We’re all looking for ways – big and small – to save a few bucks.
Here are 10 (relatively) painless ways to save 10 dollars (or more) each month!
1. Eliminate premium cable / satellite channels – or just select a lower-tier channels package. With my current satellite provider, we moved down from 250 channels to 150 channels, barely noticed the difference, and saved $10 per month.
2. Reduce the number of paper towels and paper napkins that you use (and purchase). With a family of 5, it’s pretty easy for us to go through a roll of paper towels rather quickly. For tasks that don’t specifically call for paper towels, we now use a trusty dish towel. Works just as well – and can be washed and reused.
3. Install a power-strip (or two or three) for your entertainment center devices. We have a satellite receiver, a DVD player, a surround-sound system, and a video game console in our living room. These items are “on” even when they are “off”, so I attached all of them to a surge protector / power-strip. Now, when we leave the house or we’re not using the entertainment center, I flip the power-strip off – and save some cash. According to the, up to 75% of the energy used by such devices is used when the devices are (technically) “turned off”, but are still using phantom power. Anecdotal evidence, meaning I’ve looked over recent power bills, suggest that we are saving between $15 and $30 a month, because we are both using the power strips AND we are more conscientious of our overall energy usage.
4. Consolidate trips to and around town. For us, a round-trip to the nearest shopping center is roughly 30 miles. Combine that with actual driving in town, an average trip to the grocery store and gas station might total 40 or 50 miles. With gas near $3 a gallon, each trip costs between $6 and $10. Eliminating one or two (or more) of these trips, per month, with better planning and time management, can really add up to some big savings.
5. Take your lunch to work just once (or twice, or three times) per week. What’s the difference between $10 for lunch at a restaurant and a $2 lunch prepared at home? $8 a week, or $32 a month! When you do the math, a small change can make a huge difference!
6. Replace x with y. For me, x = soda, which is costly, not very filling, and bad for my health, and y = water, which is free, very filling, and great for my health. Find something in your life, your x, that’s not very good for you, and replace it with a y, something that is good for you.
7. Learn how to better manage cash and avoid ATM fees. I love the convenience of the ATM, but I hate the associated fees. Find a bank that refunds said fees, or avoid them all together, by using a better cash management system. The last thing you want to do is be “strapped for cash’ and have to pay a fee to get to your own money.
8. Cancel unnecessary monthly subscriptions. Are you a member of a gym that you no longer go to? Did you once sign up for a monthly service, but you never actually use it? Cancel it! (Always be aware of any fees or penalties associated with such cancellations and make your decision accordingly.) Back when I was getting out of debt, I canceled my subscription to satellite radio. I really liked the satellite radio – but I loved getting out of debt!
9. Be smart when buying fresh and perishable food items. There’s nothing worse than watching good food go to waste. A good, organized meal plan, made out at the beginning of each month or week, will go a long way to eliminating this problem.
10. Wash your own car. This one is simple. Instead of zooming through a car wash, take thirty minutes, go outside, and wash your own car. You’ll get some air, take in a little sunshine, and save some cash. If you don’t have a car – replace this tip with any other “service-related” task that you can easily do for yourself.
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll soon start looking more and more and more ways to save cash. When we save cash – it goes towards building cash reserves or eliminating debt.