Mismanaged finances are a sure way to bring on the indigestion, stomach ulcers and chest pain. With too much money going out and not enough coming in to pay the bills and keep food on the table, many find themselves in a quandary: how to produce the money out of thin air. Usually that’s when the credit card comes out, resulting in $886 billion dollars of debt as of 2010 that the U.S. is swallowing in.Fortunately, if you realize that credit cards are not always the answer, you are on the right track. Cut your stress down by incorporating a few simple ways to save money in the garage, at the office and in the kitchen. You will find yourself living a simpler life, but one free of financial worry. Please subscribe to our future articles here.
Invest in Tools
- While it sounds ironic, spending a little money on a quality tool kit can save big bucks later. A garage outfitted with the items listed below will allow you to mend things you already own. This can save you time and money.
- Stock up on a number of tools to keep appliances running smoothly and your house in top condition.
- Cordless Drill
- Hand or circular saw
- Spackle and putty knife
- Screwdriver set
- Wrench set
- Tape measure
- Glue – carpenter’s, super glue and regular white glue
- Utility Blades
Stop the Gas Guzzling
Not everyone can work from home, but if you can convince your boss to let you telecommute one or two days out the week, you could be instantly boosting your disposable income. If your commute is approximately 20 miles round trip for a single day in a car that gets 15 miles to the gallon, and you save that by staying home, you will bring in a little over $240 a year. While it may not seem like a lot of money, it can pay for a year’s worth of oil changes and then some.
Make Friends with Your Kitchen
Eat in. No, seriously, don’t go out to eat, even if you don’t feel like cooking. Not only will you save gas money by staying at home and cooking in, it can be healthier and more nutritious. Healthier eating means a strong immune system which translates into less money spent at the doctor. Also, shopping at the grocery store can give you more food for your money, leaving you with extra dollars in the bank at the end of the month.
Write a List
Give yourself and your pocketbook a break by making a list and planning all the food and household items you need ahead of time. Stick with the list you wrote down to help you avoid impulse purchases. If you feel you really “gotta have it” write down on your shopping list for the next trip. Many times, that impulse will go away, saving you a little more money.
Cut the Designer Coffee
It’s not just coffee. Cigarettes, magazines, video games and shopping sprees are all culprits in whisking your money away faster than a hole burning in your pocket. Just like the gas, cutting out small daily or weekly expenditures can save you hundreds. Opt for these money saving methods instead:
- Coffee – make it at home, buy some flavored creamer and smile. You saved yourself $4. Multiply $4 by 5 days a week for 12 months. You have got nearly $1k in the bank.
- Cigarettes – Just quit. You’re saving money on the expense, extending your life and saving yourself future trips to the doctor.
- Video games and magazines – Sign up for a library card in your county and let yourself run wild with everything it has to offer.
- Shopping Sprees – Swap spending money as therapy for your woes with a conversation or a get-together with your friend. You will get more out of the social interaction and your wallet will thank you.
Brown bag it
Just like eating dinner at home with the family saves money, taking a homemade lunch to work can save you dough too. Like the sound of two or three grand? That’s how much you could be saving each year if you brought your lunch to work rather than spending the $8 or $9 on a quick lunch.
Consider Your Wardrobe
When it comes to shopping for work appropriate clothing, keep it simple. Choose pieces that you can mix and match to create new outfits. Consider shopping at a discount outlet store where you can get name brands for 1/2 of the original cost. Use neutral colors such as black, navy, brown and ivory to make outfit ideas easy. Pick a few signature clothing or accessory pieces to cut down on clothing expenditures.
Check out Your Benefits
Learn about everything that your workplace has to offer. What you needed when you first started at your job may have increased as your family increased or as your life changed. Check out the list below for a few items that many companies these day offer as part of a benefits package. Cash in them; if they are already paid for, why are you spending your hard-earned dollars?
- Childcare services
- Free tickets to sports or concerts
- Personal improvement courses
- Community events
- Community gardening
- Employee matching
- Educational classes
- Financial planning
- Bonus options
These eight different ways should help relieve some of the financial pressure you feel, giving you a chance to relax and rest easy at night. Following even a handful of these ideas will help anyone on any budget increase the amount of money they have in the bank to save for that rainy day.
Sierra Dawson is a social media advocate, helping consumers find the best credit card balance transfer offers to save money with less stress at CreditDonkey.
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