Live a Frugal Life: Money Saving Tips
Want to save money on common purchases and everyday expenses? These simple, practical money saving tips can help you maximize your budget and have more money left over at the end of each month to add to your savings or to help pay off your debts (or to buy yourself something special!):
Tips for Saving Money on Everyday Expenses
- If you’re friendly with your neighbors, ask your neighbors to babysit your kids and offer to babysit theirs in exchange. There are a lot of parents out there willing to do that to save money on babysitters. You can also ask your friends that live close by.
- Instead of calling a carpet cleaning service, rent a carpet cleaning machine and clean your carpets on your own, it will save you a significant amount of money.
- Cut your own hair or get someone to cut your hair. If your hairstyle is not too complicated it shouldn’t be difficult for a friend or family member to cut your hair successfully.
- Avoid rent-to-own services; they generally cost at least 50% more than the sales price of the product you’re buying.
- Instead of constantly buying new postage stamps to keep up with increasing fees, purchase "forever" stamps. That way, you won't have to worry about higher postage costs when mailing a 1-ounce first-class letter (regardless of future price increases). Some stamp dealers will sell you bulk quantities of old regular stamps at a discount from face value.
Tips for Getting Your Finances on the Right Track
- Avoid debt. Most debt carries an interest rate, so not having debt will save you the interest payments.
- Optimizing your tax withholding on your W-4 form can leave more money in your paycheck each month.
- An online savings account often has a higher interest rate than one at a traditional bank. If you don’t mind the fact that there is no brick and mortar neighborhood location, consider putting some of your money into an online savings account whose interest rate can be several percent higher than one of a traditional bank.
- Pay off your credit card debt. Paying it off is like saving because you won’t have debt, and plus you won’t lose money on interest payments.
- When investing, you can invest in index funds instead of actively managed funds. It can save you a lot of money on fees, and many actively managed funds were found to not have much of a difference in gains from index funds.
- Avoid banking fees. Shop around for the bank that has the lowest fees, or no fees at all. Getting something for free is always better than paying for it.
- Make a budget, it will help you keep track of your expenses and help you eliminate unnecessary spending.
- Know how much taxes you will have to pay to the IRS this year, or if you will get a tax refund. Use our free tax calculator for an estimate!
Miscellaneous Money Saving Tips
- Make your own greeting cards.
- If you have a pet, don’t take him or her to a pet salon, instead do it yourself.
- Baked goods can be gifts too.
- Buy refill kits for ink cartridges, it’s cheaper than buying a new cartridge.
- Adding improvements to your home like smoke detectors or burglar alarms can save you some money on your homeowners insurance.
- Instead of stopping monthly payments when you pay off your car loan, keep making the payments into your savings account. It’s an easy way to save, and you can then use that money to buy your next car upfront or make a significant down payment and thus save money on paying interest on the loan.
- Buy only what you really need.
- You can go to dental schools to get something simple like a cleaning done, and it will often cost you little or no money.
- Dryer sheets can be cut in half and still work fine, thus saving you money.
- Kill fleas and flea eggs embedded in pillows, throw rugs, and blankets by placing infested items in a plastic garbage bag and putting the bag in your car (with the windows rolled up) for a couple of hours when it's hot outside. The extreme heat will kill all the fleas. This way, you don't have to spend money on flea repellents (and harm the environment with chemicals).
- Instead of presents for each member of a family, purchase a gift card the whole family can use for movies, bowling, ball games, and other activities.
- Use old maps, calendars, or Sunday comics for colorful gift packaging.
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Tax and Money Savings Tips
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