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Here are ten simple things you can do to save money:
1.) Start clipping coupons from the Sunday paper and go online to find websites that offer printable coupons for Target, Wal-Mart and many local grocery stores. Yes, I know. Clipping coupons is a hassle. But if you take a few minutes each week to quickly go through the coupons to see which ones you'll really use and then use them each time you go grocery shopping, you will save money. You can call around to your local grocery stores and ask if they double or triple the face value of coupons and on which days they do it. Go shopping on those days.
2.) At the end of every day, take your spare change and put it in a bottle, box or whatever, and save it. Do not use it the next day. You will save over the course of a year at least $ 500. Every so often, put it into a high interest bearing account like ING Direct.
3.) Lower the temperature on your water heater a few degrees. You will hardly notice that the water is slightly cooler, and you will save around $ 5 – $ 15 a month. You should also buy a water heater insulation kit at a home improvement store. The water heater insulation will enable the tank to retain the heat longer, which will mean that your water heater won't have to heat the water as often; thus resulting in lower energy costs.
4.) Replace your regular incandescent light bulbs with the long-life energy saving bulbs. It used to be that they were always some hideous, dull, fluorescent white light. Not any more. You can find the same 'color' light as regular incandescent bulbs in the long-lasting, energy saving kind. Yes, you will spend more to acquire the energy saving bulbs, but you will save on energy costs every month and you won't have to replace the bulbs for around 5 to 6 years, maybe longer.
5.) Every time your auto insurance or homeowner's insurance is due, make sure you check out the rates on an insurance comparison website. There are lots of them. Some sites will show you two, others three, four … even up to 6 different insurance quotes. The point is … always shop around. You don't really do yourself any favors by being loyal to your insurance company, unless they have the cheapest rates for you and honor your loyalty with low rates.
6.) Get a cash back debit card and a cash back credit card. Yes, both of them. Forget the other perks offered by the various cards. You want cash. Washington Mutual has a debit card that pays a certain percentage back every time you use it for various purchases. Discover and American Express have credit cards that pay cash back. Check them out and get the ones right for you. If you use them instead of the non-cash back type cards, you will get money back at the end of the year, which effectively reduces your cost of living.
7.) Raise the deductibles on your auto insurance policy. Your policy will be less expensive if you do and yes, if you get into an accident you will have to shell out more, but … insurance is all about risk. If you know that you are a low risk driver, then why not take the chance and raise the deductibles, since your risk of ever filing a claim is low?
8.) This may not seem like a money saving idea, but it is over the long term. Drink lots of water and get enough sleep every night. If you do these two simple things over the long term you will have fewer sicknesses, weigh less, have healthier skin, better hair, and your risk of chronic disease is lower. Fewer sicknesses translates to money saved on medicine and doctor visits. Along with this is one more piece of advice. If you smoke, quit. Again, you'll have a lower risk of chronic health problems and you'll save all the money you would have spent on cigarettes.
9.) Stop falling for advertising. In most cases the products you buy at an upscale store at the mall are hardly any better than the same type of product at the grocery or drugstore. Do you really believe there is such a thing as an 'anti-aging' cream? If you do, it's because some giant company has convinced you based on a really slick Madison Avenue marketing campaign. You can get just as clean, have just as smooth skin and just as beautiful lip color by buying the cheaper products at the grocery store instead of the fancy store at the mall.
10.) Stop trying to get rich quick. When you have the idea that you can get rich quick, you become susceptible to the lottery, gambling, and every slick talking vendor that comes along. Everybody likes to think they can get lucky, but really, the only reliable way to get rich is to go to school, work hard, save your money and make wise investments. Over the long term, you will get rich if you keep your goal in mind. You will also gain wisdom, which will help you keep your money.