The tips in articles about saving money are often ridiculous and/or the same old tips you’ve seen dozens of times.
I read a post recently that advised paying off your mortgage more quickly. I don’t know why anyone would pay down their lowest interest rate loan if they also have high interest credit card debt.
The article went on to suggest not buying new cars every few years (duh) and cutting back on restaurant meals and nights out (no kidding). Following are some tips that are tried and true and ones that you might not already know about.
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Save Money on Clothing
I guess I should stop encouraging people to shop for clothing at thrift stores. If everyone bought their stuff at charity thrift stores, there wouldn’t be any nice clothing left for my family.
I have to be honest, though, and make shopping for clothing at thrift stores my number one money saving secret. It started when I lost a lot of weight and kept needing new clothing.
I found out that the sharpest dressed women at work buy most of their stuff at charity thrift stores. I followed their lead, and now I save tons of money on clothing.
Most people are already holding onto their cars longer than ever. However, many drivers still don’t know about other money saving car hacks car hacks. Car money wasters include too frequent oil changes (check the owner’s manual for how often you should have this done), unnecessary high octane gas and not shopping around for major repairs.
You can save money on your internet service in a number of different ways. If you have cable internet service, the easiest way to save quickly is to buy your cable modem rather than renting it from the cable company.
Many cable internet providers charge around $10 per month to rent the cable modem. You can buy one for around $60 to $90 and ditch this expense for good.
It’s true that saving money on your cell phone bill isn’t the easiest way to cut your budget, but it’s also not as hard as it seems. The most inconvenient part is changing phones, and you probably already do this every couple of years.
Android Police rates Boost Mobile as having one of the cheapest U.S. smartphone plans, with their $30 per month, 2 GB option (requires auto-pay). Boost Mobile offers a variety of smartphones starting at less than $100 each. There’s no contract and no credit check.
If you’re looking for a high-end phone without the high-end price, buy your next smartphone through Gazelle Certified, where you’ll find a great selection of gently used, refurbished smartphones, including the most popular models. To use Boost Mobile, you’ll need to buy a phone on the Sprint network.
I’ve shopped at a variety of different grocery stores, and in case you didn’t already know, Walmart is by far the cheapest. You can easily save money on your groceries by shopping at Walmart.
If you’ve been turned off by Walmart’s crowds and long lines, you’re in luck. Walmart now offers online grocery ordering and pickup service in many locations, with $10 off your first online order. I’ve been using Walmart Grocery for several months with great results and have saved hundreds of dollars.
Cable or Satellite TV
Last year, we finally took the plunge and cut the cord on pay TV. We decided it was one big, unnecessary money suck. Fortunately, there are ways to save money on your cable or satellite TV regardless of whether you plan to cut the cord.
If you do decide to get rid of cable or satellite, it’s not as hard to give up as it might seem. I know others who have cut the cord, and none of them have resubscribed.
Fix It Yourself
I used to think I couldn’t fix things around the house, that I had to call a handyman or some other expert. Boy, was I wrong!
The project that’s saved me the most money so far was repainting my front porch and back deck.
Save Money on Banking Fees
Banks tend to charge any fees they can get away with. That’s one thing that makes credit unions so awesome. They’re owned by their members and tend to offer free or very low-cost accounts, plus lower fees overall.
You might be able to snag a low interest rate on a Visa or MasterCard from a credit union. Since they usually offer lower interest rates than banks, you could look into refinancing your car loan, too.
Check with your employer to see if you’re eligible to join a credit union that way. If not, then check with friends and search the internet for a credit union you might be eligible to join.
Also, ask relatives if they have credit union accounts. Many credit unions let members’ family join, often including siblings and parents, and sometimes also including aunts, uncles and cousins.
You can also find online bank accounts that offer free or low cost accounts, such as Capital One 360.
It could be that everything you think you know about saving electricity is wrong. What really raises your electric bill may surprise you. Hint: Turning off lights when they’re not in use is unlikely to make a large difference in your electric bill.
Save Money on Glasses and Contacts
If someone in your family wears glasses or contacts and you buy them directly from your eye doctor, you’re wasting a lot of money. One company has a lock on most eyeglass frames sold in optometry offices. They charge astronomical prices for them, because they can.
They’re not truly the only game in town, though. You can bypass the glasses monopoly by getting your glasses at Costco or Walmart, or through an online retailer such as Coastal.
I’ve been buying my daughter’s glasses through Walmart, and my husband has bought a few pairs through Coastal. They also use the eye doctor with offices in Walmart.
Through an eye doctor’s office, they’d pay a few hundred dollars for glasses and frames, even with insurance. At Walmart, I’ve been able to buy my daughter’s glasses for a $15 insurance copayment, and I paid cash for a spare pair that cost around $70.
Walmart, Costco and online retailers tend to charge less for contact lenses, too. It pays to shop around. You can take your eye doctor’s prescription and use it where ever you can find the best deal.
What are your favorite money-saving hacks? Have you tried any of the above tips? How did they work for you?