I'm saving for the down payment on my first home, a large goal that often involves drastic saving measures such as taking on a second weekend job and foregoing the movies to save money. Today, I'm going to put aside the large (and sometimes time consuming) savings levers and focus on the top 10 easy ways to save money, strategies that take little time and effort but add real value to your bottom line.
Money Saving Tip 1: Ice Water, Please ($312 Savings Per Year)
Stop ordering soda or any other sort of beverage when you go out to eat. If you must get your soda fix like me, bring it with you. An easy way to get free soda is to
take a few cans home from your office each week. Let's assume you eat our 4 times each week and a soda costs $1.5 each time. This simple strategy that takes no additional time or effort will save you $312 per year. Moreover, it will also keep you in great shape!
Money Saving Tip 2: Rags To Riches ($120 Savings Per Year)
Do you use paper towels? I used to and they were eating up way too much money. Instead of using paper towels, I'm now leveraging rags to clean my apartment. When I do use paper towels, I hang them over my sink faucet so they dry out and I can reuse them a second time. Reducing my paper towel expenditures is saving me $10 per month or $120 per year, not bad. Moreover, I'm doing the environment a big favor!
Money Saving Tip 3: Goodbye Lead Foot ($120 Savings Per Year)
No more aggressive driving! Most of the time I drive aggressively, I just get stressed out and never reach my destination sooner. Also, it puts me at greater risk of an accident. Driving slower (both acceleration and limiting my top speed to the posted speed limit) is saving at least $10 per month in gas or $120 per year.
More gas saving tips here.
Money Saving Tip 4: Don't Give Your Bank Account a Haircut ($120 Savings Per Year)
Haircuts can be very expensive. I currently pay $30 per haircut (I know, very expensive for a men's haircut) but refuse to switch because it's hard to find someone who does a great job. There is another way to save, however, by reducing frequency. Instead of getting my haircut every 4 weeks, I am now going every 6 weeks. This means I am now getting my hair cut around 9 times per year instead of 13. 13 minus 9 is 4 less haircuts per year or $120 in savings.
Money Saving Tip 5: A Tip on Tipping ($104 Savings Per Year)
I enjoy tipping. Whether it be at the car wash or at a restaurant, I take pride in giving a generous tip for a job well done. I realized, however, that these tips are really costing me. Let's assume I eat out 4 times per week. Let's also assume each meal is $10. A 15 percent tip on $40 is $6 per week or $312 in tips per year (and this is an underestimate because many of my meals are more than $10). Let's now cut that tip down from 15 percent to 10 percent and I'm saving $104 per year, a great tip to my savings fund.
Money Saving Tip 6: Printed Magazines and Newspapers Are Last Century ($72 Savings Per Year)
I used to pick up magazines at the supermarket until I realized that the exact same content is available for free on the Internet. By avoiding two $3 magazine purchases per month, I'm saving $72 per year. I'm also doing the environment a favor by going paperless.
Money Saving Tip 7: Rent DVDs So You Don't Have To Rent An Apartment ($60 Savings Per Year)
My top goal is to stop renting an apartment and own my own house. That's why I'm doing everything I can to save for my down payment. I used to enjoy buying DVDs. It's always enticing since they are well positioned next to the cash register checkout in many stores. It makes little sense to buy DVDs when you only watch them once and the price is a lofty $15 per DVD. Instead of spending $15 per month on DVDs, I'm now spending $10 per month renting for an approximate savings of $5 per month or $60 per year.
Money Saving Tip 8: Skip One Meal Out Per Month ($60 Savings Per Year)
This one is easy. Simply eat out one less meal per moth. Let's say a meal out costs $10 and a meal at home costs only $5. This is $60 in savings per year. To magnify your savings even more, grab free food from the office instead of eating out so you capture the full $10 in savings.
More tips on eating in here.
Money Saving Tip 9: Change In Your Savings Account ($60 Savings Per Year)
Do you have change sitting in containers around the house? I certainly do. I make a habit of counting my change each year and it's usually good for at least $60. It would actually be a lot more except I am using credit cards for the majority of my purchases to accumulate points.
Money Saving Tip 10: Heat Up Your Bank Account ($60 Savings Per Year)
This winter, bundle up with warm clothing so you don't have to run your heater as much. This will be good for at least $5 per month or $60 per year, probably a big underestimate.
Savings Tally: $1088 Savings Per Year
Follow these simple tips and you will be able to save $1088 per year with absolutely no extra effort or time at all. All of these tips require no additional time commitment, just some strong willpower and dedication. Keep the saving coming, the frugal way!