Unless medical science greatly improves, today is the only time in our lives when the calendar will read 12/12/12. There are more exciting things to celebrate in December but this seems like a good excuse to provide you with 12 quick tips that can help you save money this holiday season and entering into the new year.
- Pull the plug. Your phone chargers, TVs and toasters draw electricity even when not in use, so to save on your electric bill, unplug any appliances that you aren’t using.
- Pack a lunch. I spend way more money than I should each week by going out to eat. By packing a lunch for work and eating dinner at home, I could save myself hundreds of dollars a month.
- Cut the cable. My girlfriend and I recently decided to drop our cable service. There are so many TV and movie streaming services online that we can watch all of our favorite shows for a fraction of the cost.
- Start saving now. Many banks offer linked checking and savings accounts. You can often avoid checking account fees by setting up a monthly deposit into your savings account. You save money for the future and avoid fees.
- Carpool. If you and a friend, coworker or classmate make similar commutes, consider splitting the costs of travel. You’ll both save in the long run.
- Park the car. Better yet, if you have access to public transportation that can be a great cost saving opportunity. And bicycles and walking provide both exercise and a free commute.
- Buy used. Consignment shops can often offer great, gently used or new clothes for less than half the price you’d pay at a department store. Consider shopping on Craigslist or Ebay for furniture, video games and athletic equipment. Here’s a list of things you should always buy used.
- Stay-cation. If you need a break from work or school but can’t spare the expense to travel, try visiting local parks, museums, or theaters.
- Buy in bulk. Stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club offer name brand goods at much cheaper prices. Stock up on toilet paper and cereal for the semester. Ask about discounted student memberships.
- Drink from the tap. How much do you spend on bottled water each month? Consider buying a cheap, refillable bottle and drinking filtered tap water instead.
- Subscription radio. If you’re like me, you spend a lot of money on music. You can save a lot of money through online music services like Pandora, Spotify or Rdio.
- Go to the library. People forget they exist, but libraries still offer free access to books, music and movies. Many libraries even provide digital services now.
If we do happen to live to see the year 2112, hopefully we’ll have saved a little more money thanks to these cost cutting tips. Check out more budgeting and saving ideas at Practical Money Skills.by JohnH