Who Wants to be a Hundredaire? Ten Tips to Help You Save $100
Who wouldn’t like to have an extra $100 to put toward bills, or a weekend getaway, or a new couch or, well, just about anything?
Sometimes it seems like there’s just no way to get ahead. Our income is fixed, our monthly recurring bills only seem to go up, not down, and prices in the store and at the gas pump only increase. So how are we going to save that $100?
It’s not really as hard as you think. We’ve all set up certain patterns for ourselves, and it’s quite likely a change of these habits will leave us with a little extra cash at the end of the month. If we keep changing our patterns, we may end up with an extra $100 each month.
1.) Use websites like Mommysavers.com, a website for frugal moms who are also trying to save a little money and share the information when stores are holding special sales events.
If you’re using websites to save a little extra money, you’ll want to download a real-time app from GasBuddy.com. It automatically searches for the best gas prices in your area and updates them throughout the day.
There are several moneysaving sites, so don’t be afraid to do some research of your own.
2.) Stop impulse buying at the grocery store. Go when you’re full, not hungry. Make a list and stick to it. Set a budget. Keep track of the cost of things as you add them to your cart. Food prices have gone up enough without throwing in something that looks good in the store, but turns out to be kale or quinoa in yet another disguise.
3.) Related to that: COUPONS! You don’t have to wait for the Sunday paper to clip coupons now, since most of them are online and instantly downloadable to your phone.
Also, if your supermarket has its own brand of gasoline, they probably offer loyalty rewards in the form of fuel points. It’s usually something like 10 cents for every $100 spent in the store. The points should be instantly available, so you can either fuel up right after shopping, or save those points up until you have some real savings.
4.) Start that diet and workout plan you’ve been talking about for the past umpteen years. Insurance companies offer lower rates to people in good health. This is determined by weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and lifestyle habits, such as smoking and drinking.
5.) Stop smoking and/or drinking. Not only will you feel better, you’ll save a bundle by cutting out the tobacco. An occasional drink is fine, but a daily brew — or two or three — add up.
6.) Skip that morning cup of Starbucks. Take a travel mug of your own coffee with you. And instead of going out for lunch, take your own lunch with you. Not only will this help cut down on expenses, you can demolish the leftovers instead of throwing them out at the end of the week.
7.) Since we’re talking about how insurance premiums can be affected by your health, let’s admit it might not be a bad idea to comparison shop for home and auto insurance. Sure, you’ve been with this provider for a while now, but does another agency offer a better deal? Is it cheaper to bundle home and auto together with one provider, or is it more cost-efficient to split them up between two companies?
And if you find a company you’re thinking of switching over to, tell your agent first. He might be able to match the price.
8.) Bundle. Television, Internet, phone. If you have three separate providers, check into how much you might save if you put them all under one roof. Also, take a look through all the channels you have and don’t watch. You can probably have them dropped from your package and gain some savings there, but be aware cable providers tend to do their own bundling and stick those unloved channels to channels you actually might want. But is it a channel you can live without, even if it goes bye-bye? If it is, drop it.
If you already bundle, talk to your provider and see if you can negotiate a lower price. If you tell them you’re thinking of looking elsewhere, they may offer you a special rate, or they may wish you good luck with that.
9.) Home date. Instead of going out on the town, why not just make it a home date? You can make a nice meal or order in, watch a movie, talk a walk, go for a ride, play card or board games, or video games, or just spend time talking and reconnecting.
10.) Use a credit card that offers a percentage of cash-back. Make sure you pay the balance in full when each new statement arrives. You’ll be surprised by how much cash you’ve earned at the end of a year.
Once you get started, you’ll probably come up with some ways of your own to cut expenses and start saving. A good start is to write down how much the monthly bills come to, groceries, gas, and other miscellaneous expenses. Got the total? Now write down your monthly income. Does all of your money go toward bills, or should there be some left over?
If that’s the case, you can obviously make some cuts somewhere. It’s up to you to figure out where.