The economic downturn that has affected the world over the last several years has been a big blow to many people, with high unemployment rates, the housing crisis, lower purchasing power, and the rising cost of food, goods, and gasoline.
Like many, you may feel a squeeze on your wallet. Here are some simple ways to save money so you can comfortably make it through these tough economic times:
- Cook at Home Often – While it’s nice to eat at restaurants from time to time, especially on special occasions, the cost of eating out can really add up. If time and motivation is a factor, you can at least get into the habit by starting out with cooking a meal at home once a week and expanding from more and more from there. Also, you can cook a big meal and create extras for eating throughout the week.
- Banking – Use a bank that respects you. You shouldn’t have to spend your hard earned cash on excessive maintenance fees and overdraft charges. You should also be earning a decent level of interest on your savings and checking accounts. Consider switching to a local credit union or online banker.
- Debt – Pay off debt as soon as possible. If you carry debt, consolidate to a lower interest rate. Work out a budget plan to pay off your debt. Paying money to banks on interest is wasted money. Pay off those debts quickly.
- Turn Off Your TV – This is primarily psychological in nature. You are less exposed to guilt and fear-inducing advertising that programs you to waste your money on unnecessary items. Also, you will use less electricity and you have more time to focus on other things.
- Utilize the Library – In addition to being able checking out books and magazines at many libraries, you can check out a wide assortment of music and movies. Also, many libraries are connected to a wider network of other libraries in the area. You can go online and make a reservation from any of these libraries and then pick up the hold at your local library. Best of all, it’s free.
- Make Your Own Gifts – Instead of buying gifts at the store, make your own. Many gifts, such as cakes, cookies, crafts, soap, candles, picture frames, and personalized videos can be made quite easily and inexpensively. Also, people usually appreciate homemade gifts more so than store-bought ones as they have the personal touch.
- Keep Your Car as Long as Possible – Compared to other personal investments, cars depreciate in value greatly, especially in the first year of ownership. Keep your can as long as possible with regular maintenance. Determine the cost difference between getting potential repairs for your existing car and purchasing a new car.
- Grow Your Own Food – If you have a bit of a green thumb, grow your own food. With the rising cost of food products, you can grow the equivalent amount of food as that bought at the store, for a fraction of the cost. Also, food that you grow on your own is much fresher and without harmful synthetic fertilizers and pesticides if grown organically. If you have extra fruit and vegetables, you can freeze or can them for enjoyment throughout the year.
- Invite Friends Over Instead of Going Out – Nearly every activity that you do at home is less expensive than going out. Invite friends over and have a party or a cookout. Everyone can have fun in the comforts of your home. In all likelihood, your friends will reciprocate the gesture in a future get-together.
Perhaps you enjoy creating and maintaining budgets and you want to pursue a career in accounting. For more information on educational opportunities, click here.
Learn more about teaching kids the value of a dollar and how to set a budget in these posts:
The Simple Dollar (2008)
Dumb Little Man (2008)
Disclosure: Featured Writer provided by Blog Services Inc.