At first, it seems like saving money should be easy. You just cut your expenses and put more money in the bank, right? In reality, it’s not nearly that simple. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can improve your financial situation in the next four weeks.
1. Get rid of your cable subscription.
Thanks to websites like Hulu and Netflix, you can access just about anything you want to watch for a small fee. If you have a TV with Internet access, you won’t be resigned to watching your favorite shows and movies on your computer screen.
2. Cut coupons, like mom used to do.
Old school methods are still pretty successful today, like clipping coupons from the newspaper. This is one of the best ways to save on your grocery items.
3. Only use regular gas in your car.
Unless the owner’s manual specifically states that you need a fancier gas, don’t bother with it. To get the best gas mileage, keep your trunk empty and make sure your tires are always properly inflated.
4. Serve drinks at home.
Heading out to dinner with a group of friends? If the restaurant’s within walking distance or if you can secure a designated driver, have everyone over ahead of time for cocktail hour. You’ll save a bundle when you serve drinks at home instead of buying cocktails and bottles of wine out. It’s small changes like this that financial professionals like Ian MacKechnie know make a huge difference.
5. Plan ahead so you can avoid high fees at ATMs.
When you use your PayPal or bank card at certain ATMs, you could be charged $5 or more in fees. Transfer your PayPal balance to your checking account ahead of time so it’s in there when you need it; it can take up to five business days to transfer over. Scout out your bank’s ATMs when you’re in an unfamiliar location. Also, make it a point to always have some cash on you. That way, if you’re somewhere that doesn’t accept cards, you won’t have to pay a high fee for withdrawing cash.
6. Do your laundry less often.
When you go with a small load of laundry, you’re wasting precious space in the machine. Wait until you have enough laundry to really pack the machine. You’ll end up doing laundry less often without spending any extra money. Also, avoid buying clothing that needs to be dry cleaned. At almost $10 per item, that’s a lot of money going towards laundering your wardrobe.
7. Find out if you can get a better deal on your phone service.
Shop around to find competitive rates and then ask your provider if they’ll price match. Sometimes, if you explain that you’re going to leave their service for a better one, they’ll be willing to lower your monthly payment.
No matter how skilled you are at seeking out bargains and avoiding spending splurges, there are always new ways to increase your wealth.