In times such as these – everyone is looking for ways to cut their expenses. There are two main ways to cut expenses:
- By consuming less, and making sacrifices.
- By cutting wasteful spending and optimizing the money you spend on essentials.
While making sacrifices is a personal decision and everyone is their own best judge, there are some easy ways to cut wasteful spending. Altering your spending habits can go a long way in saving money and I am going to talk about some such habits here.
How to alter your habits to save money
1. Avoid Shopping Sites: In my free time, I used to visit sites like – Amazon and Deals2Buy – to check out deals and grab bargains. That was before I installed FeedDemon, a feed aggregator. After I installed the feed aggregator, I found that most of my free time was spent reading blogs and I rarely visited Amazon.
I realize now that the reason that I used to window shop and browse stores and online deals was for entertainment. As soon as I found other ways of entertaining myself I stopped visiting online stores and started spending my time elsewhere.
Most people think that they are buying stuff that they will use in the future. For example – buying a jacket to wear in the winter, getting a game console to go through the boring evenings, and just about anything else you can think of. However, in reality a lot of our purchases are done just to satisfy the current need of entertaining ourselves.
I think that is the reason a lot of us have stuff that we don’t even look at one week after buying it. the next time you go shopping try to delay your purchase. Tell yourself, “I will get this on my next shopping trip or with my next paycheck.” There is a pretty good chance that you will forget about it in a fortnight.
An even better way to get rid of this kind of behavior is to stay away from sites that can make you spend money. To do this, you will need a good alternative that will keep you equally well entertained. For me – it was a Feed Reader, for you it could be Yahoo Answers, LOL Cats, or even something offline.
Altering your habit of visiting sites that entice you to spend money is a great way of saving money.
2. Online Coupons: Most companies like Kohl’s, Tire Rack and Carx have coupons on their websites. If you know that you are going to visit a store be sure to check its website to see if there are any coupons available. Most of the time you will save yourself some money without spending more than 10 minutes online. This is much better than clipping coupons and you spend time on it only when you have a definite purpose of visiting a store. I also visit Ebates before shopping online, which offers online rebates for a variety of companies.
3. Car-Pooling: This was easier than I had imagined. There must be plenty of colleagues living in your vicinity. And even if they are not, find someone who is on your way to work. Even if you drive to their home and save about three quarters of the distance – it will still be worth it.
It takes a little – getting used to, but it’s fun, and based on how far you go, you will start noticing the difference in a couple of months or so.
4. Ask Politely: This has been the most surprising and rewarding technique by far. Almost everywhere I go – I ask for a discount. It is surprising to see how many people oblige. Recently I got a totally unexpected discount on my lease – just by asking. Asking can never hurt you, and believe me, if you can bargain and reduce prices – it makes you feel great too.
These are some simple and effective ways that have helped me cut costs; I hope you can benefit from them too.
This guest post is courtesy of Manshu Verma from OneMint, a website with the vision of “creating wealth for everyone.” If you liked this article and wish to read more about the economy, stocks, investing, credit cards or other topics on personal finance, please consider subscribing to his website.