Hi everyone. In today’s economic climate the art of saving money is once again being called into action. For far too long the culture of living beyond one’s means has dominated North American society and given the ease with which one was able to obtain credit during the so called “boom times” it is not surprising that so many people have fallen into this trap. Now with credit being harder to obtain and job losses climbing many people are experiencing the austerity of economic reality, and in austere times cash is king. Thus it would be wise to learn to save as much money as possible. Here are 8 easy ways to save a bit of money:
• Get a savings account and deposit money into it regularly. It might seem elementary, but you’d be surprised how many people admit to never opening one. It makes your credit rating instantly better, because banks look favorably on people who can save.
Additionally, it is recommended that you have six months worth of income in this account, which might save you from instant debt if you lose your job.
• Think of your lean financial periods, instead of your more prosperous times, as being ‘normal’ — especially if you don’t work on a fixed salary. Immediately save any extra money you make, and don’t spend beyond your means.
• Keep your credit card in the freezer. The card will have to thaw out before you can make a major purchase, and this will cut down on impulsive spending. This is a bit extreme, but if you can’t resist the temptation to “charge it” then it is definitely worth doing.
• Resist debit card use during day-to-day transactions like grocery shopping. You’ll probably spend less when you can see how much cash you’re handing over. When you use debit cards (in stores), you aren’t told the balance you have left over in your banking account, so you can stay fairly unconscious of how much money you actually have.
• Severely limit the time spent watching home-shopping channels or surfing retail Web sites, because you might be tempted to spend more money. Also, try to limit your exposure to anything else that triggers pleasant memories of shopping, like advertising.
• If you spend a lot of money on a craft or hobby, consider turning it into a part-time job. You can recover what you’d normally spend on raw materials or tools from clients willing to pay for your services. You might be able to write-off some of your expenses at tax time, as well.
• Earn extra money by selling your unwanted books, CDs or clothes to second-hand stores or auctioning them off on the internet. This is where eBay or Kijiji come in handy by the way.
• Spend some personal time with your bankbook. For instance, many people don’t keep track of their monthly ATM and debit card transaction limit, and the ‘hidden’ user fees from going over this amount can add up over time. Or better yet open up a no fee checking account.
If you live in Canada, checkout my review of Canada’s most popular no-fee checking account here. Also, I know for sure you can find no fee checking accounts in the United States (Bank of America being one such example bank), but I’m not sure about the rest of the world.
I hope you found this article informative and useful. I invite you to join my Money Guru forum if you wish to discuss/share money saving tips and ideas.
Until next time, I wish you all the best.