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cd7301's avatar

How about some money saving strategies?

Asked by cd7301 (61points) March 21st, 2008 from iPhone

Bills, bills bills

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9 Answers

squirbel's avatar

I have found the best is to actually save, and never touch it. I’ve had to forgo many niceties, but that’s not a problem for me personally.

Here is an article of another person’s strategy :

There’s no get-rich-quick scheme here; he just used age-old saving strategies, like aggressively paying down debt and automatically transferring cash to savings, living well below his means, and renting out part of his property to pay the mortgage. Pretty amazing results in such a short time.

cwilbur's avatar

Make yourself a budget. Figure out how much you’re going to need to spend in each pay period. Take some of the rest, and transfer it away immediately when you get paid.

For instance, suppose you take home $1200 on the first and the fifteenth of the month. Your monthly cost of living, we’ll say, is $1800, between rent or mortgage, bills, groceries, and all that. That means you have $600 a month of extra money.

If you don’t save this money, you’ll just wind up spending it. So instead arrange things so that you wind up putting that $600 a month in the bank. Maybe you can electronically transfer $100 on the first and $500 on the 15th (so that you have more cash on hand for the first, when rent is due).

Also, consider an online savings account. I have one, and there’s a 3 business day turnaround on transferring money in and out. So any impulse spending I do has to seem like it will still be a good idea in 3 days, and this puts a major brake on my spending.

occ's avatar

Some jobs that have direct deposit will allow you to put your paycheck deposit into separate accounts. Ask your HR department. You could put mostof your paycheck into your checking account and set aside $50 a month (or more, if you can afford it) into your savings.

Another thing to try is to look at your small daily expenses. For example, if you drink starbucks coffee every day, you are spending at least $3 per day on coffee which adds up to over $1,000 a year! If you really like a certain brand of coffee, just buy a bag of it, and make it at home or at the office. Get a glass jar and pay yourself for coffee every morning, putting three dollars in cash into that jar. At the end of the month, deposit your $90 that would have paid for starbucks into a special savings account. If you need incentive, remind yourself that you could go on an awesome vacation at the end of the year instead of giving money to the Starbucks corporation. Who deserves the cash more, you, or Starbucks’ CEO?

A similar expense to consider is bottled water. If you are a bottled water drinker, consider investing in a water filter (much cheaper!) and getting your water from the tap for free. Put your $2 a day into a jar and at the end of the month you’ll feel great depositing that $60 and knowing you’ve also saved 30 plastic bottles from the landfill.

You’ll be surprised to see how much these little expenses really do add up.

occ's avatar

One thing I forgot to mention – get a notebook and make yourself write down every single thing you spend money on for an entire month. At the end of the month you will have a much bigger sense of where your money is actually going, and what could be trimmed. It also will cause you to re-think that impulse buy, since you know it’s going to go down in the notebook (even if it’s just a couple dollars). This same strategy works really well for dieting!

robhaya's avatar

Read this previous thread on Starting a Budget for some good ideas. Its important to know where all your money is going.

1) Pay down or Pay off your credit cards
2) Set aside x amount of dollars every month from your pay check and put it into a high interest savings account, like “IngDirect”: The nice thing about it is you can set this up to automatically transfer money from your checking into the Ing account.
3) Put your self on a budget/allowance. For example, $100 every pay period that you can spend on non-essential items (i.e. Video Games, Electronic Gadgets, etc)

Good Luck!

nikipedia's avatar

Okay, but the original question was “money saving strategies”. Answers like “put your money in a savings account” aren’t that helpful! What about specific things you do to save money? Do you pack your own lunch, shop at consignment stores, change your own oil, work an extra part-time job…..?

topserb96's avatar

packing lunch helps alot. Also use cruise control when possible.

squirbel's avatar

Oh! That’s what you meant! I’m the queen of scrimp…

• Make a weekly meal plan, and buy groceries according to that plan.
• Buy non-name brand food. It is still food and you get used to the taste.
• In the grocery store, stay on the outside perimeter, don’t shop the aisles. Less healthy food is in the aisles. (not a hard and fast rule, just a good guide to healthy shopping).
• Don’t be ashamed to use coupons! They are a sign of a saver!
• Don’t eat out as often, budget for one night out a month.
• When driving, learn to coast (not cruise!) at a certain speed, so your foot isnt on the gas pedal all the time. This takes practice and is not wise in stop-n-go traffic.
• Choose routes that have fewer stop lights, I have done the math and this saves me gas.
• Get movies and stuff from the library instead of blockbuster. Who can argue with free?
• Do not let water drop. If it is, fix it or capture it.
• If your freezer is mostly empty, fill gallon jugs with water and put them in to fill the space. I forget why this saves electricity, but it has to do with the freezer working hard to keep open space cold whereas already frozen objects have an ambient cold to assist.
• Lights, off.
• Sack lunches. Pack the bread and insides separately, build it at lunch. Here are some sandwich ideas that can be made in bulk (cheaper) at the beginning of the week. Egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad… I sometimes splurge and buy deli sliced meats.

Anyway, these are some of the ways I scrimped to buy my prius… 60% paid down!

cwilbur's avatar

@nikipedia: making a budget and putting money away on payday rather than saying “I’ll save what I have left after 2 weeks” are money saving strategies.

Cook for yourself instead of eating out. If you’re a decent cook, you can have a steak dinner for two at home for $20—$30 that would cost you $100 in a steakhouse. The same goes for just about any other variety of food.

Take public transportation as often as possible. I used to pay $60 a week in gas; now I pay $60 a month for an MBTA pass and $30 once a month to fill up my car.

When you have to drive, drive as little as possible. Getting all your errands done in one trip not only saves you gas money, it also saves you time.

Find cheaper entertainment. For the cost of 2 people going to the movies once, you can subscribe to Netflix for two months. Public libraries are free. Cut back on premium cable channels and extended cable packages unless you’re watching them so much that they’re worth it—the cable package that you pay $30/month for probably has 90% of the shows you watch on it, and paying $70 more per month doesn’t get you anywhere.

Plan your spending needs for the next several days, and take out enough money from one trip to the ATM. If you take out $100 and it lasts a week, you save on ATM fees compared to taking out $20 a day.

Don’t buy non-essential things. Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry; don’t buy shoes because you had a bad day at the office. Buy things you need.

Pay down your credit cards as much as possible so that you’re not spending money on interest.

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