More Must Read Ways to Reduce Your Bills
There are even more ways to reduce monthly financial outgoings and avoid debt in part two of our guide on saving money, see what kind of efficiency savings your household could be making each month with proper dedication to the cause.
Buy Cheaper Computer Software
5. Save on software. There are several free antivirus software packages out there that can save you $30-40 a year. For nearly every type of productivity software, there exists a free open-source option. Like generic food, most will get the job done equally well. Consider playing free online flash games, as opposed to downloading a standalone game that has a few more flashy features for $20.
Use the Library for Films and Games, not Just Books and Newspapers
6. Seek out cheap entertainment. The public library isn’t just for printed books any more – many now have movies, CDs and even e-books. As a taxpayer, the library is a prepaid resource that you probably are neglecting to use. Many free online e-book options exist such as the offerings from Project Gutenberg. Instead of buying music on iTunes, consider listening to internet radio stations or using Pandora. YouTube and Hulu can provide free video entertainment as an alternative to iTunes and Netflix downloads or buying DVDs and Blue Ray. No need to keep using the credit card for these incremental luxuries as you will only have to pay off the credit card debt later.
Swap the Gym Membership for the Outdoors
7. Use cheap exercise techniques. Trade in that expensive gym membership and personal trainer and try landscaping or gardening in your backyard. Walk or cycle around the neighborhood, if it is sunny, or do home exercises, if it is not. Jump ropes cost very little. Also, you can use plastic milk cartons full of sand as makeshift weights for weightlifting. Buy used bicycles, exercise bikes and treadmills at garage sales to save 50-90% over buying them new.
Walk Instead of Driving
8. Save on gasoline. Make grocery and errand lists for weekly trips and stick to that routine. Just get what is on the shopping list. Buy gas at the cheapest discount gas station nearby and make sure that the stop is on your errand route. Fill up there, even if you are not on empty, so that you don’t end up buying gas at a more expensive station during the work week. Fill up the car at the cheapest Gas Depot and consider cycling if you have a bicycle. By cutting down on unecessary journeys all kinds of expenses can be reduced.
Find Time Consuming Inexpensive Hobbies
9. Get an engrossing but inexpensive hobby. The best choices involve creative input on the part of the hobbyist (e.g. creative writing, painting, craft activities, creating a website or learning to code software). These all cost little per hour and make you use your brain creatively, which keeps your mind sharper. Camping, boating, going out to the movies or buying collectibles off E-bay, by contrast, all have large outlays of money per event. If you crave a social life there are many public events that are free to watch.
Supplement Your Day Job With Part Time Work
10. Earn income on the side, by working for yourself, to augment your main day job. The extra activity will keep you busier and reduce the number of impulse shopping trips. Do something that you enjoy, even if it may not be in your field of expertise. It may only pay a fraction of what your main job does, but will be a worthwhile emotional outlet and provide a feeling of accomplishment. You also will be networking in an area outside your area of expertise, creating potential future job opportunities. Many extra jobs can be work at home type pursuits.
These top ten recommended tips can shave hundreds of dollars of a household income. When times are tight it pays to be efficient with spending, take a financial health check and make each dollar and cent count.
All these actions require a change in lifestyle. Change is always difficult and leaving your usual comfort zone may cause some early frustration and awkward moments during the learning process. You will make some mistakes but also learn many new skills. The sense of accomplishment will overcome any loss in lifestyle that you may feel. Soon you will have forgotten the need to be a first adopter, all the while living within your means. When times do eventually get better again you can take comfort in the knowledge that a valuable life skill has been learned.