To curb the consumer in you, here a few savings strategies, (ballpark figures & savings potential are used in these savings tips). If you’re no-brainer way to save, arrange to have a certain amount of your paycheck automatically deposited into a savings account. Then, sit back and watch it grow.
Hold a garage sales. Cast an eye on the stuff at the way back of your closets, that you haven’t used it in six months, chances are you can do without. The same goes for all that junk in storage and in the garage and/or shed. The annual savings you can have? Depends on how much junk you have.
Quit smoking. Pack-a-day habit? Can easily be a $5 a day — or about $1,800 a year — that money you spend can go right into your savings, it will also saves you on insurance and health care.
Tame driving addiction. Carpool or use public transportation. This will saves on gas, insurance and maintenance costs. Using the IRS’s mileage reimbursement rate of 36.5 cents per mile as a proxy for the cost of commuting in 2002, you save $1,141 a year by driving half the time you normally drive, for 50 weeks a year (based on a 25-mile roundtrip commute). For a more drastic approach, if you live in the city, consider getting rid of your car. Check with you city to see if they are implementing progressive programs that allow you to have access to a car without the ownership hassles, such as the “Flexcar” in Seattle, Portland and Washington, D.C.
Buy used. An average consumer spends approximately $1,750 a year on clothing and upkeep, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey. You can potentially cut that spending in half by shopping at consignment shops and auctions.
Become a homebody. We spend over $1,800 a year on average for entertainment, this kind of spending has a way of quickly eating through even the best-planned budgets. Consider using the library for books, music and movies. Eat out less often. The average person spent more than $2,276 a year on eating out in. Try cutting you’re spending in half on both areas for annual savings more than $1,900.
Cut housing expenses. Downsizing or moving across the tracks may save some money, moves is expensive. Consider renting out a room. On an average approximately 30% of your pay goes toward housing costs per person. Rooms in UT can easily go for $518 a month. Figure about $100 of that goes to increases in utility costs, and you’ve still have an annual savings before any income taxes.
Cut up credit cards. Build an emergency fund to handle those unexpected expenses and allows you to become your own lending agency. If you have anxiety about cutting up all your cards, try cutting up all but one and use it just for an emergency. Paying only the minimum payment on credit cards, will keep you in debt for years. An average APR of 14.4% on a credit card, could cost you as much as $1,100 a year in interest alone. Saving enough money to make purchases instead of using credit, you could eliminate those interest payments entirely.