People routinely buy things that they don’t truly need or perhaps even want. It’s all about being aware of where your money is going. Following are 10 easy ways to save money in the year ahead.
10. Stop paying for recorded music
The internet has made it easy to listen to music by your favorite recording artists whenever you like without spending a dime. Websites like Pandora and Spotify offer free services that make it easy to hear the type of music you like. (Of course, they also offer a “premium” version for a fee.) YouTube is another source of free music for anyone with access to a computer or a mobile device.
9. Use coupons when you shop
Coupon clippers have a big advantage over shoppers who go to the mall or grocery store without arming themselves with that cost-cutting weapon. You can sort through the coupons that are mailed to your home or go online to find them on shopper websites such as Coupons and RetailMeNot
8. Compare prices online
The easiest way to find the cheapest price for something you want is to go online. Whether you’re buying a book or an automobile, there’s no better way to do comparison shopping.
7. Close your self-storage unit
Self-storage can be a great idea if you don’t have room for everything you need in your home. Just make sure you’re not storing items you no longer need. If you’re paying hundreds of dollars a month for storage and you can’t remember what you’ve put away, you’ve got a problem. Consider closing the unit and pocketing the cash.
6. Read books on mobile devices
Instead of buying books over the internet or at your local bookstore, have them sent to your mobile device. The price for an online book typically is much lower than the paper version, and you won’t have to thin out your hard-copy collection as often. Another great option: your public library.
5. Reach for a sweater instead of the thermostat
Instead of turning on the heat at home every time you feel a chill, try putting on a sweater. Even if you find you must turn on the heat, you’ll use less energy and reduce your fuel bill if you’re wearing a jacket or sweater on cold days.
4. Use credit cards that offer rewards
As long as you pay your monthly credit card bills on time, there’s no problem with using credit cards for daily purchases. Some cards offer cash-back rewards of 3 percent or more for items such as groceries and gasoline. This can produce real savings over time.
3. Improve your credit score
Your credit score is a reflection of how well you manage money. If your credit score improves, it can lower the amount of interest you pay on loans and credit cards. It may even reduce your car insurance premium. All you have to do is to make sure you pay all of your bills on time.
2. Delay big purchases
Many purchases are made on impulse. You see something you want in a store and get an urge to buy it, especially if it’s on sale. The problem is that after the impulse fades, you may realize that you didn’t really need the item as badly as you thought.
1. Raise your auto insurance deductible
Auto insurance pricing is all about risk. Having a higher deductible means you assume more risk up front, so you’ll likely pay less in premiums. If you have an accident after raising your deductible, you will need to pay a greater share of your auto repair costs. However, if you make it through the year accident-free, it is pure savings.