Saving money in your household finances needs to be a top priority, especially when you consider the difficult economy in which we are living. Every dollar and every cent counts and so does every one that you can save. There are many ways that you can stretch the hard earned cash in your household to make it last longer and work harder. Here we zero in on the top six money saving tips for your household that you can start doing not tomorrow, next week, or next month, but today!
1. Pay your credit cards off in full every month. The interest you will pay if you carry a balance from month to month is astronomical and not something you even want to think about! Okay, maybe thinking about it for a minute is essential to driving the point home. Consider the fact that a $1,000 balance that is being charged at 18 % will cost you approximately $200 a year in interest charges. Wouldn’t you rather keep that $200 in your bank account? When you use them pay them off- completely!
2. End your love affair with designer labels (if you have one) and come back down to Earth. When it comes to buying clothing for yourself and the whole family, used clothing stores and second hand shops have much to offer. Whether you have an infant to clothe, a three year old or an eight year old you are sure to find some bargains at shops that sell gently used clothing. Gone are the days when “second hand” or “used” meant old, or out of date, or worn out. Today you can find up-to-date modern looks at these stores for a fraction of what you would pay in the department stores or specialty stores. If you cannot find what you are looking for at these shops then off to the garage sales and flea markets you go!
3. Cable television can be expensive, as can telephone service, Internet and cell phone service. But oh how so many of us do not want to be without these services! To bring down the costs of the services, you want to find out if you can purchase them as a bundle or find out if multiple services are available for a cheaper rate. If the provider you are presently with cannot offer you this, then find out what other companies in your area have to offer you. Bundles and packages can provide a means of keeping the services you love without having to break your bank account to pay for them!
4. It is wonderful to have loved ones and friends over for a meal once in a while and particularly for holiday meals such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday celebrations and anniversaries. It can be very expensive to prepare a feast for visitors, however. To save money and to get everyone involved in the merriment figure out what your meal will be composed of and then get different people to make separate dishes and bring them when they come over. Just make sure that you do not end up with too much of one food and not enough of another! Who says the host or hostess must foot the entire bill and do all of the meal preparation! Share, and share alike.
5. If the high cost of entertainment has got you shaking your head in dismay, then what you need to do is say no to expensive DVD rentals and head for your local public library. The library is not just for avid readers anymore but also avid movie viewers! Rent movies for free at the local library. Whether you are in the mood for fiction or non-fiction the library is sure to have it. Enjoy a cheap night of entertainment at home with the whole family!
6. Clipping coupons and using them faithfully can help you to reduce costs on everything from laundry soap to cereal to shampoo to juice. Check online for coupons and rebates sites and check the websites for your favorite retailers. You should also check your local newspaper and watch for flyers in the mail. Savings maybe close at hand!
Patti Illsley writes about money saving tips that will help any family. She can be found at the Financial Advice Zone.