Money-Saving Ideas Everyone Can Start Doing Today

Most people like the idea of saving money, but very few people are actually good at it. Reports show that four out of five American workers live paycheck to paycheck and don’t have enough in the bank to cover a minor disaster. 

Saving money can be hard, especially when you think you don’t have any money to save in the first place. But knowing how to save money is the first step to doing it. These seven money-saving tips don’t require a lot of capital and can be put into practice immediately:

1. Start Working Down Your Debt

It’s hard to think about saving money when you have debt hanging over your head. If that debt also carries interest, there’s no way you should think about saving extra cash! Start chipping down your debt (and that high interest). The lower your balance, the less you’ll pay in interest, and the more “extra” money you’ll have each month to start stashing away. According to Dave Ramsey, it is best to pay off your smallest debt first so you can apply that extra monthly amount to the next smallest debt. He calls it the Debt Snowball Method.

2. Switch to Generics

Name brands can cost up to twice as much as generic products, so consider making the switch on items where quality isn’t much of a concern. Think about it: do you really need name-brand baking soda, potato chips, or batteries? That doesn’t mean you have to give up all your favorite brands, but consider which items you’re paying for the marketing and which ones give you more quality for the price.

3. Cut the Cord

The average cable bill is about $85 a month, while satellite TV is roughly $100 per month. You could get an entire year’s worth of Hulu or Netflix for about the same price. If saving money is a priority, it’s time to cut the cord and switch to streaming. 

4. Pack Your Lunch

If you’re spending $10 a day at the corner deli next to your office, you’ll be amazed at how much money you could save by switching to a DIY lunch option from home. You’ll not only be spending pennies per dollar compared to eating out, but also have more control over portions, calories, and general healthiness of your food. 

5. Borrow Instead of Buy

Need a weed eater? Wheelbarrow? Stepladder? These things have unlimited uses, and your friends or neighbors might be more than willing to let you borrow theirs to save some cash. Plus, you don’t have to worry about storing these items when you’re done using them.

6. Leverage Your Library

Your library is good for more than just dusty books, and it’s free to use. You can usually find current bestsellers, DVDs, audiobooks, and the latest issues of hundreds of magazines, all available at your disposal.

7. Indulge in a Staycation

Between the hotel, transportation, food, and activities, going on vacation can get expensive. Instead, consider a “staycation” that lets you relax at home, binge-watch your favorite show, and explore your area like a tourist. It’s a whole lot cheaper, plus it can still give you that sense of R&R when you need a break. Plus you eliminate the jetlag!

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