by Kailey Hagen | March 1, 2020
Saving money doesn't always have to mean making sacrifices.
Are you tired of reading those articles on how to save money that basically ask you to change everything that you're doing? Stop spending money on this and that, don't do this, cut back on that -- you know the drill. Well, this is not one of those articles.
I'm not saying those other savings tips don't work, but they can seem pretty demanding, especially at first. And in some cases, this might discourage you from sticking to your new savings plan. But saving money doesn't always require drastic changes. Try these seven simple tricks to start saving more money without making any significant changes to your lifestyle.
Look back through your past credit card bills and bank statements for old streaming services, magazine subscriptions, or other recurring expenses that you don't need anymore. Go back at least one year in case you have annual subscriptions that you forgot about. If you find any subscriptions you aren't using, cancel them and put that extra money into your savings account.
Consider rethinking your cell phone plan too. Your provider should be able to give you some insight into how much data you actually use. There's no sense paying for unlimited data if you're only using 1 or 2 GB per month. Downgrading your plan could save you money without impacting your quality of service.
You can save money on a lot of everyday purchases by doing a quick scan of your local newspaper and the internet to check for coupons. It might only save you a few cents on an individual item, but over time, these small savings can add up -- especially as these are purchases you would have made anyway. Make a note of how much you save so you can add that money to your savings.
Some name-brand products are truly of a higher quality than their generic counterparts. But by and large, when you buy name brand, you're just paying more to fund those companies' ads. Stick with the generic products unless you notice a significant difference in quality and put the difference into your bank account instead.
Buying items in bulk that you know you're going to use eventually might cost you a little more upfront, but you'll save yourself money over time. For items like toilet paper, paper towels, soap, and batteries, it makes sense to bulk buy rather than purchasing smaller quantities when you run out. Of course, you don't want to go too extreme with this or you could end up with a house full of extra products. You also need to be mindful of any expiration dates on foods or vitamins you buy in bulk. Make sure you'll use them all before they go bad.
Simple actions like turning down the temperature on your water heater or changing your light bulbs from incandescent to LED bulbs can make a difference in your electricity bill and help the environment with little to no upfront cost. When you are in the market for new appliances, seek out energy-efficient models to help you save even more on water and electricity.
You can also eliminate phantom energy costs by plugging some of your devices into a power strip -- turn the whole strip off when you're not using your devices to avoid throwing money away on electricity you're not using.
Plastic water bottles are bad for the environment and they can get pretty expensive if you're buying them often. Consider purchasing a water filter for your sink and a reusable water bottle that you can fill and take with you wherever you go. It is a bit of an upfront investment and you'll have to replace the filters periodically, but over the long run, it'll save you money compared to buying a bunch of plastic water bottles every month. And you can feel good about doing your part for the environment too.
No one really cares about change anymore. If we drop some on the ground, we don't always bother to pick it up. But it's still money and if you hold onto it, it'll start to add up. Put a change dish near wherever you set down your purse or wallet in your home. Get into the habit of putting any coins you receive that day into the dish. When you have enough, you can cash them in at the bank.
If you truly want to save more money, you'll probably have to make some lifestyle changes eventually, but you can start with a few of these simple tricks above. They don't require any big changes and they should help you bank at least a few extra dollars each month.
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