In today’s up and down economy, it is more important than ever for consumers to do whatever they can to save money. These uncertain times have left many individuals feeling quite vulnerable, and while saving up an emergency fund may not seem like the easiest task for people on a budget, it is definitely a good way to ensure that you will be financially covered if need be.
The first step to take when creating an emergency fund is to take a good look at your finances and consider realistic ways to cut back a bit on spending. Any money you save can be transferred into your emergency account, and before you know it, you will have a nice nest egg set aside and a sense of financial security in today’s world. Here are 7 simple ways to immediately cut down costs without completely altering your lifestyle.
Re-evaluate Your Auto Insurance Policy
While you may believe that your auto insurance rates are fixed and there is nothing that can really be done in order to lower your cost, this is actually not the case. In fact, there are a variety of ways to save on your insurance premiums while maintaining reliable coverage. One way to qualify for a rate reduction is by lowering your mileage.
This can easily be done by taking the bus or carpooling to work a few days out of the week, and you will also be making a nice contribution to the environment. You can also save money on your auto insurance by bundling your additional policies together. Many insurance carriers offer discounts of up to 17% for their customers who are willing to combine auto, homeowner’s, and life insurance policies. By shopping around and inquiring about the discounts available to you, you may be able to start instantly saving.
Work Out at Home
If you belong to a gym, membership fees can be quite costly, sometimes to the tune of hundreds of dollars a month. While staying healthy and in shape is definitely important, you can save yourself the extra monthly costs by eliminating your gym membership and working out at home. There are a variety of online workout videos that can be accessed for free, and there is nothing more refreshing than taking a jog or a walk in the great outdoors. By cutting back on this one monthly expense, you will be amazed at how much you save in the long run.
Brown Bag Your Lunch
Anyone who works in a busy office will admit that lunch is one of the best parts of the day. You get a break from the busy pace, and you can enjoy some free time with co-workers at a different restaurant each day. While choosing a new eatery on a daily basis can definitely break up the monotony, it can also put a huge dent in your wallet. Eating out can get expensive, and in reality, if one meal in a decent restaurant costs you $15.00, you could actually purchase a week’s worth of brown bag lunch items for around the same amount of money. Instead of going to a restaurant every day, it may be a good idea to choose one day out of the week to treat yourself, perhaps coinciding with payday — a reward for a job well done.
Do You Really Need Cable?
While cable and satellite television provides a wide variety of entertaining programs and movies, it is definitely an expense. If you are someone who is rarely at home during the week, you may feel that you are paying a lot of money for a service that you don’t use, and depending what package you have, you may be spending at least $100.00 a month, if not more. If you like movies, there are several online DVD rental sites that provide instant access to the latest films for a small monthly fee, and there are also digital converter boxes that sell for around $40.00 that allow for clear reception on all the local prime time channels, and depending on your area, many converter boxes allow access to free movie channels and lower tier programming.
Bundle Your Home Phone and Internet
If you are currently paying separately for a residential phone line and home internet service, you can definitely cut down these costs by bundling your package together. Additionally, many residential providers are currently offering deals where their customers can receive a low cost DSL modem with new land line service, providing additional savings.
While many people consider coupon clipping time consuming as well as something that is reserved for people that are overly tight when it comes to money, the reality is you can save a lot of money by using coupons. Most weekly papers have a coupon section, and there is bound to be at least one to two items that are on your regular shopping list that are being offered at a discounted price. Even by starting off slowly and using a few coupons here and there, you can start the savings train, and within a short period of time you will find that you are a couponing expert. With a little patience and perseverance, you can actually save hundreds of dollars per shopping trip, all by simply taking a look at your weekly paper.
Open a High Interest Savings Account
High interest savings accountsare a great way to save money, and there are a variety of online banking institutions that offer accounts with starter rates as high as 0.75% APY, allowing for those savings to add up quite fast. Funds are easily transferred to your online savings account on a date you choose, and all you need to do is sit back and watch the interest grow. Most online sites only require a minimum deposit, so you don’t have to worry about spending a lot of money in order to start earning interest.
Save Money — Secure Your Future
By taking some simple steps to put a little extra money aside, you will find that it won’t take long at all to build up a nice cushion of financial security.
Kevin Beene is a personal finance consultant. He shares his tips on saving money by blogging for a variety of sites. Click the link to get cheaper car insurance rates.
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Category: Money Basics