5 Ways to Start Saving Money Today

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Money Saving Jar

Words such as budget and cutbacks don’t make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. In reality, though, it’s not that bad. You can cut back on your expenses without sacrificing your needs and wants, as long as you approach it in the right way. Use these top five ways to cut your budget and watch your money stack up.

Money Saving Jar

Buy Generic

Whether it’s prescription medication or canned goods, look to the generic and store brands. In some circumstances, you shave 50 percent off your expenses by choosing a generic over a name brand product. And the difference in the ingredients? It’s usually no difference at all, so you are getting the same product at a reduced cost.

Pack Snacks

Rather than run to the deli or corner store when hunger strikes, learn to pack snacks. Add your snacks for the day to your lunch or carry them in your purse. When you do your household shopping, add snacks for work to your list. Store the snacks in your desk drawer or cabinet so that you always have some goodies on hand. Do the same for the kids or your spouse when you send them off to school and work, and watch your savings pile up.

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Use Ingredients on Hand

Instead of running to the store every time you decide to follow a recipe or cook your family a meal, use the ingredients you have in the house already. Decide what to make based on the ingredients you have. It forces you to use up the food you already have rather than to spend more money before you need to run to the grocery store. If you get stuck, websites, such as supercook.com, allows you to input the ingredients you have, and the site suggests recipes you can make.

Re-evaluate Big Expenses

Mark your schedule to re-evaluate some of your common household expenses. Some of the expenses that should make your list include:

  • Health insurance
  • Auto insurance
  • Cable/satellite
  • Home phone
  • Cell phone(s)

Review these types of expenses one to two times per year. Shop around and see if there are any ways to cut your spending. Shop at different price points to see how changing your deductible, for example, affects your monthly premiums on insurance policies. Cut out the movie channels on your cable bill and borrow free movies from the library instead. Even renting the videos a few times a month is less expensive than the complete movie package.

Free Exercise

The gym is a healthy way to get in your exercises, but it’s also expensive. Cut out the gym and exercise like you did when you were a kid instead. Ride your bike. Play sports, run and jump rope. Not only do you get in a workout but you also have a great time while doing it.

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Looking for ways to shave money off your spending can be fun, if you make it fun. Turn it into a game where you challenge yourself to cut s much as you can without sacrificing too much of your fun, wants and needs. Use these top five ways to cut your budget and you’ll experience the difference, in a good way.