Ten Ways to Save Money Now

It’s a new year, you have goals, and you will succeed. Getting ahead in life is, as they say, a marathon, not a sprint. So, with that in mind, here are 10 ways to save some money this year. Some can be big, but most are small. But it all adds up.

  1. Get an energy audit. With energy costs rising each and every year, now is as good a time as any to assess, or reassess, your home’s energy use. There is a plethora of information online at your local utility to get you started. Many have online audits. Also take a look at their recommendations; often they are very good (like turn down your hot water temp to save some money).
  2. Shop for auto insurance. Geico often touts that switching to them can save you 15 percent, which is a healthy savings. However, you can often do better. Try your “work perks” programs for insurance companies that your employer has partnered with. Also, check out Costco. I recently compared “apples to apples” (keeping the same coverage but shopping various auto insurers) and found that Costco’s insurance partner would save me about $400 per year. That’s a good chunk towards funding an IRA.
  3. Coupons. I recently posted about an online coupon site called Red Plum that works with manufacturers and stores to offer you coupons based on what you need rather than trying to sell you something that you don’t need just to save money. I get coupons in the mail from Val-Pak, auto dealers, stores, etc. Just seek out coupons for those things that you’re going to buy anyway. Also, check out other coupon sites online, like RetailMeNot, who give coupon codes for various online shopping sites.
  4. Got a blog or a web site? Become an affiliate. You can then put up links on your web site for things that you will buy anyway and you’ll get a check or a direct deposit paid back to you in terms of an affiliate commission. Send your friends there, too!
  5. Cable or satellite subscriber? Call your company and pit their competition against them. Tell them, simply, that, while you love their service, you are switching to their competitor. In most cases, you’ll be whisked away to their retention department who has more flexibility in offering you a discount to stay. I do this with my cable company every six months or so and save at least $20 a month each time I do this. That’s $240 a year.
  6. Shop at Safeway? Right now, they’re giving a 15 cent discount on gasoline if you spend at least $50 in a single grocery transaction, which isn’t too hard to do. By all means, don’t leave the store with a $45 purchase. Buy another six pack of soda on sale (you know you’re going to drink it anyway). It’s like getting that $6 six pack for nearly half price.
  7. Drop your gym membership. Face it, you probably don’t go very often and you can get similar results just by exercising at home. Unless you’re a professional athlete, doing crunches, pushups, and pullups, coupled with brisk walking or running will give you all the benefits of a full-fledged gym, all for FREE.
  8. Don’t buy it unless it’s on sale. You’re going to buy what you’re going to buy, so wait until it goes on sale. This is especially effective with groceries.
  9. Pay your bills online. Let’s say you pay 8 bills per month. At 41 cents, that’s over $36 dollars a year you’ll save. Not a lot, but still, it’s a good dinner out with your family, all for making things simpler. Plus, it’s a lot more convenient to set up autopays on all your bills. And the time savings add up quick.
  10. Take every legitimate tax deduction available to you. Don’t leave any money on the table. Especially with a government that’s addicted to wasting your money.

There it is: 10 easy things to do to save money. If done with some determination, you could easily fund a Roth or traditional IRA with your savings. And, over the long haul, saving a few dollars here and there adds up to a ton of money.

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