Hey Cora: I always think I am going to save enough money to buy a house, but just day to day living seems to suck up my good intention of saving. Any advice? Captain Broke
Dear Captain. Yes, there are tons of ways to save a buck or 2 or 5000! Saving money tips first:
1) Ask your employer if they will pull 15% of your paycheck and deposit right to savings
2) Any windfall, goes into savings.
3) IRS tax return, put it in savings.
Now don’t touch! Here are some more ways to save, this could help you buy a new house this year OR invest in real estate.
1) Light Bulbs. Change out your light bulbs from incandescent to LED. I thought this was dumb at first, but it actually made a difference in my bill! I was stunned! So each month, I would buy a 4 pack of bulbs and change them out. This way, it wasn’t such a huge investment all at once.
2) Insurance. Do some shopping around, make sure that you have all your insurable items with the same company – you will get a much better deal that way.
3) Utilities. Compare pricing, different internet providers, trash pick up, cell phone, cable and land lines. Do some bargain shopping. I call my cell phone provider about every 6 months and ask what I can do to bring down my bill. There is always some new thing out there OR and old thing that I can remove that will inch it down a little. Give it a try.
4) Laundry detergent. Why is it so expensive and SO HEAVY! I purchased these Eco Clean laundry balls and you don’t every have to buy laundry detergent again! I know that they weren’t made by elves, and there was no fair dust sprinkled on them – but they were pretty amazing and they do a great job.
5) Dog Food. I hate lugging dog food around the grocery store, so I started buying it on line from Pet Co (you know, where the pets go) and it’s 12 buck cheaper than the store and it comes to my door! I mean really….you can’t beat that!
6) No impulse buying. Fred Meyers has a solution to impulse buying…..Click List! It’s pretty amazing. You go on their web site and you upload your credit card to them. Then you click on the things you need. They will tell you when it will be ready, and you park in an easy part of the parking lot, text them that you are there and they bring it to you! Say WHAT? This is perfect for days when you just don’t have the energy, kids in the car, your sick or kids are sick! This is amazing. AND you won’t over spend, you only buy what you came for! Genius!
7) Car Wash. There is a car wash right behind Target in Wasilla that has a special deal where you pay $29.00 per month and you can get your car washed as often as you want! Just drive thru! Our cars are going to look like SEATTLE cars now! All clean and shiny.
8) Clean out your closet. There are several consignment shops in Wasilla and Palmer that you can take gently used clothes to and get a credit to purchase something new and fun! So rather than just give them all away, pick thru some of your nice things that you have grown out of or, you know, that top your mom gave you that makes you look 6 months pregnant and sell it on consignment – then pick out something you love!
9) Gifts. We really get hung up on gifts! I have found that people my age (late fifties but think they are still 35) don’t really need anything in their homes. It’s just more stuff to find a place for. But a consumable, now that’s an idea! Dinner for 2 or 4. Go to the store, get some specialty thing from the butcher shop, like Chicken Cordon Blue or something equally delightful, a couple of russet potatoes and wrap them in foil, a bagged Caesar salad and two wonderful chocolate delights from the bakery and voila! For less than $20 bucks, you have a delightful dinner for 2! Put it in a fancy box or basket and you are the hero! Gifts don’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful.
10) Trips. There are actually some really good deals on Groupon. Check out their website and find some exotic place to skip off to this winter. Stay local or use your passport. But really, really fun interesting places to go.
Now get out there and save some money so you can buy a house from me!