It’s never easy to save money. We live in a consumer society. Advertising directs us to spend money especially on things we don’t exactly need. Even people with high incomes have difficulty saving money. That’s because the more money we have at our disposal the more likely we are to spend it.
Then there is the very true fact that you can’t take it with you. However, saving money now in order to spend it later is a very healthy philosophy. We may want to save money for a rainy day or for a great vacation. Here we present dome good ideas for saving money on a small income for both those eventualities.
Make Entertainment Less Expensive
For example, you could go to the cheaper movie theaters where they show older movies. They cost a lot less than first run movies and you’ll be behind the trends to some degree but if you then save the difference in cost you’ll be saving money for later!
Another good way to reduce entertainment costs is to play casino games online for free. Online casinos can offer unlimited free play because they have virtually infinite space. Anyone who has ever been to a land based casino knows that they definitely do have limited space and do not allow unlimited free play. When you play online casino games for free, you’ll probably at some point want to play for real money. Casino bonuses are a great way to stretch your account. Choose a casino with a new player bonus over 100%. Then make small bets. The idea is to see gambling as a form of low cost entertainment.
You can and probably should drop your cable server. It costs too much and who hasn’t complained that they have hundreds of channels and nothing to watch? If you miss the news, read it online. If you miss National Geographic, watch it on YouTube. If you miss sports, you can stream almost any game for free. The companies that allow you to access their game streams are pushing sports betting. You don’t have to bet to get the game as a free stream.
If you like to read, go to used book stores as a form of entertainment. Used books are still quite cheap and for enthusiastic readers an hour in a used book store can be great fun.
Set a Fixed Menu
Nothing hurts budgeting more than not knowing what you’re going to eat for dinner. Set your menu for one week at a time. With your menu in hand, you can write down your shopping list. Always follow the list.
Supermarkets, especially in the United States, are designed to entice you to buy junk food. They have displays of giant bags of some sort of chips or breakfast cereal as soon as you enter the store. The healthier food, such as fruit and vegetables, are often hidden in a distant corner of the store.
One of the hardest things we need to do at some time in our lives is to develop a taste for food that we generally have never cared for. Broccoli almost always loses out to pizza. Yet, everyone has a list of foods they consume regularly that they can really do without. Roasted peanuts? Expensive wines? Imported cheese? Packaged cakes and cookies?
For most people, this list is quite long. You can save money and eat cookies if you bake the cookies yourself. You can have a cookie baking party with friends. Everyone brings their favorite cookie recipe and the necessary ingredients and you have a low cost party with delicious low cost food.
You don’t have to deprive yourself of the finer things in life; you simply have to budget them in.
Go Over Your Insurance
Most people spend far too much on insurance. It is one of the least favorite subjects so people buy what a salesman has to sell and fee they are covered. They might be well-covered for a risk but the cost might be too high.
In most states, a broker is the person who would represent you, the customer, and an agent would represent the company whose policies he or she sells. So ask a broker to review all of your insurance policies.
Use Your Car Less
If you can commute to work, you can probably save a lot of money by doing so rater tan sitting in traffic jams. If you live close to the amll, walk there. The same applies to the supermarket. You won’t be able to carry all your groceries home so you’ll need more than one trip to the supermarket. But you’ll save the cost of driving.
Look for Vacation Bargains
Many online sites have last minute deals because they want to sell a seat on an airplane or a room in a motel. Outdoorsy vacations are almost always cheaper than going to the ocean and lounging about on the beach.
Look for Investment Opportunities
There are good investment opportunities all over the place but most people never see them because they aren’t looking for them. We do not mean extraordinary speculative investments. We mean normal investments that seem to address a trend or a market that is developing.
For example, you might not be able to afford a new cell phone but you might be able to invest in stock in a company that is developing new cell phone technology.
We use many products and don’t think about how they got to the general consumer market. Paying attention to what we use often—even every day—and what we would like to use but can’t afford will often led us to an investment opportunity that we can afford.
Save the Difference
Whenever we spend less today than we spent yesterday on the same or a different product or service, we should save the difference. For example, if we reduce our insurance costs, we should put aside the difference between our old and our new insurance. By spending less and saving the difference, we’ll be able to save quite a bit of money even on a small income.