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The Smallest Things Make the Biggest Difference

Saving money starts at home and while cutting down on buying expensive coffees might seem like it won’t save you a lot, it all adds up and if you’re spending $3 per day on a coffee then without that one small thing you could have an extra $1,095 by the end of the year. So, what else could you be saving on every day that could change your life and your bank balance too?

Food and Eating Out

Are you prepared with your food shopping or do you find yourself stuck with nothing in and have to go out or order a takeaway? Are you spending ridiculous amounts each day on lunch when you could be saving a fortune if you were just that bit more prepared and taking your lunch from home each day? Saving money on food is one of the most straightforward and most obvious choices when you want to save money. The first thing to do is just stop the takeaways and eating out. When you do go food shopping, you need to plan ahead and shop smart. Make sure you know what you’re going to eat that week and buy the ingredients for those meals. You can also have leftovers from your dinner for lunch the next day, so you don’t have to get up early to make something or remember to do it every evening.

Switch Off

One of the most significant ways you can save money is to switch things off when you’re not using them. You’d be surprised how many items you leave on or on stand by when you’re doing something else. One of the most effective ways to save money is to make a conscious effort to turn off your television. Not only does this save on your electricity bill but it also means that you’ll be seeing a lot fewer adverts and spending money on things you don’t need. You will also be able to cut down on your TV package if you’re watching a lot less as you won’t need so many channels and you’ll be able to spend more time doing other things like working on ways to make more money.

Stop Buying, Start Selling

If you look at your possessions objectively, do you really need any more? Have a look at what you have got and what might be worth something. Do you have a collection of Beanie Babies which could be worth something? Have you kept hold of old tech which could now be worth something? People sell all sort of things online now and stranger than that, people actually buy them. If you have something that you’re not sure if it will sell, have a look online for similar items and see how much they’re going for and on which sites they’re being sold. You have nothing to lose by giving it a go but an awful lot to gain.

Be Smart About Energy

If you want to cut down on energy usage when you’re not at home then install a programmable thermostat. This is the best way to regulate the temperature in your home and means that you can make sure your utilities and your money aren’t being wasted while you’re out of the house or while you’re asleep.

Take Advantage of Free Water

While it might be expensive to buy initially, installing water tanks for rainwater collection mean that you can save on water bills and take advantage of the free supply of rainwater that falls on your roof. Rainwater is completely safe to drink and is used in many homes as their only water supply. This means that you can have clean, drinkable water without any on-going purchase costs. The water is stored safely in a tank ready to be used when you need it, and as well as the water being fresh and free, rainwater isn’t subject to the restrictions that might be put on your mains supply. You can continue to use water as you wish during drier periods so it won’t affect the running of your business if that is something that relies on water.

Buy Quality

When you are spending money, then you need to buy quality items that last. It’s worth taking the time to research products thoroughly to see what is the most cost-effective purchase, for example, a reliable, energy-efficient washer and dryer might cost you quite a bit upfront, but if it continually saves you energy and lasts for 15 years instead of five, you’ll save significant money in the long run. When it’s time for you to buy a new appliance, start your research with back issues of Consumer Reports at the library this might take you an hour, but it will save you hundreds in the long run. Also any appliances you do get, make sure you pay to get a professional to install them to ensure they’re in properly which again will save you time, problems and money getting them sorted out in future. There is a saying ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ and for many big items that saying is very accurate. So, if you are going to buy something big like an appliance or some furniture then you’re going to be parting with a significant amount of money regardless, so really look into what will save money down the line rather than right now.

Cancel Unused Memberships

If you’re not using it, then just cancel it. If you think that by keeping a gym membership then one day you’ll start going again, you might be right, but realistically you don’t need a gym membership to exercise. You can run for free outdoors or do strength training from the comfort of your own home. Remember you can always renew any membership you cancel in the future if it turns out you do miss it and if you prove to yourself that you will use it, for example, if you start exercising at home or outside then perhaps you can reward yourself with a new gym membership, if you think you still need it.

Use Personal Finance Software

There are a number of options of personal finance software available now, which can help you track where your money is going, which makes it easier to see where you can make potential savings. Most of these packages allow you to set savings goals, and some will even suggest advice on how you can hit them and give you a clear path to follow. If you really want to see some home truths, these programs can often give you detailed reports of your spending habits at the same time as letting you monitor your bank accounts and investments in real time. This can be very useful if you are someone who often goes into debt or if you are struggling to save up for an important purchase.

Compare Prices

The price comparison sites are there for a reason, so make use of them. Comparison sites are beneficial for looking at car or home insurance, but you can also do this by yourself to save money on your weekly grocery shop. Put together a list of your essentials, the things you buy most often then go to different supermarkets for these items. Eventually, you’ll see a difference and will work out where is the cheapest place for you to go.

Make the Most of Discounts

There are a number of discounts on things that you will only find online, and you can find them just by searching on a search engine and typing in what item you’re looking for followed by ‘discount code’ or ‘voucher’ or sale. The internet also allows you to compare prices and will find you the best option on what it is you’re looking to buy.

Increase Your Income

If there’s no chance of getting a pay rise in your current job, have a look at other ways you can make money on the side. The internet has given us the opportunity to work from anywhere and even more business ideas and jobs. You can earn money as a Youtube star or a blogger or even a virtual PA. It could be a full-time job, or you can make some on the side doing surveys through sites like Clickworker which was based on the idea of ‘internet crowd-sourcing’ where businesses advertise specific, scalable tasks they need completing quickly. If you’re looking for some extra work and some money, then this is an easy way to make fast cash from the comfort of your sofa. There are a variety of tasks available, but a lot of them involve mindless data entry, web research or form filling. It might be boring, but you’ll be rewarded and paid in cash (via Paypal) for the work you do, and you can choose what and when you work.

You could also have an online business, selling physical products but not having a physical shop. Have a look at sites like Etsy which allow you to sell your items online.

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