Keep Your Wallet Healthy
December 25, 2017
Go to the Library
If you haven’t been to your local library lately, you are missing out. Although libraries are a great place to save money on books, card holders can also take advantage of free internet usage, DVDS, and CD’s. You may find that the selection is not always current, but why not try something new. Check out a movie you may not have seen in years or bring home music of a band you haven’t heard of. Perhaps you find something you had no idea you would enjoy, without spending much money. Also look through the events calendar your library offers, many plan great activity nights for children, which keeps the kids entertained without emptying your wallet.
Do Not Post-pone Car Maintenance
Waiting to change the oil in your vehicle or replacing tires can end up costing you much more money in the future. If you feel that this is not in your budget for the month, look for coupons to local car repair shops, you may find that these small repairs can be found for a very reasonable price. If you regularly give your business to the same repairman, ask if he can offer you a discount for your patronage.
This is simple advice that is easy to try. The next time you are at your local grocery store, reach for the generic brand. Not only will you be saving yourself some money, you may find that the product tastes the same. For example, one can usually spend four to five dollars on a box of cereal, while generic brands can be found for three dollars or less.
Save Your Change
Bank of America now offers their Keep the Change service to customers, which simply rounds up the amount of your purchase to the next dollar and places the extra change in a savings account. If you prefer to stay with your current bank, this is something you can do yourself. Simply pay for your purchases with even dollar amounts and set the change aside. Another great element to this tip is that you are using cash instead of a debit or credit card. Research has shown that most people will spend less money than they would if they were using plastic, simply because you can physically see the money you are spending. It makes sense and helps your finances as well.
Cash in on Unused Items
Set aside a day where you can go through your closets and basements and find the items that you no longer need or use. The key here is to be honest with yourself, if you have clothes that still have tags or a gift you haven’t taken out of the package, it must go. Also, there are many options available to give your unwanted possessions a new home. If you think that your stuff is worth some money, put your items on Craigslist or EBay. If you would rather box up what you have found and give it away, find out what the drop off times are for your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.
We all know that going to the movies and other entertainment can become costly, so reinvent your weekend. Schedule a game night with friends and family, you may find that this can be more entertaining than going out. If you want to save money on games, invent your own words to draw for a Pictionary-like game of your own or give charades a try. If games are not your forte, rent a movie instead. Now, with companies such as Red Box and Netflix, watching movies with friends is cheaper than ever. Also, if you have children at home, you are saving money on babysitting costs as well. Perhaps music is your passion, check out your local music scene. You may find that local bars and venues will offer very cheap or free live music nights, and who knows, maybe you will find your next favorite band.
Brown Bags Are In
Bring your own lunch to work. Not only will you find yourself saving money, but eating healthier as well. Additionally, bringing your own lunch to work is a great way to use your leftovers. Also, if you are looking to put some extra money aside to pay off debt or plan a vacation, take the money you would have spent on your meal that day and put it aside. You will be quite surprised how fast that money adds up and much more aware of all the money you spend when you do eat out.
Do Your Own Taxes
I know, it sounds scary, but give it a try. With some many websites offering free e-filing, why not challenge yourself. Look at it this way, not only are you going to save some money, but you will most likely get your tax return cash faster. Try a company such as TurboTax or TaxACT.com.
Be Fashion Savvy
Before shopping at your favorite clothing store, check out your local thrift shops. You may be surprised with how many you will find in your area as the industry seems to be growing. Also, keep the rest of your wardrobe in mind when shopping. Look for clothes that you know you could easily pair with other clothing you have, this eliminates all the items you find in your closet with intact tags.
Kick a Habit
Most people do not realize how costly their habits can actually be, so take a look at something you do often and calculate how much money you spend to keep that indulgence. For example, the average smoker spends approximately $1,000 per year on cigarettes, so look into the options there are to quit smoking and do not be afraid to try a few out. Do you find yourself stopping to at coffee shops a few times a day? Invest in a coffee machine. With so many different coffee makers available now, you may find that buying one would cost just as much as a few lattes. If you spend money often on hair styling, stop a beauty school and find a student that can care for your mane at half the cost. If bottled water is your weakness, buy a water filter attachment for your sink.
Try a few of these helpful tips, or try them all. No matter how you choose to start saving your money, you are well are your way to a more healthy financial future. Good Luck!