This is a guest post by Sarah Williams.
If you are like most people, you are trying to save money to take that expensive vacation, buy a new car or even purchase your first home without giving up anything.
Below are some easy ways for you to save some cash while still enjoying that dinner out.
1. Banks and credit cards.
Find an account that pays you for banking with them. It may be reward points, money put back into your account for purchases or simply just free checking and ATM usage.
This free money can then be put into a savings account for a large purchase.
2. Bring your coffee and lunch to work.
If you purchase a cup of coffee on your way to work, you are wasting gas while you wait in line and are also spending over $120 for your cup of joe.
Instead, fill a thermos before you head out of the door and you save time and money.
The same is true for your lunch. Instead of buying a sandwich or a salad, bring your own and use the extra time for a walk around the block or reading a book.
3. Shop with a list.
Grocers know that you spend more when you don’t have a shopping list, so before venturing out into that world of grocery shopping, make up a menu and buy the items on your list.
Grocers also know that you will probably buy what you see at eye level, so check out the top and bottoms of the racks for the lower price items.
Some companies pay you for recycling their products. Plastic bottle and soda cans can be redeemed at your local food stores. Toner cartridge recycling is also an option for a discount on your next order. Some office supply stores will also recycle your ink cartridges.
5. Clean your closets.
Clean out seldom used or out-dated clothes. Instead of donating them, have a yard sale or put them in a consignment shop.
You will make more money on designer clothes than you would in taking a tax deduction. Stash that money into a separate account for that new outfit that you have been dying to buy.
6. Borrow books and DVDs.
Instead of buying the latest book that you want to read or the latest DVD of the movie, try borrowing them from your local library. With the cost of a new book costing being around $15.00 and a movie costs around $20.00, borrowing them just by signing up at the library seems appropriate.
The same goes for video games. Some libraries rent them or a second-hand gaming shop will have games that others have outgrown.
Why should you be heating your home when you are not even there? It’s a waste of energy and money.
If you spend some money on a programmable thermostat, then you can program a cooler temperature when no one is home and then it will turn on before you get home. The same can be done for your air conditioner.
Everyone wants to give great gifts for birthdays or Christmas. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on the latest, you might want to make some of those presents. Knit a scarf or hat set, an afghan or a framed picture might be just the right gift for a parent or grandparent.
Saving money makes people very nervous. They feel that they have to do without something that they enjoy. By saving a small amount whenever possible, you can reach your goal without giving anything up. Empty the change from your pocket into a jar every night.