Save Money Archives

canstockphoto11688989With the constant increase of gas prices, it has become important to look for various ways on how to save money on gas. There are a number of ways through which you can effectively achieve this and they include:

1. Change how you drive

A good number of people use up more gas than they are required to. By simply making some minor adjustments when it comes to how you drive, you will be able to cut down on the total amount spent on gas. A good number of vehicles available today have been set to realize the ideal fuel economy at about 55mph. Therefore, driving at a high speed or at a low speed will prevent you from maximizing your gas savings. You should also avoid braking or accelerating too hard.

2. Locate and purchase from cheap gas stations

In a good number of regions, discounted gas prices are usually sold within the same zones. When it comes to the main metro areas, such stations are usually concentrated within outlying suburbs. It is always advisable to keep off affluent areas when searching for a discounted fill. The reason for this is because individuals in such areas do not care much about prices and gas stations have realized this fact. Another reason for the high cost of fuel in stations located in affluent areas is due to the fact that the land in these areas is more valuable hence the high tax rates. This extra cost is usually passed on to the consumers. Gas stations located in close proximity to major expressway exits are more likely to be more costly than those located further away. By driving a couple of blocks away from the expressway, you might just find a better deal.

3. Locate the most suitable station

There are stations within a particular area which are considered as being price leaders. These gas stations are usually attached to wholesale clubs and department or grocery stores. In most cases such stations often maintain close to cost prices for the main purpose of attracting more people into their grocery stores where they can purchase items of higher margins. A number of these locations usually require memberships. The total membership cost must be included in the price. A good number of these stations also offer their clients credit which can be used in store purchases. This is usually given when you fill up your tank. This can lead to significant indirect savings. Gas stations with an in-house auto repair store usually have their gas priced at a higher cost.

4. Take full advantage of any available discounts

A good number of stations usually have discount coupons on gas purchases. These coupons are usually found in a number of places including the back of receipts issued by grocery stores, internet as well as mail coupons. A good number of stations will sell gas to you at a discounted price when you purchase specific items such as a car wash. Another great way on how to save money on gas is by using a gas refund credit card.

5. Look for alternative means to get to your place of work.

One of the most effective way of cutting down on your fuel costs is carpooling to work. This involves sharing or hitching a ride with specific individuals that work in the same company as you and also happen to live close to your home. A large number of companies have made things easier for their employees through available intranet sites or a bulletin board which contain information on suitable individuals you may carpool with.

Another excellent option is public transport. Here you can make use of a pass which are mainly offered at discounted rates. In as much as you are required to pay each time you make use of public transportation, the overall cost is usually less costly when compared to driving yourself to work with additional parking fees. Other viable options of getting to work include: riding a bike or walking. Both of the mentioned options also offer additional health benefits as a result of the workout involved. However, this is mostly suitable for individuals who live within the same area that they work.

By making use of the above mentioned tips on how to save money on gas, you will finally be able to cut down on your fuel cost. This will also enable you enjoy other benefits such as improved health as you begin to regularly walk to work.

canstockphoto9752144Do you find yourself out of money before payday? You are living paycheck to paycheck and you feel like you’re working so hard with nothing to show for it. This isn’t the fact that you aren’t earning enough money. It’s because you don’t know where your money is going. If this is the case you may have a problem with emotional spending.

If you aren’t familiar with the term emotional spending, it is when you purchase things on impulse without giving it a second thought. This spending behavior will possibly get you into big financial trouble. Now this doesn’t mean that you can’t spend money on things that are fun. It just means that you will need to learn how to better manage your finances that you have left over after paying all of the necessary expenses. There are many ways you can control impulse purchases and build your savings quickly.

Some of these ways are:

 

Pay close attention to the things you are spending your money on. Do you shop out of boredom? If you find yourself throwing items in the shopping cart that you really don’t need, this is a good sign that you are an emotional spender. You can avoid this by only shopping when you need something and keep a close watch on what you purchase by writing out a good old fashion shopping list on paper or by using your smartphone.

Don’t overindulge in material things. It’s okay to take your friends and family out to an expensive dinner occasionally or to buy yourself a nice outfit every once in a while. However, if you continuously make this a habit this will become quite costly.

Beware of small purchases. Just because you find items that are cheap doesn’t necessarily mean that you are saving money. Sometimes, this is quite the opposite. If you find yourself buying items on sale but you aren’t using them, you are actually throwing away a lot of money. Whether you are buying cheap or expensive items, only buy things that you need or will use in the near future.

Pamper yourself occasionally. Even though I stated that you should treat yourself every once in a while, it isn’t limited to wining and dining. Get yourself a body massage or even buy yourself a new tech gadget to reward yourself for sticking to your budget. Make sure you plan ahead and save for these items. You will feel much better about it and this won’t mess up your financial security.

Acknowledge that you have a spending problem. Admitting these feelings is the first step to reaching your goal of financial freedom. If you notice these emotions that are making you feel that you need to buy things, you will be less likely to act on them.

Keep your priorities in mind. Focus on your most important goals. For instance, if your goal is to get out of debt, look at making senseless purchases as an obstacle. If you want to make a large purchase such as a new car or paying extra on your mortgage, take the money that you would normally spend frivolously and put it away.

Stay away from retail shops and online stores where you have a habit of overspending. If you find that you spend more money than you need to when you go to the mall or even on eBay, avoid going to those places. Try going out for a walk at the park, take up a hobby or volunteer for your favorite charity.

The strategies above are some of the ways you can build your savings quickly while getting rid of the habit of emotional spending. You can use these methods or even come up with your own solutions to reach your goal of financial freedom sooner than you think.

 

canstockphoto7397155When you think of receiving your credit card statement, the thought of it may make you cringe. It is always a good idea to check it thoroughly to avoid incurring more costs than you realize. The credit card statement can be confusing at first, but once you know what to look for,  this can save you some money and even help to protect yourself against fraud. Here are some things you should check for on your monthly statement.

First, you should look for the purchases or new charges section for your most recent transactions. You should keep your charge receipts for all of your purchases so that you can compare it to the charges that’s listed on your credit card statement. You should also look carefully for any unauthorized charges and double billing for a purchase. You’ll want to catch these unwanted charges on your credit card since you will be given a certain amount of time to dispute it.

If you continue to make payments on your credit card for unauthorized charges that you weren’t aware of,  you may still be responsible for those charges. Most credit card companies will give you 60 days to resolve the matter or they will argue that you accepted the charges.

If you notice any transactions for a purchase that you didn’t make , call your credit card company right away to report the fraudulent charge. Most will file a report and you won’t be responsible for paying for the charge. They will usually reverse 100 percent of the amount in most cases.

The next thing you should look for on your statement are the interest rate that are applied to various charges. For example, if you took out a cash advance, you are more likely to pay a higher interest rate than you would on a credit card purchase for an item at the grocery store.

Paying close attention to the interest rate on your statement will also guarantee that you will make the best choice on how to use your credit card wisely. It is obvious that you don’t want to use services that come at a higher interest rate too often. This is throwing money down the drain. Paying attention to how much you are paying for that service is an excellent way to keep yourself in check.

Another section you should check for is your previous balance. This is the outstanding balance that’s owed from the previous month.  Always double-check that balance to ensure that the charges are accurate.

The section outlining your credits and payments is very important. You will want to ensure that all of the payments were applied properly to your outstanding balance and all charge reversals or returns were accurately credited to your account.

You will also notice the term “APR” on your statement. This stands for annual percentage rate which is the interest that’s applied to any outstanding balance at the end of the month. The lower the rate, the less you will have to pay in interest.

You should be aware that the credit card companies can change the APR even if the APR rate is fixed. The bank is required to provide at least forty-five days notice of any changes to the terms of your agreement such as an interest rate increase.

Some credit cards also apply a finance charge in addition to your APR. This only applies if you are carrying a balance in most cases. If you don’t pay off the balance at the end of the month, you will likely have to pay a finance charge on top of your interest fees.

Keeping a close watch on your credit card statement on a regular basis will protect you against fraud and save you money. If you follow these steps, you will avoid getting in debt and put thousands of dollars in your savings.

 

 

7 Best Ways to Save Money on Laundry

canstockphoto12033189Many people are unaware that they are spending a lot more money than they need when it comes to doing their laundry. You may be surprised at the amount of money that you are wasting on laundry detergent, bleach, high energy costs and not to mention the price that you are paying by going to the Laundromat. There are plenty of ways you can save. Here are 7 Best Ways to Save Money on Laundry.

 

Hang Your Clothes Outside

Hanging your clothes outside is one of the easiest strategies there is. If you have a clothesline, this is a huge plus.  The dryer uses a lot of electricity which will run up your electric bill. Each time you avoid using it will save you some money. It is best for it to be done in warmer weather. If you live in a warm climate, you can save money year around.

 

Wait Until There Is a Full Load

Waiting until you have a full load of clothes is the best strategy of all. Many people like to do their laundry all the time out of habit which is absolutely unnecessary. Doing your laundry less often will not only save you money on your electric bill, but also on bleach and laundry detergent. And don’t forget  the amount of time and energy you will conserve by not doing laundry every day.

 

Avoid Buying Brand Name Laundry Detergent

Using brand name laundry detergent can be expensive. Most of the store brand and cheaper lesser known brands are often just as good at cleaning your laundry. However, if you would prefer to use the brand name you can look for coupons to further the savings

 

Clean Out The Dryer Regularly

Make sure that the lint trap is clear. Taking this step can save you a lot of money in energy costs. Your expenses will be extremely high when the dryer is working inefficiently.

 

Use Cold Water

Most people believe the myth that they must use warm water for their clothes to get cleaned. This simply isn’t true. In fact, warm water is not necessary in most cases. By washing in cold water, you will conserve on the heat expenses.

So how much money can this save you? This has the potential to save you around ten dollars a month. If you do your math, this is $120 that you can put towards your savings or to pay other household expenses.

 

Use Less Laundry Detergent

If you are going by the instructions on the package, you are probably using too much detergent. The detergent companies want you to spend as much money on their products as possible, which means they encourage you to use more than the required amount. This is a good way to overspend.

How do you know the right amount of detergent to use? You can start by slowly using less and less, until you notice that your clothes aren’t as well cleaned. This will give you a good idea of how much is really needed .

 

Buy Your Own Washer Instead of Going to The Laundromat

If you can afford to purchase a washer, it is cheaper than continually going to the coin laundry. You will be amazed how much money you spend on a monthly basis at the Laundromat. The amount of money that you spend to dry your clothes can exceed the amount that you pay to wash depending on the fabric. For instance, quilts and comforters take a lot longer to dry than cotton t-shirts and bath towels.

If you implement one or two of these tips, this will save you  some money. However, you will get the best results by following all of these steps to get you on the way to building a small fortune every year.

canstockphoto8160014Whenever you go shopping at the supermarket, do you find yourself spending more money than you would like? If you want to break this habit one of the best ways to do it is to analyze your pantry. The reality is if you do not keep track of your grocery spending, you will most likely put yourself in a position of struggling with debt and even filing bankruptcy. The good news is that you can avoid this from happening. Here are Some Habits to Break That Will Save 50% on Your Grocery Bill Even If You Hate Clipping Coupons.

 

Buying Things You Don’t Need

Do you find yourself buying things that you already have at home? You may have a habit of buying food when you still have more in the back of the refrigerator. Do not go shopping until you use everything you already have. This is one of the best ways to save yourself some money.

 

Purchasing Items In The Checkout Lane

When you are finished with your grocery shopping, you may be tempted to buy candy bars, potato chips or even grabbing a couple of magazines. Junk food are just empty calories and won’t fill you up anyway. It is often more expensive than standard food. If you break this habit, it can save you a few dollars a month and this will really add up.

 

Purchasing Pre-Cut Food

Of course buying pre-cut food is more convenient, but you will end up paying much more than the non-cut items. If money is not an issue, then purchasing pre-cut food will save you a little time. However, if you want to save cash, then do it yourself. Cutting it really won’t take that long.

 

Throwing Away Food

Take notice of the food that you consistently throw out. Many people make the mistake of buying certain things out of habit, even though they never eat them. This is throwing money down the drain. Take stock of the food you already have and think about the percentage of what you actually consume. Focus on buying these items and eliminate the rest.

 

Buying Out Of Season Fruit

Purchasing out of season fruit will always cost more. For example, apples are extremely cheap at certain times a year and other times they are more expensive. You can choose to buy them only when it’s cheap or get the bagged apples rather than buying it by the pound.

 

Another way to save money is by picking your own fruit. Oftentimes, this will really save you a lot of money. Check your local area for a U-Pick service. Taking this step can offer a surprising amount of savings even though it requires more effort. It’s obvious that time is money, so think about whether this is worth the hassle.

 

Before you go on your next shopping trip, make sure you pay careful attention to what you are buying. Most people keep making the mistake of wasting food month after month because they never take stock of what’s going on in their refrigerator or pantry. When you take the time to follow these steps, you can save a lot of money at the checkout lane.

canstockphoto13214055Have you been thinking about giving your home that much needed makeover but you just keep putting it off because you are low on funds? Tight finances and a limited budget doesn’t mean that you can’t have a beautiful home. There are a number of cheap and easy things you can do to add personality, comfort and pizzazz to your home. Here are 5 Simple Ways to Brighten Your Home on a Budget.

 

 

Brighten Up the Rooms By Painting The Walls. Painting your kitchen, bathroom and living room walls can do wonders for your home. For example, if you paint the walls a polished white it can add a touch of sophistication. Paint can also unify a space and provide a sense of flow that previously didn’t exist in the home. It is also inexpensive and with the right preparation, a room can be painted in a single afternoon. This is one of the most powerful means for brightening up your home.

 

Add Personality to Your Home By Adding a Few Accessories. Adding just a few accessories can add some pizzazz to your home just like paint. A set of table lamps can add some flavor especially to your living room, den or bedroom. Even pillows and throws can add color and unify a room. Adding some knick-knacks on the tables will draw some attention where you want it. If you think your bedroom needs a makeover you can simply add a new comforter on your bed. You can save money on accessories by checking out your local flea markets and antique stores. Walmart, Kmart and Target also have weekly sales on these items.

 

 

Add Artwork and Photos. Framed Artwork, family photos and mirrors can be added to a space. Mirrors can help a room appear to be larger. It also reflect light and brightness to a room. The greatest part about adding framed art work and family portraits is that it adds color and personality. You can find mirrors, framing and art supplies at craft stores for a low price.

 

 

Rearrange The Furniture. Moving the furniture around takes only a little time and effort and can really liven up a room. Before you get started, consider grabbing a pencil, some paper and a tape measure. Draw a diagram of the room and make sure everything is going to fit where you’re moving it. Moving furniture can be a bit of hard work but it won’t cost you a dime. You can get pieces of items from other rooms to brighten up your space.

 

 

Ambiance. Ambiance can be added in a number of ways such as changing the window coverings to darken or add light to a room. Candles and other scents can also set a mood. You should also consider adding silk or cashmere throw to a leather couch for a sensory experience.

 

As you can see you don’t have to spend a fortune to brighten your home. The little things you do can make a huge difference. Take a look around your home and get creative.

canstockphoto13914507Are you constantly looking for different ways to save money but get little or no results? If the answer is yes, the good news is there are a variety of ways you can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars in your savings. Coupon clipping is one of the easiest ways for you to reach that goal. It is no longer known for something that your mom does nor is it something for you to be ashamed of. In fact, coupon cutting is a smart, savvy and an excellent way for you to save money.

Coupon sites have become quite popular in recent years. They offer everything from laundry detergent to clothing and even your favorite restaurants. With the number of coupon sites that’s available online, there is no excuse for you not to save money on your standard purchases.

This makes sense because coupons have become such an in-demand item, that there are so many online coupon websites to choose from. It can be tough to determine which ones are best from the coupons you really need. Here are 6 Best Websites for Online Coupons, how they work and what they have to offer.

Coupons.com This website offers the largest listing of supermarket coupons anywhere. It’s also very easy to use. All you have to do is find your coupon, print it out and you’re good to go. Before you do your shopping, ask the clerk or the manager do they accept online coupons since some supermarkets don’t accept them.

CouponCabin.com offers a variety of coupons from retailers and keeps the coupons  up to date. It also does a great job organizing coupons in an extremely useful manner. For example, you can browse “Categories” and click on the items you are looking for. You can also sign up for their weekly newsletter to stay on top of the best deals.

CouponMom.com Stephanie Nelson also known as “The Coupon Mom” has a website that offers the best brand appeal and consumer loyalty. There is a lot of useful information on her blog and email alerts on your favorite retailers.

SmartSource.com  taps into your local stores and supermarkets and offers both online and coupon deals for users to take advantage of. All it asks for is for you to enter your zip code and you’re good to go.

DealLocker.com offers printable and online coupons to save on clothing, office supplies and even airline tickets. It makes coupons and deals easy to find because it organizes the items by category. They also offer fun tips on their blog.

SlickDeals.net You should be warned that this website is a bit cluttered but you will find coupons and discount codes for retailers that’s not normally represented by coupons or coupon websites. The good thing about this site is that they offer a mobile application and you will probably be surprised at the items listed that can save you money.

These 6 Websites for Online Coupons are excellent places for you to save money on your favorite items. You can bookmark them or sign up for their newsletters to stay on top of the best deals.Before you do your shopping, make it a habit of visting these coupon sites. You’ll be amazed how much money you can save.

canstockphoto1710084What is the purpose of clipping coupons? Coupons are offered by many companies that want you to try their products. If you choose to skip out on these deals you are throwing away hundreds if not thousands of dollars down the drain. Here are some strategies you can use to get the most from cutting coupons.

The Sunday’s Edition of your local newspaper is usually full of offers for food and household products. The bottom of the ads usually have a coupon for you to cut out to help you save money at the checkout. Does that sound good to you? But, why are so many consumers avoiding them?

It could be that they are ashamed that people will think they are poor or will be labeled as being cheap. Clipping coupons is not a sign of poverty or too much frugality. This is beneficial to both consumers and manufacturers. It will save you enough money to add to your savings while manufacturers get tax breaks on their business when they have promotions like this. For this reason you should take advantage of it.

Are you in the category of consumers who have never used a coupon. Here are Four Easy Ways to Save Money at the Checkout.

Clip coupons for items you will use. Your main purpose is to save money on items you will consume. You should resist the urge to buy something just because you have a coupon. This is actually wasting money. Use them to offset the price of the items that you use the most such as bread, milk, toothbrushes, toilet paper and etc.

Use coupons with in-store promotions. Many grocers hold weekly sales. They include circulars in the Sunday’s edition of your local newspaper and in your mailbox. For example, if your grocer has bread on sale for a buck and a half, you can use the coupon from the Sundays paper for 50 cents off to save even more money. Some stores offer reward cards. It is free to sign up and you will find many brand name as well as generic brand items at low prices.

Search Online for coupon websites. Coupons.com and Coupon Suzy offer printable coupons for a variety of products. You can easily sort it by category. It is similar to using a coupon box that used to be in the grocery store, but it is a lot more organized.

Double the pleasure. If the supermarket is offering to double any coupon up to one dollar, make sure to shop on that particular day. You can save twice as much money on your favorite items. Let’s say you have a coupon for a free sample that you want to try. This is the time to do it without spending too much money.

You will reap some sweet rewards from clipping coupons. Go though your Sunday’s paper and junk mail and clip happily. Always check your coupons before you take the next trip to the supermarket so you won’t miss out on the best deals.

 

 

canstockphoto1049130In this uncertain economy, it may seem difficult to put some money aside, but it is much easier than you think. There are many different ways you can save that you would normally not count on seeing in any event. These savings will add up over time and create a nice cushion for you and your family just in case that money is needed in case of an emergency or to reach your goal of an early retirement. Below are Five Easy Ways to Save $1000 in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Know Anything About Money.

 

Save Money From Your Tax Return

Saving money from your tax return is one of the quickest ways to add $1,000 into your savings. Many people make the mistake of spending the entire amount they receive from their tax return as soon as the check is deposited into their savings account. This is a big mistake. It’s okay to spend a small portion on having dinner out, going to the movies and doing the things that your family enjoy the most. However, it is best to add the rest of the money into your savings in case of an emergency such as home and car repairs as well as medical expenses.

 

Set Aside Money From Your Paycheck

You should consider setting aside some money from each pay period to be deposited into your savings. The money will not be available for spending unless you take a trip to the bank.  If you can set aside $50 to $100 each pay period, you will add thousands of dollars to your savings before you know it (if you don’t touch it). If you’re not able to save that amount of money at this time, you can put as little as $5 to $10 per pay period. It may not seem like much but, it will add up over time especially if you have an interest bearing account.

 

Live on Your Current Salary When You Get a Raise

If you receive a raise from your job, live on the salary that you are currently making. Let’s say that you receive a 2% raise per year. That means you will add that 2% raise into your savings account. Consider placing that extra amount into a savings account each period if you are comfortable living on your salary. Your standard of living will be the same, yet increase your savings at the same time.

 

Save Your Pocket Change

You may think that  pocket change won’t make a difference, but it does. You can start by adding it in a large coin collection or an empty coffee can. When the jar is full of change, you can wrap up the coins and deposit the change into your savings account. Many people make the mistake of disregarding the coins and finding it all over the house. Change is money too! Believe or not, it will add up after a while and depending on how much you save it will add hundreds of dollars to your savings.

 

Cash in Your Recyclables

You can make a little cash by saving aluminum cans and plastic bottles depending on where you live. When you receive the money from the transaction save the money and place it in the change jar or into your savings account. This will increase your savings over time.

 

Reaching your goal of adding $1000 into your savings in 30 Days isn’t hard. However, if you don’t have that amount of money right now, you can still add thousands to your bottom line but slowly. It isn’t necessary for you to put away hundreds of dollars at a time from your paycheck. Think of it in small terms as saving your tax return, collecting your change and putting away your raises in your savings account. All of these tips are small, yet great ways to save money. You will have enough money for a rainy and even gain wealth quicker than you think.

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