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Whether you’re saving for a particular goal such as buying a home or car, a family vacation or whatever you may want to accomplish, saving money is a skill that can be learned.

Unfortunately we’re not taught how to budget our money and save in school.  In fact it seems quite the opposite, were taught to spend everything we make. It’s the reason we have credit cards to buy products with money we don’t have and television commercials to suggest what we should buy with our credit cards. We’re encouraged to spend it if we’ve got it.

Escaping the mindset can be challenging at first but it will become second nature with practice. Saving money doesn’t always mean giving up the things we want but simply changing our perception and addressing how we spend our money.

Lets start with big things first. Changes we can make to save the most money are at the top of the list.

Save Money Grocery Shopping  Save Big – Shop by unit price
We all need to eat and learning how to shop for groceries is an important step on the road to saving money.  This is mistake my wife and I see almost every time were out shopping.

Prices at grocery stores are often misleading  because of the way items are priced. Don’t shop by the big price but instead use the little price in the corner, the unit price.  Many times the price of a product appears to be less when it’s actually more when considering the price per volume. Read more

Bank Overdraft Fees
This can be costly and most often it affects people with less money than those who have more. Right now Bank of America is in a class action lawsuit because they stacked payment processing not by when you made the purchase but instead from largest to smallest insuring they would maximize the amount incurred from overdraft fees.  Some banks don’t have the option to decline a payment just because you don’t have the funds in this case (change banks!) If you don’t want to change banks then the best way to beat the overdraft fee blues  is to have a cushion in your account to cover unforeseen fees.

Consolidate Credit Cards
You have power over the credit card companies always remember this, it’s your money. If you don’t like the rate you have call and ask for a better deal. If they say no it’s there loss not yours, you have the power to switch you balance over to a new card. Potentially a 0% offer.  Doing so may also be a great way to start paying down your balance.

Save on Auto Insurance
First become a safe driver if you’re not already you’ll save money on gas the bill as well and get better rates when it comes to auto  insurance. Shop around because  insurance companies are always looking for new customers and offer new deals to save money every day.

Gas Budget
Gas is expensive and for some this is a budget buster particularly if you drive a long distance to work. If you have a long commute consider buying a small commuter car, it doesn’t have to be the newest hottest little thing, you only need it to run well and get good gas mileage. I suggest an older Honda or Toyota they go forever they hold value and have good fuel economy. In addition to having a car with good gas mileage consider carpooling this can decrease you gas bill by 50% or more depending on the car pool.

Keep your car in good running order keep the tires at the recommend air pressure, change the oil, and keep it tuned up. If you can do your own oil change and tuneups you’re even better off.

Run some of your errands by foot or bicycle. You’ll not only save money on your gas bill but you’ll be doing your body a favor and getting exercise.  You may be able to drop the gym membership and save even more.

Energy Consumption
Consider how you’re using energy. How do you heat and cool your home and how do you wash clothes and dishes, how do you complete other chores. Small changes in a few areas can add up to big energy savings.

Using a fan instead of the air conditioner as long as you’re not in the middle of Phoenix in August(that would be an exception) I lived in Tucson once. Hot.  Leaving the air conditioner turned off or even using it less often will add up quickly I’ve know people with electric bills increased by 200.00 400.00 dollars per month in the summer simply because they want it to be 67 degrees inside and they won’t have it any other way.

During the winter reverse the direction of your ceiling fan creates a draft  that will force warm air back down and increase the room temperature lowering your heating bill.

My nephew, an electrician told me something the other day I wasn’t aware of, small room heaters are the most expensive item and consume the most electricity in your home. It has something to do with how they work. Use a nice blanket instead of electricity.

Phone Service
Consider dropping the land line particularly the long distance portion of it. Long distance can easily add an additional 50.00 to 80.00 per month to you’re budget. Simply using you’re cell phone as your exclusive phone service or adding services such as Skype can drastically reduce the amount of money going out each month for phone services. Did you know you can get unlimited long distance using Skype for only 2.95 a month with an initial investment of 30.00 dollars per year for a phone number?

More…

A useful list of 50 ways to save money.
50 Unique ways to save money (frugal thoughts)

If you’re interested in saving money buying the things you need take a look – Cheap Stuff from ChinaDaily Deals and Online Clearance Rack

 

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