Sunday, October 16, 2011

Money Saving Tips and Budgeting

I am always looking for ways to make my pennies go further!  Recently, I started a new job after 6 months of unemployment, so saving money is a huge deal for me.

I found the 66 Ways to Save Money online a few years ago to help people coming out of Domestic Violence situations be able to save.  Some of the tips are for people that are able to spend more money on new cars and home improvement projects and other tips are for those of us that are trying to save on daily living.

Some of my favorite tips are:
  • Before buying any used car:
    • Compare the seller’s asking price with the average retail price in a “bluebook” or other guide to car prices which can be found atmany libraries, banks, and credit unions.
     • Have a mechanic you trust check the car, especially if the car is sold “as is.”
  • Consider purchasing a used car from an individual you know and trust. They are more likely than other sellers to charge a lower price and point out any problems with the car.
  • You can save hundreds of dollars a year by comparing prices at different stations, pumping gas yourself, and using the lowest-octane called for in your owner’s manual.
  • You can save more than $100 a year in fees by selecting a free checking account or one with no
    minimum balance requirement. Request a complete list of fees that are charged on these accounts, including ATM and debit card fees.
  • Check your phone bill to see if you have optional calling features or additional services, such as
    inside wire maintenance, that you don’t need. Each option you drop could save you $40 or more each year.
  • You will spend less on food if you shop with a list, take advantage of sales, and purchase basic
    ingredients, rather than pre-packaged components or ready-made items.
If you are like thousands of households, you do not have a budget and do not keep track of expenses.  Budgets are not there to deprive you of spending money, but they are made to help you know where money is going, and in the end, people with budgets save more money.

The first rule of budgeting is to know where your money is coming from and where it is going.  There is a simple tracker for money expenditures at Frugal Living on About.com

What are some of your favorite money saving tips?  The one thing that I can be better about and save hundreds a year is not eating out at lunch time.  

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