On average, Americans currently save around 4.2 percent of their income, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. But some super-savers manage to put away far more than that—close to half of their take-home pay!
Some money-saving strategies are extreme, like only taking cold showers, and others are downright dangerous, like occasionally turning off your car’s engine to save gas, but there are also easy strategies that can dramatically reduce your costs.
In fact, depending on where you live, it’s been proven possible to live on as little as $500 a month! Here at Car Capital Financial we’re dedicated to helping people with their financial woes, which is why we’ve brought this list of seven easy ways to save money.
Make your own gifts instead of buying stuff from the store. You can make food mixes, candles, bread, cookies, soap, and all kinds of other things at home quite easily and inexpensively. These make spectacular gifts because they involve your personal touch, plus quite often they’re consumable, meaning they don’t wind up filling someone’s closet with junk. Even better – include a personal handwritten note with the gift. This will make it even more special than anything you could possibly buy down at the mall, plus it saves you money.
Invite friends over instead of going out. Almost every activity done at home is substantially less expensive than going out. Invite some friends over and have a cookout or a potluck meal, then play some cards and have a few drinks. Try a board game night, movie night, or even a rousing game of the old time favorite – truth or dare! Everyone will have fun, the cost will be low, and perhaps your group of friends will be brought closer together.
Buy in Bulk
Many goods are cheaper when purchased in large quantities. Some bulk purchases go wrong for reasons you couldn’t possibly predict, like that pack of 500 blank DVDs which seemed like a good idea at the time.
Make an organized space in your house to store your bulk goods. Sturdy basement shelves work well, as long as things stay dry. It can be difficult if you live in a small apartment or a house without a storage area, but you can always redesign a closet or get a free-standing cabinet to hold your bulk loot.
The best items to buy in bulk are paper goods. Toilet paper, paper towels and printer paper never go bad, store easily and save you some serious coin. It’s also sensible to stock up on cleaning supplies, garbage bags, soap, shampoo, and laundry detergent. You’ll always have a use for these products, and they’ll never go bad.
Bulk purchases can account for a wide range of savings, depending on the products. Buying large packs at the grocery store can save you 5 to 10 percent. You can buy even larger quantities at club stores like Sam’s Club or Costco, but the cost of the membership eats into your savings. Don’t forget that you’ll save some money and time by making fewer trips to the store, too.
Ride a Bike
If you can rely on a bike for most of your day to day traveling, you will be able to save money in all sorts of unexpected ways. Most obvious, the money you’d have to spend on gas to drive to work. If your daily driving uses up 10 gallons of gas each week, you’ll save $30 to $40 every week by riding your bike.
If you can rely solely on your bike for transportation then you’ll be able to cut out the costs of car insurance and car repairs, not to mention the price of a car itself. That’s a difficult step to imagine, but it would save you thousands to tens of thousands of dollars each year, so make sure to consider it!
Public transportation is another alternative mode of travel, but riding a bike has advantages over that, too. A monthly bus pass costs between $30 and $105, depending on the city. Wouldn’t it be nice to cut that expense out of the budget?
There’s one more potential savings factor if you ride your bike everywhere. You might be able to skip the gym membership, since you’ll be getting plenty of exercise just getting around town.
Take advantage of discounts and incentive programs provided through your employer. For example, if the company you work for offers discounted rates for computers, fitness center memberships, movie tickets and passes to summer festivals, take advantage! Check your corporate intranet or talk to your HR Rep. But don’t forget the best deal of all – investing in your 401(k)! Now that you’re saving money on a monthly basis, you’ll actually be able to fund it!
Look for sales at discount outlets. There are huge price differences between clothing on sale at discount stores and those sold regularly at many department stores. Keep in mind that prices at the latter are often deeply discounted. Also, you can clean your clothes inexpensively. Be sure to wash and iron clothes yourself, as this is easy, and paying someone else to do it doesn’t make much sense. If you use a cleaner, compare prices at different establishments. A 50 cent difference in cleaning a shirt, for example, can add up to $100 a year.
Reduce Insurance Costs
Shop around for auto and homeowners’ insurance. Before renewing your existing policies each year, check out the rates of competing companies. Their annual premiums may well be several hundred dollars lower. You may even be able to consider dropping credit insurance coverage on installment loans. Many consumers don’t need credit insurance because they have sufficient assets to protect themselves in the event of death, disability, or unemployment. Terminating this coverage often reduces financing costs by three percentage points, a savings of about $1,000 on a four-year $20,000 installment loan.
Car Capital Financial
Whether you end up incorporating some of these ideas, or all of them, you should have no trouble accumulating some extra cash.
But if you’re still coming up short, keep in mind that you can always give Car Capital Financial a call to get a low-interest secured personal loan.
We deliver car and other vehicle title loans within minutes of receiving your call, providing you with cold, hard cash, and requiring nothing more than temporary possession of your vehicle’s title. Title loans are issued based on the borrower’s ability to repay the loan.
Call us at 1-888-500-9887 to find out if our safe, reliable and affordable auto title loans are a good fit for your financial needs.