You will find saving money easier when you have financial goals that you are working towards with the money you save. Whether it is a vacation, a house or retirement you’re saving for (or perhaps all 3!), keep your goals in mind. It’s like posting the picture of the skinny lady on the fridge to keep you from eating!
#12: Ask about Discounts (and always pay cash). I told the story about paying cash for Ben’s braces and how it saved us over $400! I had a client ask the same thing and they saved over $150! It never hurts to ask, if they say no you’re in the same spot as if you didn’t ask. Also, there are sometimes discounts for AAA, military or teachers. Did you know teachers get a discount at Michaels everyday?!?!?!?!
#13: Take advantage of your retirement savings plan. If your company offers a match on a 401(k), make sure you’re taking it. It automatically doubles your money. If you make $100k/annually and you invest 5% at 12% return after 25 years you’d have $782,840. But if you take their match on the 5%, you’d have $1,565,700! That’s double for the same cost to you!
#14: Lower your cell phone bill. Back in the day it was impossible to get unlimited data or minutes, but now every plan has that option. If you haven’t changed your cell phone plan in a while, it may be time to check. Also, if you’re on a lease with your phone, see if you can pay it off early. We found with Sprint that even when our lease was up, they just kept charging us every month unless we told them we wanted to own the phone! Take a look at your bill and make sure you’re not overpaying.
#15: Try a spending freeze. Don’t buy any non-essential items for a week...or a month! If you’re finding that every trip to Target or Walmart is filled with more wants than needs, it may be time to give this a try. Every time I go to Target and they ask if I found everything okay, I always say, “and so much more.”
#16: DIY...everything! You can learn how to do anything from youtube. We needed new insulation in our attic and when we got a price from a company Nathan decided he could learn how to do it. It took him about a month, but he cleaned it all up (lots of rat poop), installed all our lights and fans and put in the insulation for under what the company would have charged just for the insulation! Plus you get new tools for new projects.
Do you have any tips for saving money I haven’t mentioned yet? There are still 5 more tips to come!