know what fees there are on your account and your card and avoid them.  If you do hit a fee, call and see if you can have it removed.

  • In addition, avoid bouncing checks and cash advances. Both insufficient fund fees and cash advances are probably one of the largest money suckers, but the easiest to avoid. Being in control of your money and knowing where it’s going will help you save money on unnecessary fees. You can often set up overdraft protection with  a savings account – but there could be an annual fee for this.  If you’re looking for ways to save money, this might seem counterintuituve, but one annual fee may save you from monthly bounce fees.

Ways to Save Money – Embrace the B word

5. Budgeting: Nobody likes the “B” word, but really it’s one of the best ways to save money out there. You need to know how much money you have coming in and directing the money where you need it to go. Budgeting means being in control of your money instead of your money controlling you. When you’re on a budget, you can actually save money without losing the lifestyle you desire.  Budgeting lets you have your cake and eat it to – you just plan and save for the cake, instead of whipping out your credit card and buying it right away.

6. Gym Fees: This is one of the great ways to save money – kill the gym fees.  Unless you truly go every single day, it’s probably costing you $20 or more every time you work out.  This makes p90x look like a bargain. Commit to working out at home. You can watch YouTube, go to OnDemand on your cable box, or buy some workout videos.   You’ll save time and money by exercising at home.

 

7. Groceries: Another one of the great ways to save money is to look long and hard at your grocery bill. This is probably one of your biggest payments – and hey you have to eat.  It’s also where you can die a slow death from a thousand cuts. (If you don’t know what I mean – well – those impulse purchases of Sugary Smack cereal at $4.59 a pop really do add up.) So what can you do:

  • Never shop hungry
  • Never go without a list
  • Plan the week’s menu – yup – look up recipes, plan 3-4 meals and 3-4 nights of leftovers
  • Take an inventory – I once had 6 bottle’s of Hunt’s Ketchup – preferred 3 to 1 in my house over other brands, because I was afraid of a ketchup emergency… there was no sale, no double coupons when I bought these – it was simply I didn’t know my own inventory before I shopped.
  • Ways to Save More Money at the Grocery store – leave the kids at home. Sure you may be able to say no to chocolate bars, Dora doll or the gumball machine, but you won’t be able to focus, spot the best deal or say no to the scope creep – two kinds of granola bars rather than 1.
  • Look for coupons – you can go a bit crazy here, and I am not much a coupon user, but it doesn’t hurt to check online or the circular for what’s on sale.

Here are some other ways to save money without sacrificing your lifestyle:

* Turn off lights when not in use.

* In the winter, wear sweaters to keep warm and turn down your thermostat.

* Turn the water off while brushing your teeth.

* Take showers instead of baths.

* Unplug any electronic devices when not in use.

Finding ways to save money doesn’t have to make you crazy.  In fact you can focus on three key areas: Eating out, reducing interest rates on your loans, and grocery shopping.  Tackle these one at time and you’ll find many ways to save money day in and day out.

Be Sociable, Share!

Speak Your Mind

*