I’m on a saving spree this week. My first student loan bill is fast approaching, this time next year I’ll need to buy a car of my own, and some day (hopefully soon) I’d like to stop renting and buy a home. All of these things require money. Lots of money.
Unfortunately, the money tree I planted in my backyard doesn’t seem to be blooming, so I’m going to have to fall back on more traditional money saving measures.
Oh, well. It was worth a shot.
While I love coupons as a way to save some cash on the things I need to buy, there are ways to save money without clipping a single coupon. Put those newspaper inserts away, because my scissor-free saving tips are a different kind of strategy to save money on things you already own and areas where coupons do not apply. These money saving habits require little extra effort and will really help you save, both now and in the future.
Whenever I’m not using my television, computer or other major electronic device I make sure to disconnect the power cord. Even when they’re plugged in but not in use these items can suck up energy and can increase your electricity bill. When I travel or leave my house for an extended period of time I unplug everything, even the stove, microwave and lamps. Not only is this the “green” thing to do, but it will also keep some green in your pocket.
Take Care of What You Have
Check your oil, put air in the tires, and keep up with preventative maintenance on your car. Wash your clothes according to the recommended care on the tag. Investigate that funny noise your laptop is making and keep your phone and other mobile devices in protective cases. By maintaining what you already own and preventing damage to these items, you can save yourself hefty repair bills or replacement costs.
Pay Your Bills
You need to pay your bills in order to save money. Letting loans go into default or being late on your utility payments can tack on high fees and late charges. Past due bills can also affect your credit score, meaning you could face higher interest rates in the future.
Never miss a due date by keeping bills organized. Place each bill inside a filing cabinet or folder as soon as it comes in the mail or arrives in your e-mail inbox. Designate one day a month, at least 10 days before the first bill is due, as your bill-paying day. Pull out your bill folder and use this time to write all of the checks, place them in envelopes and put them in the mail.
You may be able to skip the envelope stuffing and pay bills online through your credit union or directly to your utility, loan or insurance company. If you opt for a recurring direct deduction option, keep track of which day the money will be withdrawn from your account. These systems aren’t always accurate, so double-check that the amount is correct and that it was applied to your bill.
Saving money can be hard. How do you make it easy?