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Money-Saving Mama: Saving Money on Money

Posted: June 14, 2017 - 2:12am

It sounds like an oxymoron to say that you can save money on money, but it is true.

There are so many various ways that money slips through our fingertips. Some ways are a little more obvious, while some are never seen nor thought of. It is worth it to see if there is a way to save on something, because something is always better than nothing.

One of the most obvious ways is to set a budget and stick to it. It doesn't have to be fancy with all the bells and whistles. This could be a small notebook with each month's expenses written down.

The first thing you need to do is to figure out how much you spend each month on what. What are your bills? Those go in one column, while your income goes in a different column. When you are recording this, make sure you also take into account bills that you would have to pay every so often, such as insurance, car maintenance and household services. These items you can break down by averaging it out per month.

Once you do this, you can see where your money is going and where you need to cut back. It might be you need to cut back your entertainment, such as not going to the movies as much. One thing to remember is that your grocery part of the budget should consist of what you spend at the grocery store and what you spend going out to eat, including trips to the local coffee shop.

When you do this, it sometimes dramatically changes the outlook of your grocery budget. By simply having a budget, you can save money because you are not freely spending your money. Every item has a place and a name, and you have a goal to stick to.

Another way to save is to check out your bank account. Don't pay monthly fees to have a checking account. Move your money to an account or a bank that does not charge you. It may be a bit of a hassle at first to change over everything at one time, but in the long run, it is worth it.

If you pay $5 in fees a month, that is a savings of $60 a year. Try to always use ATMs that are affiliated with your bank. This way you do not get charged a fee for using someone else's ATM. That can add up quickly.

This next one always bears repeating. Negotiate rates with your credit card companies or be willing to do a balance transfer for a lower rate. If you do a balance transfer, do not use the old card to run it up again, though. Put the card away or cut it up so it cannot be used.

Also, pay the old amount at least on the new card to get it paid off quicker, hopefully before your introductory rate expires.

It is also good to call about rates on your other bills. Your cable company should have a better rate to offer you. If they don't and you are willing to cut out cable, then walk away. Use streaming channels instead. Do you need that big of a cellphone plan? If you consistently do not use all the data you pay for, check for a cheaper rate with less data.

Some sneaky ways that money can be lost over time are with your appliances. Simply changing your filter in your AC on a regular basis and having it serviced by an AC company on a yearly basis will keep it running more efficiently.

Any of your home appliances, such as a refrigerator or dryer, needs a good cleaning to keep dust from building up and clogging them from working to their optimum. Turning off lights that you don't need will save money over time. Turn off the television when you are not actually sitting down to watch it, or even keeping it off a bit longer when you would normally watch it, will save money.

Turn on your ceiling fans to circulate the air in the house. This might seem like it costs money, but circulated air keeping the rooms cooler will keep your AC from working as much.

Make sure your tires are inflated to the proper amount on your car. For every 2 PSI of air pressure that they are under-inflated, you lose 1 percent of your gas mileage. This might not sound like much, but it adds up. It also produces more wear and tear on your tires, causing them to have to be replaced more often.

Also, make sure your car's air filter is clean. If it isn't, change it out yourself. As with your home, any maintenance that you can do to make it run more efficiently saves money in the long run.

This seems simple, but make a trip to the library. There is a great gem of one in North Augusta. There you can do more than check out books. You can check out DVDs, audiobooks, use the internet and take your kids to story time. Every now and then they have events like family movie night, and this summer there's a reading program where you can earn prizes for simply reading and recording what you read. It also gets you out of the house without costing you money.

Small steps, such as cutting out the morning coffee run to the local coffee shop, saves big money. A cup of coffee costs, on average, 16 cents to make at home or $1 to $6, depending on where you buy it.

Instead of paying money you don't really have to go to an expensive concert, go to the weekly concert in the park series in town. They run every Thursday through July 13.

Cut out the expensive gym membership, if you are not going to the gym. Again, there is another alternative. You can use workout DVDs at home, use a streaming workout channel, do your own workout, or, if you love a gym atmosphere, join Riverview Park Activities Center. The fee is yearly at $50 a person or $150 a family. If you have children in sports, you also save money on sports registration at the Rec for being a member.

The moral of the story is to look everywhere you spend money and come up with ways that you can save. Even if it is a few dollars here and a few dollars there, it adds up over time. If you don't believe it, take those dollars you save and put them in a box. At the end of the year, open that box and count the money you have saved. Who knows, that could be your Christmas present fund.

Happy saving!

 

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