Rising costs are all around us; and although we may not be able to control the economy, we can control how we spend our money.   Here are ten money saving tips that could help you save.

  1. Track your spending! If you know where your money is actually being spent, it will go a long way in helping you figure out where you can cut back or make changes that will be impactful.  Try writing everything down for a few weeks so you know exactly where your money is going.
  2. Take a look at how much you’re spending on vehicles. A couple of ways you can reduce your auto expenses are:  refinance your current auto loan with WesTex.  The reduction of a few percentage points on your current rate could save you significant cash.  You can also consider shopping for a late-model vehicle, you could save significantly and unless the model design changes, no one will know difference.  Or, just keep driving your current car; get it paid off and enjoy not having payments for a while.
  3. Track your spending! Get in the habit of asking yourself “Do I really need this?” This is a good way to separate your wants from your needs.  If it’s not absolutely necessary, right now, while money is tight, may not be a good time to buy that new pair of shoes.
  4. Try to lower your energy bills. Turn off and unplug appliances that aren’t being used, make sure the lights are turned off when they are not needed.  Open the curtains, purchase energy-efficient light bulbs.  Use a fan instead of air conditioning while you can, or put on extra layers of clothing instead of using the heat. 
  5. Set up a payroll deduction that goes straight into your savings account. Most people spend whatever is in their checking account and unless you have a plan it’s easy to spend that money without making a savings contribution. It doesn’t have to be a large amount, even a few dollars sent to your savings account each pay period will add up overtime.
  6. Take your lunch to work and cut back on take-out ordering. A boxed lunch may not seem as fun as eating out, but those daily restaurant lunches add up to hundreds of dollars!  Take-out ads up quick, too.  Even if the meal doesn’t feel expensive, if you are ordering frequently a $10 trip thru the drive-thru once a week costs you over $500 a year.
  7. Cut out or downgrade services like cable, internet and phone. Review your plan and shop around or downgrade the service to just the services and channels you truly need.  This may take a little time but it’s time well spent when you realize the savings you could rack up. 
  8. Review your insurance policies. Take a look at all of the coverages on all of your plans from homeowners or renters’ insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, etc.  You may be over insured and wasting money or underinsured and not adequately covered.  It’s important to review your insurance coverages annually and every time you have a significant life change like a marriage, child or death in the family.
  9. Don’t overspend on things like vacation or gifts right now. Purchasing those things feels good at the time, but you may wish you had the money later on.  You could even opt in for a “staycation” to save significant funds this year.
  10. If you’re already disciplined about your money and paying your bills on time, you might consider using a cash back credit card to pay bills. Some credit cards will deliver points on every purchase so you can actually earn money.  The trick here is to be VERY disciplined in paying your balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.   If you’re not disciplined about paying off your credit card each month be sure to avoid this tip.  While using a credit card may make things easier right now, using credit without paying it off immediately only increases your monthly payments in the future.