Monday, September 9, 2019

Ways to Save This Month

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On a budget heading into the holiday season?  Here's how to save some money in September:

Make your own coffee at home.  You probably know this.  No matter how you want to make it or what you want to add, it's cheaper to make it at home.  Getting a fancy Starbucks coffee drink should be a treat, not a daily occurrence - it's better for both your wallet and your waistline.  But the end of the month also brings national coffee day, and tons of chains offer free coffee so be sure to pay attention to that.

Get an energy audit done and insulate your home.  Energy audits are often free, which is a great resource.  Someone from the gas company will come in and note areas in your home where you can be more efficient.  They even have devices to measure how drafty certain areas are and can tell you which doors and windows need more insulation.  The more of these suggestions you implement, the lower your energy bill will be since your home will be running as efficiently as possible.

Buy quality over quantity for new clothes.  Back to school shopping season brings a ton of good clothing sales.  I always recommend using and mending what you have and shopping second hand, but there are times when you need new pieces.  Always buy quality over quantity.  It may cost more up front, but you will have that item much longer than you'd have 5 cheap tops from Target, making it much less expensive over time.

Sleep on every purchase.  Don't buy things the minute you see them or decide you want them.  Try to talk yourself out of it instead of into it, or at the very least, sleep on it.  We lack good decision making power at the end of the day, so when you wake up refreshed, you're better able to recognize what a mistake that almost purchase would have been.  I recommend an even longer time frame, more like 2 to 3 days, but even 1 will help with those impulse buys.

Get educated through books or YouTube videos.  The arena of personal finance is vast and can be complicated.  There's so much different advice and things to do at different stages of your life, but rather than throw up your hands and forget it all, educate yourself using free resources.  If you're in debt, start with Dave Ramsey.  Other great books on the subject are Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Love your Life, Not Theirs, and Your Money or Your Life.  There are also many YouTubers who talk about this as well, so search for your needs and what interests you.

Change banks or cards if they charge any fees.  A bank should not be charging you for the privilege of holding and using your money.  Because that's what they are doing, using it to their advantage.  Not like it sits in a little vault under the bank (I mean, not all of it.)  Banks are moving it around, making loans and transactions that earn them a lot of money, and you should not be the one paying the fees for them to have this privilege.  If you get charged a yearly fee for your checking account or credit card, switch to a different type of account or a different bank.  There are so many that don't have fees.

Book holiday travel.  Yes, now.  If you want to travel for Thanksgiving or Christmas, now is the time to book those flights to get the best deals.

How will you save this month?

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