There are lot of ways to start saving money, but in this blog post I wanted to focus on small actionable steps that you can take to start saving money today.
1. reduce your house energy bills
Keep your heater or airconditioning unit tuned and cleaned and change your filters regularly and invest in thermal curtains to help cut costs. I have a plenty of ideas on how to save electricity at home in on my Practical Frugality Blog.
2. cut your own hair or go less often
If you are brave enough or you and your family have a simple hair style, you can learn how to cut your hair at home. Buy proper hair clippers and scissors, and cut your hair at home to avoid hair cut fees for the whole family.
Certain hairstyles don’t even need regular hair cuts. When I didn’t have a fringe I left my hair to grow out long and didn’t go to a hairdresser for 3-6 months at a time. Now I’m back to having a fringe, but since I’ve already had a fringe before I know how to cut it, so that it looks good. It takes a bit of practice, but it’s worth it. Especially when I once had my fringe cut in hairdressers that I didn’t know and they made a much worse job of it than the disastrous beggings of my hairstyling!
3. avoid Unnecessary Car Repairs
To avoid unnecessary car repairs make sure you take proactive steps with preventative maintenance to avoid these. Get regular oil changes, tune ups, tire rotations, brake services, transmission services, etc to keep things running well, and prevent engine, brake or transmission damage.
If something goes wrong, get it looked at straight away and don’t wait until it gets worse. The delay could cost you even more money!
4. avoid getting Late payment Fees
Set up auto payment or when you get your bill in the mail, log on to the company website and set up a future payment for the due date so you can avoid these fees! You no longer need to buy a stamp, mail the payment, and hope it gets to the destination before the appointed hour on the due date and risk a late fee!
5. avoid paying late payments Bank Fees
If you have a credit card, make sure that you set up the payments to go out without getting changed for the money you’ve borrowed. Credit cards are great way to manage your finances, but you have to be careful, so that they don’t actually cost you more money! It’s very easy to think, you have £1000 extra each month, but you need to be able to repay that otherwise the late payment charges are very hight. Check with your bank, what’s the best way to pay your credit card each month.
6. Refinance your mortgage or loans
I have a friend that just bought their house 5 years ago. Rates are lower now, and after hearing me talk about how much we saved, she looked into it. She got a great rate, and they decided to keep their payment amount the same and reduce the number of payments they owed. They originally had a 30 year mortgage with 25 years left. With the reduced rate, they are paying the same amount, but it will be paid off in just 18 years, they shaved 7 years off their mortgage payments!
7. save money on Eating Out and fast foods
Everyone can save money by shopping at the supermarket and cooking meals at home. Compare the prices and sizes of the brands you use. Normally, if you buy a larger size, it’s less expensive, but not always. Avoid single-serving packages. Buy in bulk, open the packages and break them down into smaller serving sizes when you got home. They’re easy to grab and you’ll save money with very little effort. If you work all day and have activities at night, make use of your slow cooker, and you can come home to a meal that is hot and ready to go!
If you like eating out, you can still save money with these handy tips and have a great night out.
8. check your bank statements
We recently noticed our television package was higher than normal. Upon examination, we saw that we were charged a fee in error. I called and had that £50 refunded. While on the company website, I noticed that new customers were getting a much better rate than ours, even after the introductory rate. I asked for a price reduction, and got it. It costs companies more to bring in new customers than retain current ones, so it’s in their best interest to keep your business. I’ve done this with our insurance, mobile phones, and credit cards (when we had them). The worst thing they can say is no, so be sure to check regularly what the going rate is and keep yours as low as possible.
9. Plan your car journeys
With petrol prices so high, it helps to make a list and know what errands you need to run while your out. It also serves as a reminder so you don’t forget anything. We have a toll road next to our neighbourhood. If I am going across town, it is less expensive for me to pay £1.50 for the toll than to drive the maze across town in traffic to get there, and it saves time. I keep a cooler in the trunk for hot days so refrigerated/frozen items stay cool. I start at my furthest errand, and work my way back towards home. I also know that once a week we have an appointment over there, so I try to plan all my errands in that part of town for that day of the week so I don’t have to keep driving all that way multiple times.
10. Use the items that you buy and get organized
When I buy fruits and veggies, I have found that if I don’t clean, prep, and keep them front and center, they’ll go bad before they get eaten. So, I take the few minutes to get them ready to eat, and display them in the kitchen, so that we know they are there to be eaten.
I also do this with shampoo, toothpaste or body lotion. Maybe I don’ t “love” the scent, but if I’m not allergic to it, I just use it anyway until it’s gone. If you’re allergic, that’s a different issue, and it needs to go – perhaps give it to a friend. Before I got the cabinets organized, I’d find myself buying things that didn’t need to be replaced. Now that it’s organized, I’ve trained the family to add items to the shopping list if they open the last bottle of something. I don’t have a huge stockpile, but I do keep 3-4 of most things we use daily in the cabinets when I get them on sale with a coupon. If we run short, I’ll grab a small bottle, and increase the amount I buy during the next sale. Learning what is a reasonable amount to “stockpile” for your family and your specific needs is a trial and error method.