Saving money provides a cushion for short-term costs, such as a large car repair. You also need money for bigger items, such as buying a house or paying for college. It takes time to build savings, but by planning and paying attention to even minor costs, your savings will grow. Evaluate your current spending patterns to identify some common places where you can save money and keep more of what you earn.
Call your credit card companies and request that they lower your interest rate. If you're carrying debt month-to-month you can save significantly by paying a lower interest rate. Many companies will offer this option if you are a regular-paying customer and have a good credit rating. Alternately, tell the credit card company of offers you receive with lower interest rates to see if the company will match the rate.
Shop around for better phone, Internet and cable services rates. Research competitors' rates and call your current service provider, requesting that they beat or match those rates to keep your business. Call your current provider and request that you cancel their service. If they offer you a deal to stay, accept it.
Pay more than the minimum on card balances to cut down on interest costs. You'll save a good deal of money in the long run, even though it costs more up front.
Use cash instead of credit cards. This helps you control your budget and avoids building debt.
Cook from scratch and grow some of your own produce to save money on groceries. Making homemade bread or growing a simple garden with tomatoes and a few seasonal vegetables will help you save grocery money.
Never pay full price for clothing. Buy your new clothes on sale, at seasonal clearances, from consignment shops or discount stores. Buy children's clothing at yard sales and flea markets -- most are hardly worn before children grow out of the size.
Comparison shop for electronics and big ticket items such as appliances. The time spent looking for the best price is often worth the effort.
Save up and pay for a used vehicle rather than financing your transportation. The amount of money spent on financing costs is often very high.
Save when banking. Look for banks with no fees on checking accounts. Withdraw cash from bank branches, in-network ATMs or during debit transactions at grocery stores or other retailers to avoid a surcharge.
Read all of your correspondence from credit card companies. Some letters notify you of higher interest rates.