I came across this article the other day that promised 16 ways to save money this year, so of course I was interested! I got to reading it and I found that a lot of the ways this article listed to save money were too specific and really didn’t apply to a lot of people. I will go over each tip this article listed and give you my thoughts toward them.
Quit smoking. First of all, not everyone smokes so this only applies to the people who do smoke. Secondly, it can be extremely difficult to stop smoking and, if someone isn’t going to quit smoking for their physical health then it probably isn’t very likely that they are going to quit smoking for the financial benefits. Yes, ultimately the best thing physically and financially would be for smokers to quit, but people who smoke probably already know that! From a strictly financial standpoint, if you are going to smoke that’s fine, but you need to budget for it. If you are going to choose to spend your money to smoke, then you need cut spending somewhere else so that you don’t smoke yourself broke.
Use CFLs or LED lights where possible. The article states that doing this would save you a whopping $45 a year! If you want to switch out your lights to save $45 a year the by all means, please do so. If you are really trying to pinch pennies, then maybe this is something you can do. If it saves you the $45 a year, then you will be saving about $4 a month. So yes, it is money saved, but it’s not a substantial amount.
Cancel unused subscriptions. Yes, I agree 100% with this. If you are paying for a subscription that you are not using, then you need to cancel it! Otherwise, you are just throwing money away each and every month.
Make a grocery list. Absolutely. If you don’t have a list when you go grocery shopping, then you are likely to buy extra stuff you don’t need which could end up being wasteful. I would even recommend using grocery pick up because sometimes, even if you have a list, you will buy random things because you see them and you want them. If you don’t even go in the store, then you don’t even have the opportunity to buy extra stuff that you don’t need! I personally prefer shopping at Walmart because of how affordable it is compared to other grocery stores. Aldi is my all-time favorite, but we don’t have an Aldi in my little corner of the world, so I go to Walmart instead. If you haven’t tried it before, I would highly recommend using Walmart’s grocery pick up. It’s free! Also, if you sign up for your first time using this link, then you will get $10 off your first pick up order! You’re welcome.
Buy in bulk. Yes, kind of. I actually did some research comparing Sam’s and Walmart’s prices per unit for different products and Sam’s wasn’t always cheaper! For a lot of products, I found that buying Walmart’s brand of whatever was cheaper than buying the same product in bulk at Sam’s. A lot of Sam’s bulk products are name-brand, so it ended up being cheaper to buy the Walmart brand even though it wasn’t bulk. Now, for things like paper products, Sam’s is cheaper. Especially if you buy the Sam’s brand of paper products. However, Sam’s charges an annual membership fee, so if you are a single person it might not end up saving you much money when you add in that cost. I can’t speak for any other bulk stores because I’ve never shopped at any of them! Long story short, you might be able to save a decent amount of money by buying in bulk depending on your situation and what exactly you are buying.
“Use this debt payoff plan.” The article links to a debt relief plan, but I didn’t take the time to read it because you have to have $15,000+ in credit card debt and I’m sure there’s some catch to the program. If you have credit card debt (or any debt for that matter), use the debt snowball to get rid of it. List your debts smallest to largest, then make minimum payments on all of them except the smallest one. With for the smallest one, throw every extra penny that you have at it until it’s gone, then do the same with the next smallest one and the next smallest one until they are all paid off.
Tax deductions. If you are thinking about taking tax deductions, you need to meet with a tax professional first and foremost. I am not a tax professional and cannot make any recommendations for your situation. However, this article lists off tax deductions for homeowners, such as interest. I am a homeowner and have never deducted my interest. This is because my deductible expenses have never been higher than the standard deduction, so I have always just taken the standard deduction. Again, this is not intended to be used as advice. You need to meet with a tax professional to get advice on your tax situation.
Government rebates for solar panels. Sure, this might save you some money if you are a homeowner and if you qualify for the program, but this is too specific and does not apply to the majority of the population. This will likely not apply to the majority of people trying to save money.
Use concrete vs. Pavers for a new patio. Again, this only applies to homeowners that are wanting to build a patio. This will not apply to most people looking to save money. Not to mention that this will only save you money if you were already planning on building a patio and have already budgeted for it. If you weren’t planning and budgeting to build a patio, then this will not save you any money. It will cost you money, which is the opposite of what we’re trying to do here.
Use a grill instead of cooking inside in the summer. In order for this to apply to you, you have to have a grill and the space to grill. Sure, it might cut down on your electric bill in the summer if you have a grill and the space to use it, but you will have to have the propane or charcoal or whatever you’re using to grill, which is an added expense. You would have to do the math to see if it actually would result in some savings.
Childproof outlets for better insulation. Okay, sure. But how much are you going to spend to buy all of those plastic deals to childproof those outlets? Will it actually end up saving you enough money in utilities to purchase them? Maybe, maybe not.
Give your air conditioner some space. This article states that your air conditioner will run more efficiently if it has the proper airflow and recommends trimming any shrubs that might be restricting proper airflow. If you have the tools, it might be worth a shot if it actually ends up cutting down on your electric bill.
Quit buying expensive coffee. Look, I love me a good cup of coffee. I am willing to spend $5 or $6 on a good cup of coffee. Lots of people are! There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying an expensive cup of coffee every day, but you have to budget for it. If you are going to buy a cup of coffee in the morning, maybe it isn’t the best decision to also buy lunch in the afternoon. If you are trying to pay off debt, yes $5 a day can help get that paid off faster. But if you’re debt free and you have the same feelings toward coffee that I do, then it is well worth the $5 as long as it is budgeted for.
Get new auto insurance. Yep! This one is definitely worth looking in to. We just got new insurance on my husband’s Jeep and it is literally going to save us a little over $400 a year. That’s a lot of money! You might also consider dropping to liability only if you drive a beater. My husband’s Jeep is king of a beater, so we don’t have full coverage on it. Before you make any decision, I would advise talking to an insurance professional. This is not intended to be used as advice for your specific situation!
Military discount at Lowe’s. There are a lot of places that offer military discounts, not just Lowe’s. If you or your spouse is in the military, it doesn’t hurt to ask if a military discount is offered wherever you’re shopping. Literally anywhere you make a purchase. There are several businesses that offer military discounts, but don’t advertise it. Just because it’s not advertised doesn’t mean it’s not available.
Mortgage HiRO program. I have honestly never heard of this before reading this article, but in order to qualify you have to own a home (obviously) and you have to have been born before 1986. That’s pretty specific and doesn’t do any good for people born after 1986 or people that don’t own a home.
So, there you go! There’s my take on that article that I came across the other day. Read the article for yourself and see what you think about the suggestions for saving money that they make. In my opinion, the best way for you to save money is to budget and pay attention to your spending. Be mindful of where your money is going and cut out wasteful spending where you can. There is no “one size fits all” plan for people to save money.
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