If you’re starting out the New Year the same way you started last year, broke, you might want to try a few of these money saving tips.
- Open a separate bank account with a debit card for online shopping; transfer only enough each time for your purchase. If the account gets hacked they get little or nothing, and it helps prevent you from running that credit card up.
- Buy the best quality products you can afford, it’s not a bargain if you keep having to replace it every few months/years.
- Regardless of how tempting that 15% off or 90 days same as cash deal might be, never use department store credit cards as they have the highest rates of interest. And never, never, never use payday loans, title loans etc.
- Comparison shop for EVERYTHING! Car insurance, cell phone plan, cable, clothing, music, movies, food, everything! I love Amazon, but I check prices on everything I can.
- Kill the cable/satellite: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and others all offer great entertainment choices for $10 a month or less.
- Buy in bulk; it’s almost always cheaper to buy the big jar of pickles vs. the smaller one.
- For many folks their cell phone is their best friend and constant companion, but do you really need the latest and greatest? Do you really need to rush out and drop $700 on a new phone that you can get for half the price next year? Do you really need to spend an extra $100 a month on data to play Angry Birds or chase Pokeman? Think about it.
- Cut your heating bills by getting a couple of infrared heaters. We have cut our winter fuel costs in half by using 4 of these Lifesmart Infrared Heaters in various locations around the house.
- These days a lot of retailers have a $5-$10 minimum credit/debit card purchase. Carry a few extra dollars in your pocket for when you just need a pack of gum.
- Bring it from home. Skip Starbucks and make it at home for a quarter! If you drink 2 diet Cokes a day, bring them to work with you instead of hitting the convenience store or vending machine. You might even consider packing a lunch (gasp) instead of visiting the McDonald’s drive thru.
- Plant a garden if at all possible or at least hit the farmers market. It’s a great way to save money and eat better at the same time.
- Opportunity buying is being able to take advantage of an unexpected deal because you can afford to. Getting your finances in shape and actually having a little bit of money allows you to take advantage of those 50% off Red Tag sales and such without straining your budget.
Just imagine if our politicians thought this way.