07.30.2010 / Saving Tips for the Unsavvy Saver
In this economy, it makes sense to save when and where you can. However, finding spare dollars to put into savings does not come naturally to many of us. To help you get started, we have pulled together some of our favorite no nonsense tips to help you save within your budget.
"Before you know it, the small changes you make will be part of your normal routine."
Chances are that some of you already know the basics – but if you don’t, here they are:
Brown bag your lunch; skip that morning latte; rent movies instead of hitting the theater; make repairs instead of buying a new car; review your monthly money outflow and cancel any unused memberships (like the gym you “want” to go to, but never do), subscriptions (the magazines you don’t have time to read), cable channels, cell phone features and other extraneous expenses.
While the steps above can free up dollars in your budget, there are other, more creative ways to save money as well:
Get it for FREE.
- Visit the library for free books, magazines, newspapers, CDs, DVDs and Internet access.
- Volunteer to work part-time at a sports venue or performing arts center, and enjoy the games or the show!
- Check your community calendar, local park and recreation centers for free activities and events. (These come in especially handy when your kids are off for the summer!)
- www.restaurant.com and www.retailmenot.com/coupons/food have special deals on dining out.
- www.paperbackswap.com, www.swapacd.com and www.swapadvd.com to trade books, CDs and DVDs.
- www.eBay.com and www.buysellcommunity.com to sell what you don’t want and buy what you need for less.
WORK the system.
- Check with your employer and membership groups (such as AAA, alumni and professional associations) for discount tickets, lower-priced insurance and other deals.
- Join free customer rewards programs at retail shops, restaurants and movie theaters to earn discounts and freebies.
Clip coupons and examine your grocery store’s weekly flyer; watch for the biggest sales and plan your week’s meals around those items rather than buying the same thing each week.
Today is the best day to start some – or even all – of these savings tactics. Making just one change or two can help you save up some cash. For example, by skipping the morning latte, you can save $15-$20 a week – or between $700-$1,000 a year.
Before you know it, the small changes you make will be part of your normal routine – and you’ll have more cash to stash away. And if you’re looking for ideas on the best way to make your savings work for you, contact a First National Bank representative or visit www.firstnational.com.
Got a creative way to save? Let us know! We’re always looking for ways to help our customers save their money.
Sources: Adapted from “7 Radical Ways to Save Money,” by Jennifer Mulrean, www.moneycenteral.msn.com, accessed Jan. 15, 2009; “Save Money on Practically Everything,” www.kiplinger.com, accessed Jan. 15, 2009.