Omni Military Loans Blog:
20 Money Saving Ideas
If you feel you are spending more and more every month, here are 20 easy tips you can use to “tighten the belt” and save some money.
- DIY – Whether it’s small home repairs or coloring your own hair, you could save $20 a month or more by doing it yourself.
- Take advantage of available discounts – Become familiar with military discounts, employee discounts, or membership discounts that may be available to you. For example, active duty military are eligible for many discounts on hotels, travel, and more. And AAA offers savings on all types of travel and services, just for being a member.
- Buy the store brand for food staples – Save money by purchasing the generic store brands of food staples like flour, sugar, and salt. They are pretty much identical to their brand-name counterparts.
- Maintain your car – A little maintenance now can save you big repair bucks later – and help you get better gas mileage. Be sure to maintain proper air pressure and fluid levels and change the oil regularly. Regular maintenance is also important for your home appliances.
- Reevaluate your subscriptions and memberships – Do you have subscriptions to newspapers, magazines, or services you are not using? Do you have a membership to a gym you never go to? Determine if you could cancel these subscriptions and memberships.
- Have your own movie night –The average price of a movie ticket is well over $8. If you factor in tickets for two, plus popcorn, soda, as well as gas to get to the movie theatre, the cost can really add up. Instead of going out to a movie theatre, stay in and rent a movie. You can also invite friends and ask them to bring the popcorn.
- Consider downsizing – If you are having trouble paying your rent or mortgage, consider downsizing to a more affordable home. You could save hundreds of dollars a month, as well as lots of stress and worry.
- Pay on time – Avoid costly late fees by mailing your credit card payments and other bill payments so they arrive before the due date.
- Shop for used when possible – Sporting equipment, video games, children’s clothing, books and college textbooks are just a few of the items that are good to buy secondhand. They will often be a fraction of the cost of new.
- Brown bag your lunch – Eating out every day can really add up. Even if you brown bagged lunch just one day a week, you could save $30 a month or more. You’ll probably eat healthier too.
- Shop around for gas – Saving a few cents per gallon can save you more than a few dollars every month. To search for the lowest gas prices in your local area, visit gasbuddy.com and enter your zip code.
- Ask about generic medications – If you take a name brand medication, ask your doctor for a prescription to a generic alternative. These are generally much less expensive than the name brand drugs. The FDA requires that generic medications have the same quality, strength, purity, and stability as their name brand versions.
- Cut down your costly habits – Smoking is bad for your health and bad for your wallet. Quit and depending on how much you smoke, you could save over $100 a month. Examine your other habits as well – a $4 coffee every morning, $20 worth of lottery tickets every week, wine with dinner every night, etc. See if you can at least cut down on some of these costly habits. For example, limit your wine with dinner to weekends, or treat yourself to a mocha latte on Fridays.
- Go through your cable and cell phone bills – Examine your bills line by line and see if there are any services or premium channels you don’t use or don’t need. Eliminate those unnecessary services or channels and you’ll have extra money every month.
- Reduce your energy bills – Energy costs can take a big chunk out of your monthly budget. Here are some tips for saving on cooling and other utilities.
- Use coupons – Look for coupons in your local papers or online. You will commonly find coupons for brand name cereals, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, snack foods, yogurts, and over-the-counter medicines. If you like certain brands, why pay more than you have to? And be sure to take advantage of double coupon savings if your grocery store offers that extra discount.
- Try to limit gifts – If you have a large family, suggest having a grab bag or Secret Santa for the holidays. You can also choose to give gifts just to the children in the family. Setting an individual gift budget is also helpful and might be appreciated by everyone in the family.
- Buy in bulk – If a store has personal care items or office supplies at a great sales price, purchase them in bulk – but only if you are sure that you are going to use them. You can also consider buying in bulk with a friend and splitting your items.
- Save with Substitutes – Substituting some simple items around your home can save you money. Use reusable towels or cotton cloths rather than paper towels. Store food and small items in reusable containers instead of plastic Ziploc bags that will probably be thrown away after one use. And look for ways you can save on your food costs by substituting certain ingredients with less expensive options.
- Review your insurance – Look at your home, health, and auto insurance policies every year to see if there are any ways you can cut the cost of your premiums. For example, you may be eligible for auto insurance discounts based on your age, driving record, anti-theft devices, and more. Also look into bundling your insurance. Insurance companies frequently offer discounts if you are covered under both their car and homeowners insurance policies.