Money Saving Tips by Sectors
Want to save money on entertainment, technology, fitness, and health expenses in 2021? Review the simple tips below for saving money on those expenses every day. Another way to save money this year is to prepare and e-File your 2020 Tax Return on eFile.com. We provide the same features as other popular tax prep and e-Filing sites for less and everyone receives free premium tax support. See other reasons to prepare and e-file your return on eFile.com.
Reduce Entertainment Expenses
- Use the public library. Most have a great selection of books for any age, and some may even have DVDs that you can borrow. Best of all, it’s free, so you won’t need to spend money at the bookstore or rent movies.
- If you cannot go to the library, consider joining an online book-swapping club. It lets you exchange books with other readers for the cost of postage.
- If you have a magazine that you always read, opt for a subscription instead of buying it off a newsstand.
- You may save money by sticking to basic cable. Then, sign up for a web-streaming service such as Netflix, which lets you watch unlimited movies and TV shows for a low monthly fee. Websites like Hulu.com have plenty of free movies and shows that you can watch, including new episodes of popular basic cable shows. Additionally, do away with basic cable and utilize one or two streaming services for much cheaper.
- When going to a bar, eat before you go or go during happy hour to save money.
- When eating out, skip dessert.
- Instead of going to a professional football game, you can go to a high school football game, which can be just as exciting, but much, much cheaper. Same goes for other sports.
- Try to avoid concessions at movie theaters; they are usually overpriced.
- Instead of buying books at a bookstore, first search for books online on sites like Amazon.com and eBay.com. Some books are sold for significantly lower than you can find at your typical bookstore.
- Go to the movie theater during the day as matinee ticket prices are cheaper.
- Get your news online instead of from a magazine or newspaper.
- If you live near a college town, you can catch big-name concert acts cheap. Performers and artists often include campus theaters as part of their tours and tickets may go for less than they would in a theater or stadium in a major city.
- Check with your local parks and recreation department for local inexpensive (or free) events. Even in economic downturns, they often receive funding for programs and activities for residents of all ages.
- You don't have to go far away (or pay high travel fees) to have fun; drive or walk to local festivals, flea markets, or garage sales. Usually you can find event listings in your local newspaper or your hometown's website.
- The National Park Service has several free admission dates each year at national parks and attractions. For dates, visit nps.gov and search "free entrance days."
- Volunteer to usher at events held in local theaters. Not only will you get to see performances (concerts, lectures, stage shows, etc.) for free, you'll get the satisfaction from supporting the arts in your community.
Reduce Electronics and Technology Expenses
- Unplug your cell phone and other portable electronics chargers when they are not in use. They usually use several watts an hour even if they are idle. Unplugging them can save some money on your electricity bill.
- Learn when new electronics come out so you don't buy something just before it becomes obsolete.
- Consider a prepaid cell phone instead of the usual kind (you pay after you've made calls). All the big carriers offer them, but they rarely advertise them.
- If you don’t have much use for your landline phone and have a cell phone, consider getting rid of the landline phone. Not using a landline can save you at least several hundred dollars.
- When buying a new computer, avoid financing plans if you can afford to, they will end up costing significantly more in the long run.
- Extended warranties offered by stores on electronics are often a waste of money. More times than not, you will end up paying more for the warranty than for repair or replacement of the product. That is especially the case if you are very careful with your electronics.
- If you make frequent, long-distance phone calls; consider using VoIP services; they offer phone calls to landline phone numbers that are either free or cheaper than those offered by traditional long-distance phone call providers.
- If traveling outside the U.S., put your phone on airplane mode. If you don't, the phone keeps checking the email and internet over the cellular network in the new country (and you get a huge bill when you return). If you must check email, turn on Wi-Fi and find a Wi-Fi hot spot.
- Buy refurbished computers, which are usually available on major technology brands' websites. Refurbished computers were bought and then returned for some reason. They've been inspected even more thoroughly than new machines and have the same warranty, but cost less.
- If you or someone in your family plays video games, don’t buy those that can only be played once and will then get boring. Buy only ones that have a high replay value, opt for renting ones that don’t if you really want to play it.
- Beware of impulsive purchases like 99 cent downloads. They don’t seem like much, but if you do it often, all those purchases will add up.
- If you are taking your smartphone or tablet to Europe, buy an international phone/data package before you leave to prevent costly roaming charges. Short-term plans generally start at $25-$30 and can save you hundreds of dollars.
- Save on printer ink by using the Century Gothic font. A recent study showed that Century Gothic consumes about a third less ink than Arial. That saves about $20 a year printing 25 pages a week.
Save on Exercise and Fitness Expenses
- If you have a gym membership but don't visit the gym often, try switching to a per-visit payment plan if it's cheaper. There is no use spending money on a monthly plan when you only go to the gym once or twice a week.
- Instead of paying for a gym membership, you can work out for free. Pushups, sit-ups, pull-ups, and squats can all be done with minimal equipment. For a cardiovascular workout, you can go for a run in your neighborhood if the weather allows which is a much more pleasant alternative to the treadmill. You can also fit workouts into everyday activities: park farther from your destination so you walk more.
- Check out your community for local exercise classes for little or no cost.
- Don't join a gym if you won't use it. If you will be able to use a gym, look for membership deals when you join with a friend or family member. You'll have an exercise buddy to keep you motivated and you'll save money.
- Take advantage of free exercise classes on YouTube or other websites.
- Buy inexpensive workout equipment. A jump rope, a pair of dumbbells, and an exercise ball are effective and cheap.
Spend Less On Health Expenses
- Cut your medical expenses by making exercise and healthy eating a habit.
- You can save money on prescriptions not only by buying generic but also by buying larger supplies, like a 90 day supply instead of a monthly supply.
- Take advantage of wellness benefits offered through your job. Many employers give incentives for participation in exercise and other health programs.
- Quitting smoking won’t just save money on cigarettes but also reduce the risk of diseases like cancer and heart disease, potentially saving thousands of dollars in the future.
- Getting a flu vaccine at a drug store or pharmacy is cheaper than going to the doctor’s office.
- Pick a prescription drug plan based on the drugs you take. Plans charge different copays and they sometimes vary by more than $100 a month for the same drug.
- Sign up for Medicare at the right time. Missing the deadline could cost a lot in late penalties, which would be added to your premiums for all future years you apply for Medicare.
- Find health programs that reduce Medicare costs. If your income is low, you may qualify for a Medicare Savings Program (under which states pay premiums and other expenses) and/or low-cost drug coverage under Part D's Extra Help program. Details on Medical Savings Accounts.
- Take your medications regularly. Many expensive hospital visits are for conditions (asthma, high blood pressure, etc.) that were managed well with medications until they worsened when patients skipped doses.
- If your health plan has high prescription copays, see whether you could get a better price by paying cash at a major pharmacy chain or warehouse store.
- Drink water instead of soda. Not only is water cheaper, it is also healthier.
More Money Saving Tips
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