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If you have to meet your prime objectives in life, such as paying off debt, building a retirement fund, creating an emergency fund or saving for your dream home, every dollar you earn counts. But only earning money is not sufficient. You may need to create a budget, track your spending and reduce daily expenses in order to achieve your goals.
Do you think it is enough? No, there are still miles to go to solve your money problems.
The problem of saving money is an old age issue that every human being experiences in different parts of their lives. To solve these issues you can always attempt new tricks and tips.
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Here are 12 tips for saving money that you probably haven't tried yet and should explore once in your life.
1. Opt for 0% APR credit card
If you normally carry a balance on your credit cards and pay huge interest per month, then you must shop for a 0% APR balance transfer card asap. You can transfer your high-interest credit card balances into that card and get rid of high-interest payments till the 0% APR offer ends.
During that period the new credit card provider may also waive off any transfer fee, but you might have to do a little negotiating.
The more you can save from the interest payments, the more you can save and pay towards your main goals.
Once you save on the credit card interest, you can use that money to reduce credit card debt that's carrying higher balances.
Matt Shultz of CompareCards.com also added – “It may sound counterintuitive to get a new credit card in order to save money, but you absolutely can do it.” But remember, you have to pay off your transferred credit card balances on that 0% APR card before the offer period ends. Normally, 0% APR rate goes up into the normal interest rate after 12 months.
2. Pay all the bills on time to avoid late fees
You should organize your monthly bills regularly. If you like, you may automate your recurring bill payments. For most of your utility bills and other bills, you can automate payments against your credit cards or directly deduct from your checking account. Many banks may offer you free bill pay programs. You just need to enroll in that program and the rest will be handled by them.
But, if you still ignore regularly paying bills, you might have to pay late fees additionally on your due balances. It will be just the opposite of saving money.
However, if you forget a bill for the first time, it will be a wise decision to call the company and request to waive off the late fees.
3. Avoid credit cards with an annual fee
If you are using a credit card for many years, then you might know about the cashback bonuses and reward points. These are two of the easiest ways to save some money while opting for a new credit card.
You should make sure the same card does not charge you any annual fees.
4. Try to improve your credit score
If you have a low or fair credit rating, then you might notice that saving money can also be possible by improving your credit score.
Higher credit scores will be offered with better amenities, such as low-interest rates on credit cards and loans, low insurance premiums, approval for special credit cards, etc.
Paying off credit card bills on time can be helpful to improve your score. Apart from that, you may also boost your score by paying off your high-interest debts first and keeping balances low. Do not close unused old credit accounts and apply for new credit accounts when you need it most. You should also review your credit report periodically and dispute errors if you can find any.
5. Hide money from your checking account
The basic concept is keeping a certain amount of money away from your checking account. You can't spend an amount of money you don't know you have.
So, be creative and “hide” your money from yourself in any possible way. For example, you may take out $100 from your account and keep in your bookshelf. Do this for 6 months, and at the end of the 6th month, you can put all of your savings together ($600) and pay off credit card bills.
6. Try to prepare meals and drinks at home
If you and your spouse both work, then choosing this option will be tough. But you may start by cooking once a week (both of you) on weekends. If you can do that for 3 months, start increasing the frequency until both of you can manage the task properly along with saving money.
Make sure you're not getting stressed out by too much cooking. You’ll find that having a meal from a restaurant is way more expensive than preparing your food at home. You can save a lot of money while making a meal at home using cheap veggies and other stuff.
If you love having a hot coffee break at Starbucks, think again. Don’t underestimate the hole it creates in your wallet in the long run. Don’t worry, you don’t have to stop having coffee. You may skip your coffee and start having green tea. You may also make it at home.
7. Invest more in your 401k contribution
Another amazing option to save money is boosting your 401k investment. The money you're contributing to a traditional 401k account is pre-tax, so even a small increase in your contribution may give you hundreds of extra savings each year.
You can get acquired knowledge on investing while exploring these books.
8. Shop with discounted gift cards
You can shop by using discounted gift cards. Gift cards are often getting resold at a cheaper price. So, you may want to buy resold gift cards for restaurants and retailers.
You might get a $300 gift card for $250.
9. Shop within a short notice
If you have too much time on your hands, don’t go shopping! Having too much time for shopping may increase overspending and junk buying. That’s why you should go shopping when you have little time to buy things, such as your lunchtime, or before going to the office.
This way you only add those things in the cart you need urgently. Keep this as a regular habit and save hundreds.
10. Make a list before going shopping
Of course, it's a must to stop impulse buying.
We, humans, have a tendency to buy a little extra every time we shop. Each time a little extra can build up to a large balance on our credit card bills.
Without having a list, the impulse buying habit may increase day by day. You may even forget to buy the essential things you needed.
As you might have started cooking at home, it's best to make a list of groceries before hitting the store. This way you can get all the things you need in one single trip to the store and can avoid buying extra commodities. You’ll save a lot of time and money by adopting this habit.
11. Don’t buy, just borrow
If you're fond of music and books, don't buy them from stores or through online shopping. Instead, you can borrow CDs or DVDs from friends and borrow books from a library. Try Ebooks, they're handy and many websites are providing lots and lots of books free as pdf files.
12. Use reusable bags and containers
Eco-friendly stores like Target and Whole Foods extend discounts to buyers who use their own reusable bags. They're giving 5 cents per bag at Target, and a 10-cent rebate at Whole Foods. Starbucks also offers 10 cents off from your order if you bring your own cup.
It’s a tiny amount, but spare change can go a long way if used wisely.
Few money-saving tips are well known and we normally ignore them.
You should avoid ATM fees, disconnect landlines if you have more than one cell phone, perform regularly scheduled maintenance on your cars to save on fuel, adjust your heater or thermostat if needed to save on power, etc.
So, go out and find even more tips and implement them in your daily life. And don’t forget to share with us!
Bio: Aiden White is a financial writer who lives in Foster City, California. She started her financial journey in 2015 and has been associated with consolidatecreditcard.org for the last 10 months. Through her writing, she has inspired people to overcome their credit card debt problems and helped solve their personal finance based queries. Being a debt fighter in her personal life, her goal is to share innovative thoughts and knowledge in the debt communities. Get in touch with her at aidenwhitejoe [at] Gmail [dot] com.
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