Looking for more ways to save money? Here are 10 tips for general money-saving and frugal living.
#1: Write a budget. Setting a budget — a real, written budget (not just one in your head) — is one of the best ways to get started saving money. Write down everything you spend money on — clothes, restaurants, movies — and all of your bills, like utilities and rent. Then write down what you earn every month. Are you in the black or in the red? By how much? Learn to balance the two and see where you can make adjustments so that your earnings far exceeds your spending.
#2: Stay in on Friday night. One of the best ways to save money on recreation is by inviting friends over to your house instead of going to bars. A weekend trip going to bars can cost hundreds of dollars, if you let it. Instead of spending money at restaurants and bars, stay home and put the money in your bank account.
#3: Get a second job. Waiting tables or being a cashier are great ways to make extra money on the weekend. Devote the income from your “second job” strictly for savings. If you have the time — and aren’t already working two jobs! — this is an excellent way to save money fast.
#4: Sell your junk. Most people have tons of extra useless items lying around the house. If this sounds like you, then get to selling. A yard sale, Craigslist sale or eBay ad can bring you cold, hard cash for your unwanted items fast.
#5: Don’t buy things you don’t need. This sounds obvious, but it seems as though many people forget this nifty little trick. Stay away from splurging on big items while you are attempting to save money quickly.
#6: Find a roommate. Rent/mortgage is the single biggest monthly expense, eating up about 33 percent of most people’s income. Find a roommate to cut your rent or mortgage bills in half. You can then devote that extra cash to savings, which adds up quickly.
#7: Cut out the transportation. Instead of buying massive amounts of gas every month, split the cost with a carpool buddy. Gas is extremely pricey right now, and if you can eliminate some of the cost or share the burden with someone else, it will result in instant savings.
#8: Quit expensive habits. Habits like drinking excessive alcohol and smoking cigarettes are extremely expensive. They’re also terrible for your health (which can cause long-term consequences). If you cut back on drinking and smoking, you will see a dramatic increase in the amount of money you can save.
#9: Reduce you fuel costs. Instead of purchasing premium fuel every time you fill up your car’s tank, buy the lowest cost, unleaded gasoline. You may think it is bad for your car, but unless you have some extremely special car, you can relax — you aren’t putting it at risk.
#10: Transfer your high-interest credit balance. Since the Fed reduced the cost of interest rates, many credit card companies are offering lower interest rates to their customers. If you have considerable debt on a card, try to get your balance transferred to a credit card with lower interest. There’s usually a “balance transfer fee” of 3 percent, so crunch some numbers and make sure that this fee is worth the cost before you make the transfer.
Kennedi writes at Face & Fitness about money-saving tips for women.