Five Ways to Save Money

March 3, 2009

Saving money does not imply a life of depravation rather it is one of thrifty shopping, careful choices, and a saving mindset. Making just a few adjustments in five areas of your normal life will help you save money.

Groceries are one of the most expensive items on any budget. Be sure to take a list with you to the grocery store; this will help to cut back on impulse items. If you are still concerned, then why not take a friend shopping with you. Exchange lists at the store and each of you can gather up the other’s groceries, virtually eliminating all impulses. And don’t forget to cut out coupons. It may take some time, but it will add up in the end.

Frugal people still vacation, they just do it wisely. You can really stretch the vacation dollars by traveling during the shoulder season or off-season, although it’s a good idea to check to see if local attractions will be open if you want to attend. Since much of a vacation budget goes to housing, why not spend your vacation visiting family? There is the joy of bonding with relatives, but you also get to stay for free.

Saving money doesn’t mean that you have to stay home all the time. If you do a little looking around, you are sure to find that many of the museums, zoos, botanical gardens and other places offer free or discount days. For those that don’t offer the free days you can check to see if a group discount is available and then call up your other friends for an outing. For movie nights, check with the local library to see if they have movies available to check out. There are also some days that movie theaters provide deep discounts to seeing a first-run movie.

Clothing can be a major expense as clothing manufacturers, especially big brand names, often charge outrageous prices. Buying out of season (buying winter clothes in the summer and vice versa) will help to cut this item in your budget.

One item that it is not always wise to buy new is the automobile. While there is nothing wrong with having a nice car, if you can’t pay for it with cash then it is probably not worth it. Drive what you have while you save up, and then purchase with cash. Just having the money in hand will give you a lot of negotiating power. Today, many of the used car dealers include some type of warranty with their cars, making the purchase even more secure.

Saving money is truly rewarding. By being a little thrifty here and there, by thinking about your choices before you make them, and by developing a mindset of savings, you can live a fulfilled frugal life.

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