Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Saving Money Is Easier Than You Think It Is

Just about everyone could do with saving a few pennies for a rainy day, but sometimes cutting back on financial expenses can be tough. Here are several easy ways to save money that you may not have considered: 1. Carpool to work. Sharing a ride with neighbors or colleagues is not only good for the environment, but it’s easy on the wallet as well. Ride-sharing even one day a week has been shown to save carpoolers 10%–20% of commuting costs. Bonus tip: If carpooling doesn’t work with your schedule, look into taking public transportation instead of driving. You’ll save money on gas, car maintenance, and parking. 2. Make a meal plan. Dining out takes a huge bite out of many family budgets because most people don’t plan ahead. Every weekend, draw up a meal plan for the week ahead and shop for the needed ingredients. The excuse that “there’s nothing to eat” won’t be an option when dinner time rolls around. Bonus tip: Take a detailed list to the grocery store so you won’t be tempted to buy items on an impulse. 3. Maintain your vehicle. Schedule oil changes and appropriate tune-ups when recommended. These have a financial cost upfront, but simple, ongoing maintenance work is far less expensive than major repairs that might be required if these are overlooked. Bonus tip: Learn how to change the oil in your car and perform basic maintenance yourself to avoid paying shop fees. Or, find a friend or neighbor who has these skills and make an exchange. An oil change for a week’s worth of dog walking only requires time! 4. Read e-books. Instead of buying new hard-copy editions, purchase digital books, which can be significantly less expensive. Bonus tip: Can’t give up the good ol’ ink-and-paper book? You can still save money by shopping at used bookstores or purchasing used books online. Alternatively, hold a book-swapping party with friends and you’ll all walk away with new-to-you books at no cost.