With such a tough economy, it's hard to keep up with monthly expenses much less worry about trying to save money. But, saving money is important to do so as to keep a cushion in case of unexpected bills. There are ways to save money, even when you think there is nothing left at the end of the month. Check out these ideas for saving money using little ideas that add up.
Create monthly budget. Sit down and write up a list of your monthly expenses. Find out where your money is going and where you might be able to tighten your budget a little. Try to find places where you might be able to save $10 here and $15 there. These amounts really add up. Try putting your utilities on a budget or cutting out phone expenses by using just a cell phone. If you loans are too high, consider consolidation. Most banks will do this even for multiple personal and car loans. It's amazing what you can save a month!
Cut out unnecessary purchases. If you buy coffee every morning before work, try brewing your own at home and taking it to work in a thermos. Pack a lunch to take to work instead of buying lunch everyday. Make meals at home instead of ordering take-out. Every little purchase you make that isn't a necessity can hurt your wallet. Try cutting out these items and putting the money away. Your savings will really add up.
Put even a dollar a day away. Try putting a dollar into a piggy bank everyday. By the end of the month, you'll have saved $30 dollars. That's $360.00 a year! Now, think if you are able to put $5 into that piggy bank. Do whatever you can. Every dollar counts and can add up to a big savings at the end of the month. Most people can do without a dollar a day and won't even miss it. See how much you can live without and how your savings will increase per month.
Save change and only use cash for purchases. Paying for items with cash only and saving all your change will increase your piggy bank savings. Most people will save approximately $60 a month this way. $60 is a lot when you need gas for your car or milk and bread and have no available money. I had a friend once who saved all her change for a year and had enough to take a vacation to Disneyland for four days. She ended up saving nearly $1,000! It's totally worth it.
Clip coupons for grocery purchases. Coupons can save you a lot of money a month on grocery expenses. Get store ads and find out when items are on sale. Most grocery ads go in sync with newspaper coupons so that you can save even more. Also, try going generic when you can or purchase condiments and other items at Dollar Stores. Whatever you save a month in groceries can be put into your piggy bank for a rainy day.
Trade items with friends and family. If you don't have enough money to make your ends meet and are looking to save some money, try trading items with others for things you need. People always have clothes they've outgrown, household items they don't use anymore, or are willing to help out when times are tough just knowing you will help them when they need it. This will save you money from having to purchase everything. Think of it as a barter...instead of paying money for the things you need, you pay with items you have that you no longer use. Even better, you could offer services such as mowing their lawn, carrying their groceries, or cleaning their house.
Keep energy bills low by cutting out on unnecessary expenses. Turn off lights when they are not in use, keep the heat down as low as you can comfortably handle, take faster showers, and don't run the water a lot when brushing teeth. Save money on expenses that could be put back into your pocket just by paying attention to the energy levels in your home. Conserving energy will lower your utility bills by amazing amounts. You'll be surprised how much money you can save just by keeping electricity and heating levels to a minimum in your home. Watch how carefully you use certain items so that you can lower your utility bills and have more money left at the end of the month.