Saving money is on everyone’s minds these days. Sometimes, in the search for ways to save, some of the most interesting solutions are overlooked. Here are six unconventional ways to save money that you may not have thought about.
Split Your WiFi Bill
If you live in close accommodations, like an apartment building, and you are friendly with your neighbors, you should see if they want to split the WiFi bill with you. Many cable internet packages have no data limit and the signal will easily reach adjoining apartments.
Threaten To Cancel Your Cable
Cable company representatives are trained to try to convince you to continue your cable service if you threaten to cancel it. The representatives will often offer to cut the price of your package or offer you a deal to keep your service active. You may even be able to take advantage of the company’s current promotional rate.
Remove Weight From Your Car
Removing weight from your car is another of the overlooked unconventional ways to save money. The heavier your car is, the more gas it will consume getting you from place to place. Remove any heavy items that you are storing in your car and store it in your home or garage instead. You can also increase your gas mileage by making sure your tires are properly inflated and ensuring your air filter is in good condition.
Trade Date Night Babysitting With Friends
Date nights are important for maintaining a relationship, but paying a babysitter to watch the children for the evening can be expensive. A cheaper option could be to trade date night babysitting with another couple you are friends with. This way, both couples get to have a night out without the added expenses of hiring a babysitter.
Plan Outings Around Free Events
Free events are a great way to have some inexpensive fun and meet new people. Most cities hold a number of free events throughout the year, including free concerts, free movies, free festivals, and other community events. These free events can be found in your local newspaper or online at your city’s visitor website.
Explore Your Local Library
Local libraries offer a number of unconventional ways to save money. In addition to loaning out books, magazines, movies, and music for free, many libraries also hold events and classes that are free for participants. For example, the Westerville Public Library in Ohio holds classes to learn Windows 10 and Internet Essentials, musical dance classes for children, homework help nights for teenagers, and wine appreciation groups.
Food expenses take a large chunk out of the household budget. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money on food during the fall months. Following these seven simple tips can save you hundreds of dollars over the next few months.
Buy In Foods In Season
Many fruits and vegetables peak in the fall months and are cheaper than produce grown in other regions or stored in warehouses. Apples are a great food to purchase in the fall, along with pumpkins, grapes, mushrooms, cauliflower, winter squash, and brussel sprouts. You can use an app like AllTheCooks to find tasty recipes using these ingredients.
Learn How To Store Foods Properly
Storing foods properly ensures that they will last long enough for you to use them. Numerous food storage guides are available online that tell you how common foods should be stored for the longest life. You may be surprised to find which foods should be left on the kitchen counter, which should be refrigerated, and which should be stored in airtight containers.
Buy In Bulk
You will generally pay a lower price per unit when you buy food items in bulk quantities. Only buy what you know you can eat before it expires to avoid wasting more money than you save.
There is little difference between name-brand foods and their generic counterparts. Try the generic brands offered by your grocery store and see how they stack up against the brand you normally buy. Switching to generics can save you 15 percent to 40 percent on the price of the product.
Invest In A Slow Cooker
For less than $50, you can buy a slow cooker that you can fill with food in the morning to come home to a fully cooked meal after work. You will avoid spending money eating out on the days that you come home tired and can make enough for leftovers later in the week.
Take Advantage Of “Kids Eat Free” Promotions
A wide variety of restaurants offer promotions where kids eat free when the parents pay for their meal. Plan your dining out around these promotions to save money. Use apps and sites like OutToEatWithKids.com to find deals in your city.
Avoid Extras When Dining Out
Extras like appetizers, desserts, and drinks containing alcohol boost the price of your final bill considerably, as they are often the highest margin items on the menu. Stick to an entree and a basic drink and enjoy the free bread, bread sticks, or chips and salsa if they are offered by the restaurant.
Many people think that because they are living from paycheck to paycheck, they are too poor to save money for a rainy day. If all of your money is spent before you receive your paycheck, thinking about the future seems less important than concerns about your daily needs. Fortunately, there are many methods you can use to save when you don’t make a lot of money. Here are seven of the best ways to save money when poor.
Saving change is one of the most common saving methods for those with lower incomes. Make a habit of paying with purchases with whole dollars and don’t spend your change. Find a place where you can store the change when you get home each day. When your saving vessel is full, deposit the amount saved into a savings account.
Enroll In Automatic Roundup Program
Several bank programs allow you to save money automatically by rounding up the transactions from your debit card and depositing the difference into a savings account. The Acorns app deposits the money into an investment fund and invests in the account owner’s prechosen stocks.
Keep $5 Bills
A variation of the saving change technique is to save every $5 bill you receive. The amount is so low that you won’t really miss it. After a few months, deposit all of the $5 bills you saved into a savings account and start over.
Put Away $1 Daily
A dollar a day doesn’t seem like a large amount, but putting a dollar away each day gives you $365 after a year has passed. That amount of money comes in handy when you have an unexpected expense.
Reduce Expenses And Save Difference
Most of us have expenses that we can cut without disrupting our quality of life. Some stop buying coffee on the way in to work. Others get rid of their cable packages and rely on free TV and library rentals for their entertainment. Review your budget to see what expenses you can reduce or eliminate and put the difference in your savings account.
Research Government Programs
Programs to help the needy may be available to you if your income is low enough. Programs such a food stamps, WIC, reduced income housing, free school lunches, Medicaid and Medicare, may be enough help to free up more of your income to pay off debt and save for the future.
Around $5 trillion of Americans’ cash is currently held in money market accounts, representing almost half of all bank deposits in the U.S. These accounts are often offered alongside conventional savings accounts, leading many to question which one is better for parking their savings. The answer depends on several factors.
Money market accounts are basically savings accounts with minor variations. The biggest difference is that a money market account is a hybrid of a checking account and a savings account, which makes it more attractive to some than just pure savings accounts. Money market accounts are federally insured, like savings and checking accounts, so you don’t have to worry about losing your balance if the bank fails.
A money market account is also a better choice for those who want to be able to make transactions with the account without penalty. The total number of transactions you can make with a money market account is limited by the Federal Reserve to up to 6 transactions a month. Banks typically limit check writing from the account to about 3 checks a month.
If you do not expect to make this many transactions each month, you may be better off choosing a savings vehicle with a higher interest rate. If you feel that the number of transactions allowed is not enough, you should look for a checking account that pays interest on deposits. If you continuously move money more than 6 times out of a money market account, the bank is required by the Federal Reserve to move you into a checking account.
Money market accounts are generally better than savings accounts for those that are interested in parking their money for a long time so it can earn the most interest. Money market accounts pay a “money market” rate of interest to attract deposits rather than a capped savings rate like most savings accounts. The amount of interest paid out by a money market account varies from bank to bank, so review the relevant information for the offerings of several different banks before making your decision.
It is important to remember that a money market account may not be the highest-paying deposit product offered at a particular bank. Some banks are beginning to pay more interest on savings account deposits than money market accounts. Review all of the options available to determine which products have the best interest rates.