Could you use some extra cash? Most of us can, especially with the challenges of a looming recession, stalled wage growth and rising prices on consumer goods. To help you free up more cash this month, here are 10 easy ways to save $50 (or more!).
Visit sites like gasbuddy.com to find the lowest gas prices in your neighborhood. Be sure to check out the mobile app, too, when you’re on the road and need to fill up.
Skip the Drinks
Stop ordering drinks when you go out. Skip the margarita or Diet Coke in favor of water with lemon – you’ll be glad when it’s time to pay the tab. Save indulgent coffee drinks for a special treat, rather than your everyday caffeine fix.
Instead of paying top-dollar for the latest fashions, browse the racks at discount stores like Ross, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx. They stock high-quality, brand-name clothing and shoes – at a significantly reduced price.
Negotiate for Damaged Goods
Many stores will give you a 20-percent discount or more for slightly damaged items – such as a missing button or barely-visible spot – you just have to ask.
To stay competitive with Amazon, more stores than every offer price matching. It might take a few minutes of research, but the added savings are worth it. JC Penney, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Target and even Nordstrom have started price matching, with more retailers adopting the practice every day.
Buy Store Brands
Shop generic for groceries, household products, personal care essentials and over-the-counter medications to enjoy nearly identical products at a considerably lower cost.
Consider asking your utility company to charge you a flat rate each month to balance out the seasonal highs and lows. You’ll notice the benefits in the hot summer and cold winter months, when energy usage is highest.
Evaluate your Cable
If you’re paying for channels you never watch, consider a lower-priced cable package. If you’re intent on shaving monthly costs, you may even consider canceling cable altogether in favor of Internet TV providers.
Cancel Phone Features
If your cell is your primary phone, get rid of the fancy features on your land-line. You may not need call-waiting, three-way calling, caller ID or even voicemail. Or, consider getting rid of your landline altogether.
Keep a Spending Log
Write down every purchase to keep a log of your spending. This may seem tedious, but you’ll be surprised to see where your money goes — and you’ll likely think twice before making unnecessary purchases.