10 Easy Ways You Can Save Money
January 30, 2018 |
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Each spring, everything gets a fresh new start. And your finances can too. Here are 10 simple ideas to give your personal finances a boost:
- Put your tax refund to work.
Taxes might not be fun, but getting a refund can be! But instead of going out and buying stuff you might not need, you can use that money to save even more:
- Pay down credit cards and other high-interest debt. If a credit card charges 15% (the US average) paying it off could save you hundreds, or thousands, of dollars.
- Open or contribute to an IRA. Depending on the type you get, the money could grow tax-free until you retire, and it could be tax deductible.
- Contribute to a college fund account for your kids or grandkids. Not only will it help them afford college, it could be tax deductible.
- Open your closets, and your heart.
Dig deep into your storage spaces. Pack up any clothes, linens, and household goods you haven’t used in a while. Give it to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or a local shelter. You’ll feel gratified by the good deed, happy to free up space, and may be surprised by how much you’ll save on your taxes. Both Goodwill and the Salvation Army have valuation guides. List the items you’re donating, with valued noted, and make 2 copies of the list, one of the recipient, and the other for your tax records.
- Dress for success — for next winter.
After donating your old clothes, you’ll have room in your closet to take advantage of spring clearance sales on winter clothes. Jackets, hats, gloves, boots, sports equipment — if you’ll need to get them next winter, you could save a bundle by buying them now.
- Join a free health club: the great outdoors.
Instead of paying a gym membership fee (especially if you aren’t going as much as you should), take your game outside. Jogging, biking, even plain old walking — they’re all great for your health and can be done outside for free.
- Keep walking on your vacation.
Planning to visit a city on your next vacation? Take a self-guided walking tour instead of paying for an overcrowded tourist bus. Look for apps or audio guides you can follow on your phone. Good for your wallet, and your health.
- Ride the winds of (seasonal) change.
Open your windows and enjoy the fresh spring air, and install a ceiling fan in every bedroom. Better air flow can put off the need for air conditioning, saving you money in the summer months. Also, consider installing a programmable thermostat to set temperatures automatically so it’s cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter when you’re home, and not running as much while you’re out.
- Opt-in to budget billing.
Do you get slapped with huge electric bills in the summer and heating bills in the winter? Ask your utility companies about budget billing. They may be able to bill you the same amount every month, based on your average energy usage, which will help you better plan your expenses and avoid those big seasonal bills.
- Fix it up.
You can save money on utility bills by doing home maintenance during the mild spring weather. Repair leaks, install low-flow showerheads, fix screens, and add insulation and weather stripping. These can help make your water, heating, and cooling systems more efficient.
- Clean it up.
While you’re doing those home repairs, save some more money by making your own household cleaning products? It’s not as complicated as you think. You can whip up effective cleaners with simple ingredients like baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide. Check YouTube for helpful how-to videos.
- Go offline for free entertainment.
Instead of buying books and music online, visit your local public library. Not only will you be able to check everything out for free, you can enjoy it at your own pace.
At Dime, we’re always looking for new ways to help you save money. Speak with a Dime representative at 1-800-321-DIME (3463) to see how we can help you today.