Friday, October 22, 2010
In today’s challenging economic times, finding ways to stretch the almighty dollar is paramount to families that are struggling to make ends meet. From the small, like saving money on groceries, to the large, like saving money on a college education, everyone wants to keep their bank account afloat.
With some creative thinking, shopping and investigating before purchase, you too can find how to get free money, or at least a discount on dozens of everyday things you and your family use.
Most of us have grand ideas about getting in shape and becoming healthier, but typical gym memberships can cost an individual at least $50 dollars per month. Several options that can help are investigating the gyms in your city. If a consumer shops around, he or she can likely find a less ‘popular’ gym that may charge as little as $15 dollars per month. Another option that has been lost in our fast-moving society is getting a workout at the local community center. Community centers offer the same workout equipment on a smaller scale and often charge as little as $10 dollars per month. Total savings = $35 per month.
Coupons and shopping
Okay, we all have to eat, and shopping for food can consume a good share of one’s budget. Paying $1.50 for the Sunday newspaper to get dozens of coupons and cost-saving advertisements can be a big help at the checkout stand. Shopping for bulk items at a store like Costco, can also be another way to save when you pay. You might not need 10 pounds of chicken or two large boxes of Cheerios, but the Cheerios won’t go bad and the excess chicken can be frozen. Done wisely, an individual can save $20 per week at the checkout stand. Total savings = $80 per month.
Movies and entertainment
First tip, never buy popcorn and a drink at the theatre. A large popcorn and a large drink can cost almost $10; that’s more than the movie ticket itself in some cases. Second tip, go to the matinee. Movie theatres often offer several dollars in discount prices for those attending the movie at non-peak times. Unless the movie is a blockbuster you absolutely can’t miss, wait several weeks and go to the dollar movie. No popcorn, no drink and attending the dollar movie twice a month can be a big help. Total savings per month =$32.
Sometimes it doesn’t seem that the small sacrifices one makes change the outcome of the inevitable money shortage at the end of the month. If you add up the previous three items, the total savings is $147 per month. If you multiply that savings by 12 months, you have saved $1,764 dollars in a year’s time.
Can you think of anything you could spend $1,764 dollars on? Here are a couple thoughts:
• That vacation to Hawaii you’ve always wanted to go on.
• A healthy down payment on a new or used car.
• A home entertainment system that includes a big-screen television, a stereo and the Bose speakers you’ve always wanted.
Adjusting spending habits by even the slightest degree can have a big impact on the health and well being of one’s wallet. What have you got to lose? Give it a try.