October 31st, 2008
People are aware that saving money is important. Have you examined the ways you spend your money these days? Take a close look on your usual expenses and you’ll discover that keeping your wallet closed is not enough. You may also have to invest money on some gadgets and services to save some money.
1. Tires and Driving. Have your tires checked at least once a month. Bald and soft tires cause you car to ‘eat’ more gas. Driving slowly and steadily also saves gas.
2. Hybrid Cars. Older car models tend to be gas guzzlers. Switch to a hybrid car, especially if you used it every day. Otherwise, just planning your trips is enough to save on gas.
3. Car Insurance. Lower your premium payments by increasing your deductibles. Just practice defensive driving from now on.
4. Shopping List. Categorize and itemize your household needs. Example: bathroom – toilet paper, bath soap, bath salts, shampoo, conditioner; pantry – canned sauce, soup, noodles, pasta, coffee beans, sugar, oil, salt, pepper etcetera. You can fight temptation easily this way.
5. Bulk Buying. Bring your calculator so that you’ll be able to compute how much you’re saving from an item that gets wholesale discount.
6. Home-Cooked Food. You need to stock up on ingredients enough for daily cooking. Save time on using a slow-cooker. You can also cook everything while still fresh and divide into portions before freezing. Heat food in the microwave oven a few minutes before dinner.
7. Seal Your Home. This may be daunting because you’ll have to spend some money on labor and materials. But think of the energy costs you’ll be saving for the years to come. If labor couldn’t fit in the budget, do it yourself.
8. Power Cuts. Make a habit of plugging out all appliances after using. Unused appliances continue ‘eating’ power while still plugged in. Change old appliances and light bulbs to energy-efficient models.
9. Health Choices. Choose according to age. Young people may go for high-deductible health plans with low premiums. The not-so-young individuals can do better with the traditional plans with high premium but low medical bills.
10. Always Ask Discounts. There’s no harm in asking. Ask your credit card company to lower interest rate. Practice mild haggling with store crews for discounts before buying. Even doctors could give you savings from deductions to consultation fees.
11. Prepaid Calls. Cellphone calls are more expensive than landline calls. Top-up your cell as needed.
12. No More Gym. Do your exercises at home or with your dog. Why pay monthly when you cannot even go there daily?