This is a guest post by LookBeforeSpending
Anywhere you look, you can find advice on how to save money or steps you can take to have extra cash at the end of the month. But what about right now? What can you do right this second to save some money?
1) Create a budget.
This one seems too easy, but do you do it? Creating a budget makes you think about the money that you are spending. It creates accountability. You’ve got to be honest with yourself though, and don’t cheat! Record everything that you spend and you’ll be surprised at where you can make some easy cuts to save some serious cash!
2) Lower your credit card interest rate with a phone call. This can be one of the most instantaneous ways to save. If you are carrying a balance and your account is in good standing, your credit card company (especially AMEX) might be willing to work with you. I have gotten a lower rate two separate times by doing this! We literally saved thousands by making two 5 minute phone calls! Worst case scenario: they say no and you lose nothing.
3) Make stocks from kitchen scraps! When you’re cooking tonight, save the ends of the carrots, onions, celery and any other veggie you chop off. Freeze them and when you’re ready, add them to a pot of boiling water to make a delicious vegetable stock from scratch! Do this with chicken and seafood too! Instead of throwing away scraps and buying stock, make your own and save yourself the $1-$2 per can!
4) Store your food to make it last.
Did you know bread stays fresh in the refrigerator more than twice as long on the counter top? Do you open cookies or snacks and just haphazardly clip them shut? Transfer snacks to air-tight containers to keep them crunchy and fresh for longer. When it comes to food storage, remember, air is the enemy.
5) Check for auto-renewals Check up on your subscription to the Jelly of the Month club. Is it set to auto-renew and charge your card monthly? Would you even know if it was? Many offers nowadays have fine print enrolling you into an auto-pay schedule. Don’t get caught paying for something every month or year that you don’t ever use.
6) Fill up less often.
I know you have heard it a thousand times, but the faster you drive, the more gas you burn. Fast acceleration burns up gas, and therefore money, very quickly. Additionally, every MPH over 65 that you go drastically decreases your MPG average. So slow down or leave a few minutes early, you’ll make up the time by spending less time at the pump. Also, properly maintaining your car’s tire pressure and air filters can help get you the most out of your gas.
7) Wasted heating and air? This one works for both your car and your home. Make sure you are not heating or cooling a room where no one is inside. Driving alone? Close the passenger vents. Shutting vents that are not needed transfers cooling/heating power to the other vents, thus making them more effective. Does everyone sleep in their rooms upstairs? Why have the downstairs vents open? I know, closing every vent can be tedious, but if you just close one out of 10 vents, the other 9 will get a 10% power boost, so think about it!
8) Go low flow? Whether or not if affects your pocketbook, we should all be trying to conserve water. There are many areas that charge based on water usage, so having low flow shower heads and faucets can be a big money saver. Check your local home store for low flow accessories to make saving water easier for you to do without thinking about it.