HOW TO SAVE CASH
Money-Saving Tips That Will Change the Way You Live & Travel!
Carlsbad, CA. By Ken Faught. I have always been relatively conservative, and I get that from my dad. He was an auditor for a big oil company, and he taught me how to save money every day and how to save money every month. He taught me how to save money fast, and how to be smart. He taught me to seek experiences, not things. My dad travelled for work about 24 weeks a year when I was growing up. He traveled all over the United States and to places like Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and a whole lot more. He was always bringing home foreign currency and explain the various cultures around the world. For sure, my dad is a role model, a hard worker, and one of the key people who had the greatest impact on my life.
It was during COVID-19, and after a conversation with my dad, that my wife and I took a real detailed look at our finances, just to audit what we did with our money every month. We were already very conservative, but we did look at a lot of things that made us rethink what we are doing and why. We think this list will also help you save money, so here are some tricks and tips for people on every budget.
The Basics – Understanding the Concept of Saving
1. Start Now - The goal of saving is to plan for your future, whether that is for an emergency, a college fund for kids, a house or retirement. Whatever you do, don’t wait to start saving. Even saving $25 a week or $100 a month can make a difference over time. Then, increase your savings as your income increases.
2. Build a Budget- Create an Excel spreadsheet of all your expenses, and then track this every month when you pay your bills. This will open your eyes as to where you are spending money, and we think the results may surprise you. Starbucks 365 days a year at $6 equals $2190! A little number times a big number is always a big number, remember that fact!
3. Force yourself to save - Move money from your checking account and put some of it into savings every month. This will force you to be more conservative with your spending.
Take Advantage of Company Benefits
4. Play the Tax Game - Make sure you fill out all your company paperwork correctly, so they are withholding the proper amount. This could mean the difference of paying a tax or getting a refund.
5. Retirement Fund Matching - if Available. If your company offers a matching program, make sure that you are taking advantage of it. This is basically free money.
Bank Related Tips
6. Credit Card Balance - Set a goal of paying off your credit card balance so you don’t have to pay any interest. Credit card interest is one of the biggest ways to lose money imaginable. If you have credit card debt, try to pay it down every month until it’s gone. This is one of the best ways to save money!
7. Free Checking – Work with your bank or find a new bank that offers free checking. This can save a lot of money, but it typically requires a minimum balance.
8. Credit Car Annual Fees – Find credit cards that have no annual fees or the best balance between fees and travel rewards points.
9. Make Reminders for Auto Pay cancellation – A lot of companies set up customers on auto-pay and auto-renewals. Make sure you know when your agreements terminate for services, and that you actually want to renew them in the future.
10. Are You Paying Too Much for your Mortgage? – Use an online mortgage calculator and see for yourself how much money you can save on your mortgage. Compare what you are currently paying with what you could refinance your home for at current rates. The difference could be hundreds of dollars a month.
Outright Cut Expenses
11. Best Fitness Program - Places like 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, Planet Fitness, UFC Gym, Anytime Fitness, and LA Fitness may offer the convenience and high-tech amenities but consider if you could accomplish the same by working out at your house or exercising outdoors. $50 a month for 12 months is $600. If you are in a 30 percent tax bracket, that means you basically need to make nearly $900 gross to pay the $600 after
12. Wash your own car – If you pay $30 a month to get your car washed, you could save $360 annually by doing the work yourself.
13. Reduce Dining Out – I learned during COVID-19 just how much money I was spending by eating out all the time. There is a high price for convenience, and I know that you get it.
14. Just Add Water - I love my Diet Coke, but I save a lot of money and am eating healthier by reducing my intake of soda and drinking good ole fashion water.
15. Utilities - Take a look at your utility bills and see if there is something you can do to reduce costs. Most of these operate off a tier system, meaning that you pay substantially more when you have what the utility deems as excessive use. You can’t cut this completely, but I bet you can probably knock 20 percent off your overall bill without too much effort.
16. Cut the Vices – If you drink alcohol and/or smoke, then you know exactly how expensive this can be every week. Cutting these out of your life can be quick and easy way to save money.
17. Cut the Cord? – Do you still need your home phone or cable? Lots of people have cut the cord and are finding ways to still be entertained and save money.
Shop for Discounts
18. Don’t Play the Name Brand Game - Ask yourself if you really need the name brand, or if there is an alternative that is just as good, nearly as good, or a solid value.
19. Insurance Woes - Shop around for better rates on auto, homeowner and health insurance. Do you know how to get the best rates on auto insurance? The internet is full of companies who will give you quotes, and they are very competitive.
20. Coupon Clipper – I used to tease my wife about saving all the coupons, but she absolutely crushes it at the grocery store.
21. Join Shopping Clubs – A lot of grocery stores, gas stations, and other retail stores offer rewards programs. Make a list of the places you shop regularly and consider joining as many of their clubs as possible.
Simple Things We Forget
22. Temperature Loss - Close your blinds to conserve energy. When it’s really hot or cold outside, windows allow for a lot of temperature exchange, so just be aware of this fact.
23. Too Cold? - Change your heating and air conditioning thermostat and set it at a more realistic level. Just remind yourself that there is a premium for being completely comfortable.
24. Water Heather Tips – Same thing as your thermostat inside your house. Consider lowering the temperature on your water heater by a few degrees.