Are we headed for a double-dip recession? Did we ever really recover from the last one? Who knows – ask ten economists and you’ll get ten different answers. What I do know is times are still tough for most people, regardless of what the government statistics report.
It has never been a better time to get out of debt, build savings and learn to live more frugally. Along those lines, here are 62 money-saving tips to help your family spend less money (and earn more money) each month, recession or not.
- Don’t pay a dime for banking privileges. There are too many free checking options out there to pay one penny in fees for the right to write a check or use a debit card. Many banks and credit unions simply require direct deposit or a minimum number of debit card uses per month to qualify for fee-free accounts. If you can’t find one, try ING Direct.
- Shop your car insurance coverage at esurance.com. Take 6 minutes to complete the free quote and shave a significant amount off your car insurance premiums.
- Scale back the cable. While getting out of debt, our family scaled back to basic cable for an entire year. Cable bill went down from $40 to $12 with this move alone, and we found we didn’t really miss those other 100 channels we rarely watched anyway.
- Look for a value internet package. While I was scaling back on cable service I asked our cable provider for a cheaper rate on internet service. They told me about a little-advertised “value package” which costs half the normal monthly rate for reduced speed. Since I mostly surf the web and check email I barely notice, but I saved about $20 a month on our internet service.
- Skip the theater, subscribe to Netflix. Going to the movie theater is a great way to beat the heat, but it’s also expensive. Skip the theater, and sign up for an online DVD rental service. No late fees, and no gas used up traveling back and forth to the rental store.
- Transfer existing debt using balance transfer offers. Transfer high-interest debt to a zero (or low) interest card. By reducing your interest rate you will pay less interest to creditors each month, and make more of a dent in outstanding balances as you pay them off. Consider this 18 month promotional balance transfer offer from Discover® More Card. Be sure to cut up the old card(s) so you can’t run the debt back up again.
- Hang up the land line telephone service. If most of your calls are to other cell users in the same network, consider canceling the land line and using a cell phone exclusively.
- Have a no-spend weekend. Sometimes it takes a break in the routine to get spending under control. Try to go an entire weekend without eating out, shopping, or ordering something online. It won’t solve all your spending problems, but it’s a start.
- Carpool a few times a week. Take turns carpooling with a coworker, especially if they live close to you. Pick them up and take them home this week, and next week allow them to return the favor. You’ll both cut your driving time in half.
- Raise insurance deductibles. Assuming you have a proper emergency fund in place, raise deductibles on insurance policies. The difference in a $500 deductible and a $1,000 deductible on your car insurance policy can help reduce your monthly or semi-annual premiums.