Make Your Money Go Further This Year

Photo credit: © Truthout.org

 

You work very hard for your money, but does the way you spend it suggest that it isn’t valuable to you as much as it should be? Whether you’re using a high interest credit card for purchases or leave all of the lights on in your house, you are literally giving your money away. Here are a few simple ways you can make your money go further this year:

 

Monitor Your Spending

Save all of your receipts for every little purchase and review them after thirty days. Consider how you can change your spending habits to save money. Can you go without the non-essential luxuries, such as buying coffee at coffee shops, satellite TV service or eating out at restaurants? Be sure to cancel any unused monthly memberships, services and subscriptions. Cutting back on all of those little expenses will help your money go further this year.

 

Create a Budget

You can stretch your income this year by creating a budget and sticking to it. Write down all of your necessary monthly expenses, such as mortgage payment, utilities and groceries. Now write down all of your reliable sources of income and total up your monthly earnings. Your income must exceed your expenditures for you to be within budget. Be sure that you pay for your essentials before spending anything on little luxuries.

 

Use and Compare Credit Cards Wisely

If you’re paying a high interest rate, then use an online tool that allows you to compare credit cards so you can find a card that offers a lower rate. Watch out for the cards that offer low introductory interest rates, however, since they often hike up the rates dramatically if you’re late with just one payment.

If you don’t have a card with an introductory 0% rate, try to make sure you pay off the whole balance in full each due date. By doing this you’ll avoid having to pay interest, saving yourself a lot of money.

 

Save on Transportation Costs

You can save quite a lot of money on gas, auto insurance, maintenance and car repairs by leaving your vehicle at home as much as possible. Consider setting up a car pool, riding public transportation or getting in shape by walking, biking or skating wherever you need to go. 

If you must drive your car, you can increase the efficiency of its fuel consumption by removing any unnecessary weight, such as the roof rack or all of the stuff you lug around in your trunk. Re-examine your car insurance policy to see if it includes any expensive features you’re not likely to ever use. Raise your deductible to lower the cost of your monthly premiums.

 

Save Money on Utilities

Turn out the lights when you’re not using them. Switch off the heater or air conditioning when you’re leaving the house. Take shorter showers and turn off the water while you brush your teeth. Taking those small steps will add up to make your money go further this year.

 

Rethink Your Grocery Shopping Strategy 

Always write a list before you go to the grocery store and stick to it while shopping. Use manufacturer and store coupons combined with sales to save a bundle. Buy multiple items when you find a great deal. Avoid buying items in convenient packaging. Those 100-calorie snack packs might be great for your diet, but they’re not so great for your wallet.

 

Avoid Automatic Renewals 

Never allow any company or service to automatically renew your account. Check out your policy and compare it to others to see how much you could save by switching to another plan or even another company.

 

These are just some of the small steps you can take that will add up to big savings. Bear in mind that the more you save, the further your money will go this year.

 

  • http://www.smartwealth.org/ Evan @ Smartwealth

    I’m trying this year to stay to the plan and to the budget and not stray too far away.  I like the higher fuel economy by taking the roof rack off, another would be to make sure your windows are rolled up.

    • http://www.dollarversity.com Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity

      I used to believe in the wind-drag coefficient affect a car’s fuel economy, but I discovered a while ago that as long as you are on the streets, it’s actually more economical to open the windows rather than keep them closed and running the air conditioning.

  • http://notmadeofmoney.com/blog/ Dana

    I’ve found when we neglect to carefully monitor our spending, we find our spending has increased (funny how that works…)