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A decision to save money doesn’t have to be life-changing or even involve sacrifice.
It’s surprising how much money you can save simply by paying attention to how your money is being spent. People routinely buy things that they don’t truly need or perhaps even want. It’s all about being aware of where your money is going.
Following are plenty of easy ways to save money this year.
1. Stop paying for recorded music
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The internet has made it easy to listen to music by your favorite recording artists whenever you like without spending a dime.
2. Read books on mobile devices
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Instead of buying traditional books or investing in an e-reader, buy e-books and read them on your existing mobile device or computer. We detail how to do this in “How to Enjoy E-Books Without Buying an E-Reader.”
E-books are typically cheaper than the printed version, and you won’t have to thin out your hard-copy collection as often.
Another great option: your public library.
3. Raise your auto insurance deductible
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Auto insurance pricing is all about risk. Having a higher deductible means you assume more risk up front, so you’ll likely pay less in premiums. If you have an accident after raising your deductible, you will need to pay a greater share of your auto repair costs. However, if you make it through the year accident-free, it is pure savings.
In fact, in “The Complete Guide to Getting the Best Possible Deal on Car Insurance,” Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson refers to raising your deductible as “the simplest and fastest way to save on car insurance.”
4. Use rewards credit cards
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As long as you pay your monthly credit card bills on time, there’s no problem with using credit cards for daily purchases. Some cards offer cash-back rewards of 3 percent or more for items such as groceries and gasoline. This can produce real savings over time.
One way to find a credit card that best matches your lifestyle and needs is to use a free online resource like Money Talks News’ credit card search tool.
5. Ask about senior discounts
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If you’re 50 years old or older, you often can save money on purchases just by asking about senior discounts, which are offered at many businesses.
For examples, check out:
- “10 Stores That Give Discounts to Shoppers Age 50 or Older“
- “9 Restaurant Chains With Discounts for Diners Age 50 or Older“
- “10 Hotels That Give Price Breaks to Seniors“
- “5 Airlines That Offer Discounts to Seniors“
6. Conquer impulse purchases
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Many purchases are made on impulse. You see something you want in a store and get an urge to buy it, especially if it’s on sale. The problem is that after the impulse fades, you may realize that you didn’t really need the item as badly as you thought.
For help fighting impulse buys, see “18 Ways to Slam the Brakes on Costly Impulse Purchases.”
7. Improve your credit score
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Your credit score is a reflection of how well you manage money. If your credit score improves, it can lower the amount of interest you pay on loans and credit cards. It might even reduce your car insurance premium.
If you need outside help overcoming your debt or restoring your credit, check out Money Talks News’ Solutions Center, which can help match you with a reputable credit counselor or a credit restoration expert.
8. Reach for a sweater instead of the thermostat
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Instead of turning on the heat every time you feel a chill, try putting on a sweater. Even if you find you must turn on the heat, you’ll use less energy and reduce your fuel bill if you’re wearing a jacket or sweater on cold days.
For more energy-saving ideas, check out “19 Dumb Mistakes That Send Winter Energy Bills Soaring.”
9. Close your self-storage unit
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Self-storage can be helpful if you temporarily lack the space to house all of your belongings. Just make sure you’re not storing items you no longer need.
If you’re paying hundreds of dollars a month for storage and you can’t remember what you’ve put away, you’ve got a problem. Consider closing the unit and pocketing the cash. Or at least check out “Have Too Much Stuff? 10 Ways to Cut the Cost of Self-Storage.”
10. Use coupons when you shop
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Coupon clippers have a big advantage over shoppers who go to the store without arming themselves with that cost-cutting weapon.
You can sort through the coupons that are mailed to your home or go online to find them, as we detail in “7 Free Sources of Manufacturer Coupons You Can Find Online.”
11. Get rid of your telephone landline
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You can save money if you’re willing to give up your landline telephone and exclusively use your mobile phone. At one time landline connections were much clearer than cellphone connections, but technology has improved. If you have a cellphone, chances are good that you rarely use your landline. If that’s the case, why keep paying for it?
For help finding the right cellphone or wireless plan, check out Money Talks News’ wireless search tool.
12. Set up an automatic savings plan
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It’s easier to save when you’ve arranged for money to be automatically deducted from your paycheck or transferred from your checking account to an investment account. And once you become accustomed to having money taken out of your paycheck or checking account, you may not even notice the difference.
Just make sure you choose an amount to save that won’t leave you without enough cash to take care of your expenses.
13. Get a roommate
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Whether you own your home or rent, having a roommate can greatly reduce your monthly living expenses. We often think of having a roommate as something people do when they’re in college or just starting out as adults. In reality, it can make sense to share expenses at any stage of life.
14. Don’t buy a brand-new car
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While it’s great to have a car that’s shiny and new, being the first owner of an automobile is an expensive proposition. That’s because cars tend to depreciate in value quickly. A 2018 AAA analysis found that if you buy a new car, depreciation will cost you more than $3,000 per year, on average.
Instead, consider buying a slightly used car after someone else has absorbed the depreciation.
15. Pay attention to the price per unit when grocery shopping
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It’s easy to get excited when the foods you like go on sale, but the real way to identify a bargain is to look at the per-unit price that’s usually listed on the shelves. Sometimes, sale items are more expensive than products being sold at regular prices. So don’t fall for the hype.
What tricks do you use to save money day-to-day? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.
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