The past few years I have been on a mission to save money. It seems everything just costs way to much and I’m done with it. I call it a minimulist lifestyle and of course it’s not for everyone. Making more money and saving it is something everyone wants but to what extreme you’re personally willing to go is the question. I’m pretty extreme, however, I believe the tips below are my best simple ways to save money for the everyday person. I took out the extreme ones like moving out of the country. Like I said, some people are willing to take a more extreme approach and others are not so pick and choose as you wish.
ENERGY: I find each month one of the biggest bills is energy. It’s rediculously high and my thermastat has been turned off for months. Unfortunately, not much we can do here except try to use less. I went around the house and unplugged the things I rarely use. Like lamps I never use but they are plugged in. The toaster and other kitchen counter appliances are plugged in so I unplugged them also. Even though, you don’t use things that are plugged into the outlet doesn’t mean they are not charging you for it. My point is take a walk around the house and unplug the things you rarely use. If you decide to use it later simply plug it back it and use it temporarly.
INSURANCE: If you’ve been with the same insurance provider for more than 3 years, you’re probably paying too much. You always save the most when changing providers so make a few calls and see what there quotes are.
PRESCRIPTIONS: If you have prescriptions that cost a lot each month, take a trip to canada or simply buy your perscriptions online at a reputable canadian pharmacy. All that is required is your prescription from the doctor and shipping in some cases is free. After the Primetine Mist issue I was placed on Qvar for my ashama medication. It costs $213 for one canister which lasts a little less than 2 months. I can get the same thing online for $36 bucks. In short, it cost more in America so look at other options.
BANKING: If you have a checking account anywhere that charges you a per month fee – cancel them. Free checking has been available for many years now so getting charged $7 a month by the bank to hold your money and collect your interest (you ain’t making no interest anyway) is a big rip off. I love my BECU account. I hate Bank Of America and US Bank.
PHONE LINES: If you just have a landline you use for local calls then this probably won’t save you to much. However, if you’re paying for any long distance or unlimited calling and have a landline you’re getting ripped off. You’re probably using Century Link or Comcast. Make the switch to a prepaid cell phone. You can get them at Walmart (straight talk) and it’s pay as you go (no contracts). They run off AT&T or Verizon networks and I use the AT&T option. For $30 bucks I get 1000 min voice, 1000 min text, caller id, voice mail, call waiting, and pretty much all the bells and whistles. I haven’t had a drop call in so long I can’t remember. I easily saved over $100 per month doing this. If you’re thinking about this make sure you look at your bill to calculate how many minutes you’re using now.
INTERNET/TV: Comcast is my provider and my biggest expense with them is my Internet. I have found that the Internet costs are the hardest to lower, however, everything else like your TV or phone line can be lowered. To get it lowered, however, you can’t just ask you have to call them and discuss cancelling. Just say you’re going through hard times and need to “discuss” cancelling service. They will forward you to a special team of representives that are hired to keep you around even if you pay less. I dropped my TV bills down to $10 per month – how much are you paying?
CREDIT CARD DEBT: (EXTREME TIP – NOT FOR EVERYONE) If you have credit card debt that is out of control and your credit is already not so good – you may want to save up and negociate / settle them. Strategies online by the pros will tell you to call them and negociate your interest rates I have found that to be difficult or perhaps they are not willing to do that anymore. If you think about it from their perspective it makes sense. With all banks $1 dollar given to them allows them to barrow $10 off it it and that is how banks (checking accounts) work. So, if you’re in a dire situation and thinking about paying one off completely using savings or equity…. consider letting it go a few months. Next, it will go to collections. Once it goes to a collection company the credit card company sold it to them for pennys on the dollar and you can negociate it at 25% of the balance or less. The trick is to don’t be desperate when talking to them and don’t wait to long to settle or you’ll get sued (at which point you’ll settle for even less). Before starting change your address if possible (go paperless online) and change your number to a Google Voice number so you’re not called all the time. Like I said extreme option and you’re personal situation determines if it’s for you or not.
MORTGAGE: If you’ve lost your shorts and you’re home isn’t worth anything anymore consider walking away. Stop throwing your money into the fire. Foreclosure takes over a year so considering the amount you’ll save in a year (or add a renter) you’ll make way more than continuing your payments. Additional Seattle mortgage info here. Another great site is: LoanSafe.org.
SHOPPING CARDS + GAS: If you go to Safeway or Fredmeyer for your shopping consider saving & working together as a family to get the best deals. The trick is to use one phone number as a family. If everyone uses the one phone number at checkout you’ll save considerably more. I typically save 30 cents a gallon on gas each fill-up! It’s amazing.
– hope you found at least one of these simple ways to save money tips useful. I have