5 ways to save money now

By glblguy

Cash

I often get emails from people desperate to get control of their finances and immediately reduce their spending. Most often, these emails are the result of a sudden job loss. While I’ve published more than 80 money savings tips as part of my Money Saving Monday Tips series, I thought it would beneficial for some out there to have a consolidated list of quick tips that would provide immediate money savings.

Here are 5 ways you can save money now:

  1. Cut your cable/satellite service – Contrary to popular belief, cable and satellite TV services are a luxury, not a necessity. They are also a fairly expensive luxury at that. Cutting your cable or satellite TV service can result in an immediate $50 – $200 savings per month.
  2. Reduce your cell phone plan – Many people have expensive cell phone planes that include lots of luxury features like text messaging. Change your plan to a pay per use plan OR reduce it way down to the most minimum plan.  Turn your phone off when you don’t need to make a call and keep your calls to only those absolutely necessary. Following this tip could potentially cut your monthly cell phone bill by more than $100.00.
  3. Sell a car – Most families these days have two (or more) cars. Consider selling one and only having one car. Sure, it won’t be as convenient, but consider the money savings: gas, maintenance, payment, taxes, insurance. Cars are expensive, and if you really don’t need to have 2, selling one and using just one car can have a significant positive impact on your finances.
  4. Stop eating out – I talk to a great number of people about finances, especially when they find out I write here on Gather Little by Little. One of the things that amazes me is the number of people that say they’re “living on the edge” financially, but continue to eat out on a frequent basis. Their reasons are lack of time to cook. Make the time. Eating out is expensive and not near as healthy in most cases as eating at home. If you’re struggling financially and don’t have time to eat at home, cut back on your schedule.  Personally, I’ve found people eat out because they’re too lazy to cook. No excuse, there are hundreds of meals that literally take less than 15 minutes to cook.
  5. Reduce your bills – Block out a 1 -2 hour time frame on a weekday, and spend some time calling all of your service providers: insurance, utilities, cable, cell phone, etc. Tell them your looking for ways to cut your expenses and see if they can provide any options. Many of these companies have special programs of offers they can provide. Why? They would rather get less money from you and keep your business than lose you all together. Trust me, with the recession these companies are hurting like everyone else.

These are just 5 quick ways you can cut your expenses. Take a look at your budget, and spend a month writing down every expense/purchase you make. Then at the end of the month, review where your money went. I guarantee you’ll find a few areas that will shock you. One of mine was the cost of Starbuck’s coffee everyday. I found I was spending over $30/month in coffee alone!

How about you readers? What tips or suggestion can you provide for other readers looks to immediately reduce their expenses? Add your tip or suggestion by adding a comment!


13 Responses (including trackbacks) to “5 ways to save money now”

  1. sir jorge Says:

    i disagree with point #1 in my case. I have a wwe/wrestling review site and to do that site i need cable. At least basic cable. I make money from the ads and hits on that site, and can not run it without cable.

  2. Charle@PayLessForFood.com Says:

    I agree with you totally on point #4 “Stop Eating Out” Its so much more expensive and often takes LONGER than cooking at home once you factor in driving time, ordering time, and the time waiting for your food to cook.

    An immediate area where you can cut your costs is with your grocery bill. You can easily save hundreds of dollars a month and still eat well.

    Consider shopping at a bakery outlet – these places sell fresh bread, bagels, muffins, and other bakery items at a 50 to 75% discount of off supermarket prices.

    Try store brands. Start small if you have to with simple items like store brand sugar, flour, milk, and butter. Then, if you’re comfortable, move to more complex items like spaghetti, frozen meals, etc.

    And don’t forget that many supermarkets offer a money back guarantee on their store brand items.

    Try shopping at an Aldi’s supermarket. These deep discount supermarkets provide great food at an inexpensive price, saving you 30% to 40% off of supermarket prices.

  3. Craig Says:

    Stop eating out is the number one way to help cut costs. Buy buying and cooking your own lunch and dinners you can save expensive restaurant costs. It’s easier to do than some of the other plans you have mentioned.

  4. dramon Says:

    I basically starting using dinner left overs for lunch and this saves about $5-6 per day. I bought myself a cheap milk frother at ikea and make my own latte’s. It actually saves time as well as I don’t have to stand in line.

    In addition to item #5 – I would also scrutinize each item in your credit card bill. There are often ‘automatic’ renewals for items you don’t need or provide duplicate services.

  5. Charlie Bergen Says:

    Great ideas. Maggie is great with our finances…she breaks everything down and produces graphs and pie charts showing percentages of everything that we spend and save. It is a very interresting way to look at your finances. I have always done it with my business but never with personal. One thing I was shocked with was the fact that about 6 months ago she found that I was spending 3% of our income on CIGARS…WOW! I never would have guessed it added up to that much, but needless to say I no longer smoke $20 cigars! Those little things that you dont notice are the biggest problems for us.

  6. Miss T Says:

    Food is a biggie for us! Everyone has to eat so why not find ways to cut back on our food bill. We love to eat and eat well…but we also like not being in debt! ha ha

    When we are watching our cashflow we take inventory of our pantry and spare freezer and plan meals. We are always amazed at just how much food we have tucked away here and there – no, it’s sometimes not exactly what we “feel” like eating but when there’s no money to go to Olive Garden – Prego works just fine! :)

    Love the blog – lots of good stuff here!

  7. Kristy @ Master Your Card Says:

    Man, the eating out is killing me at the moment. And it’s not necessarily just the eating out that’s the problem. It’s also the fact that I’m still buying groceries and those end up going to waste.

    A couple of other small tips to help save:

    1. Reduce your cell phone bill to the minimum you actually need. Do we really NEED the data package plan?

    2. Put a full bottle of water in your toilet tank. It will help you use less water.

    3. Turn off lights when you leave a room and use curtains to help with temperature control.

    4. Take all unnecessary items out of your trunk so you use less gas.

    Just a few quick ones that I thought of.

  8. Imee Says:

    I find that commuting, as well as brownbagging my lunch & snacks to the office, are really effective ways of saving me money.

  9. JohnWest Says:

    All good tips on how to save. Admittedly some are easier to follow than others. I also LIKE eating out. Not sure I’m quite ready to forgo that completely.
    Good news for me was that my cell contract finally expired last month. I got a prepaid deal with Tracfone which, unbelievable as it may sound, gives me more minutes and texts than what I had on contract for less $$! Look up the StraightTalk plan and you’ll see what I mean.

  10. Kristia Says:

    I think all five points were great. We recently reduced our satellite bill and our auto insurance bill decreased as well. We try to cut back on eating out so much, but it’s a constant struggle. We’re a family of four with two really picky eaters (I’m one)and sometimes it’s such a challenge preparing meals that everyone will eat. Thanks for the article. It motivates me to keep trying.

  11. DDFD at DivorcedDadFrugalDad.com Says:

    Nice post! Number 1 always makes me laugh! People see many luxuries as necessities these days . . .

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