When you find yourself facing a situation where you don’t have enough money coming in to meet your bills on time each month, the first thing you should do is look for ways to save. Even the most responsible people usually have a few places where they can save money just by making smart decisions and planning ahead.
Here are six easy tips designed to help you save where you can until you get back on track.
#1 – Cook for Yourself
When money gets tight, meals out of the house should be one of the first things to go. Cooking your own food is almost always less expensive than eating in a restaurant, and it is often healthier as well. If you don’t know how to cook, learn some basic skills and you just might find that you enjoy the hobby of cooking – in addition to enjoying the money that you can save.
#2 – Cut Back on Cable
Do you really watch all of those channels you pay for? Call your cable company and see if you can reduce the cost of your monthly cable bill by cutting out some of those extra channels. Most likely, you won’t even miss them once they are gone.
Sometimes cable companies are even willing to reduce your bill without you giving up any channels if you negotiate with them. Better yet, you can cut the cable altogether! 🙂
#3 – Drive Less
Putting miles on your car costs money in a number of ways. Obviously you have to put gas in the vehicle, but you also need to perform maintenance more regularly when you drive a lot of miles. While there might not be anything you can do about your commute, try to keep the non-work miles to a minimum.
#4 – Be Responsible Around the House
You might not think it’s a big deal to leave some extra lights on or let the furnace run while you aren’t home, but those energy costs can add up quickly. Make sure you are keeping your utilities bill to a minimum by turning off lights when you aren’t in a room, programming your furnace properly for the times when you need it to run, etc. These are simple fixes but the savings can add up and saving energy is good for the environment as well.
#5 – Shop Second Hand
If you need to replace some of your clothes, consider browsing the second hand store for low-cost options. Many of the garments you will find in these kinds of stores are in nearly-new condition for a fraction of the price that you would have to pay otherwise.
#6 – Give up a Habit
For some people, it is a morning stop at a coffee stand. For others, it is an afternoon trip to the vending machine at work. Whatever your daily habit happens to be, it is probably costing you more money than you realize. Try cutting out this daily routine and see how much money you can save over the course of a week. Once you see the extra money start to add up, you likely won’t have any interest in returning to your old ways.
Have you used any of these ideas to save money? Have you ever negotiated a bill? What are some other ways you can quickly cut your spending?
Photo courtesy of: Tax Credits