• Easy Ways to Save Money

  • by Sydney Boucher

Whether you’ve been a saver your whole life or you’re trying to build your saving skills, anyone can build their balance with a few minor changes. Sometimes all you need is a small step in the right direction to step up your savings game. The following tips are some simple ways to cut your costs and start saving money.

Take advantage of loyalty programs

Almost every store has a loyalty program nowadays, and they’re usually free to sign up. It only takes a couple of minutes to sign up, but they have the potential to save you hundreds of dollars in the long-run. Whether it be a free coffee on your birthday from Starbucks or a reward for every $100 you spend at your favorite retail store, the savings may add up quickly. If you’re going to the store and buying the products anyways, why not save some money and get some reward points for them?

Buy used items when possible

The ultimate rule with buying used is to take into account repairs and maintenance. Ask yourself if it’ll cost you more money on top of the purchase to make that item work to your standards. If it’s going to cost you more to repair a used riding lawn mower than it would to just buy a new one, then don’t buy the used one. If you make an effort to go to used equipment stores and consignment shops before the big retail stores, you may save a lot more money.

Ask for better rates

On credit cards, car payments, and any monthly bills you have, don’t be afraid to give the company a call and ask about any promotions that are going on that month. Companies like AT&T and Comcast have tons of promotions that are always changing, so ask about them! Companies are usually more than happy to help you get a lower rate or better deal. It doesn’t hurt to call and ask about it.

This also goes for late fees; if you’ve missed a payment but you usually have a good payment history with the company, then there’s no harm in asking for the fee to be waived. The worst thing that can happen is that they say no.

Cancel your cable service

Some people pay a steep $150 for their monthly cable bills and only watch two channels. If you’re someone who feels like you’re not getting enough out of what you’re paying for cable, consider switching to Hulu or Netflix. Hulu has your favorite movies and television shows from popular networks like FOX and ABC with either limited or no commercials (depending on the plan you choose). Netflix is constantly adding new shows and movies that are in high demand and have very high rated original shows only available to Netflix subscribers. Both streaming services offer free 30 day trials and start at only $7.99 a month, which is much cheaper than that $150 cable bill you’re paying.

Use shopping lists

Before going to the grocery store, go through your kitchen and make a list of all the items you need to pick up before you head out. Several people make shopping lists but once they get to the store, they pick up things that aren’t on the list. This can make the trip much more expensive than expected. When you make a list and stick to it, you can save more.

Buy generic

While we’re on the topic of grocery shopping, remember to look at price tags when you’re there! So many people are guilty of not looking at the price tags at the grocery store. Once you do look at the price tags, you’ll notice how much of a price difference there is between the generic brands and name brands. The generic item might only be $.50 cheaper, but if all of the items in your cart are $.50 cheaper then your shopping trips end up costing significantly less.

Consider a Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage will first pay off your existing mortgage (if you have one), allowing you to save the amount you are paying on your mortgage each month. Just remember you still need to pay your property taxes, homeowners insurance, and home maintenance costs. We recommend talking to your financial advisor and calling one of our licensed specialist to learn more.

All in all, there are many ways to save money and become more conscious of your spending. Try some of these ideas to find what works for you and start to incorporate those small changes into your lifestyle.