Back To Basics: Learn How To Save

by guest on April 12, 2011

in Saving Money

How To Save Money

The following is a guest post on how to save money by Kevin at Debt Eye.

A lot of my readers are always asking me for the best recommendation to get out of debt.  Whether it’s a debt settlement plan, a debt management program, or even filing for bankruptcy, my first answer to them is: learn how to save money & budget.  Getting out of debt is always a concern and priority, but the most important piece of the puzzle that is often overlooked is learning how to stay debt free.

I’ve found that most problems come from overspending.  To tackle this problem, it’s important to develop some money saving habits.  There isn’t one solution that’s going to drastically make a huge improvement to your financial health.  I always encourage all my readers to slowly incorporate some of these money saving habits early on.  Applying some of these habits will prevent them from falling into the same trap after they’re debt free.

How To Save Money: 6 Basic Tips

  1. Lose the Coffee: If you’re like me, morning coffee is a must.  I used to buy coffee every morning before work.  It was only $1.89 at Dunkin Donuts including tax where I lived (this is sad; I can’t believe I know exactly how much it costs including tax).    Instead, buy a thermal mug and brew coffee at home.

  2. Pack your own lunch: Besides saving money, packing your own lunch is a healthier alternative compared to greasy fast food.  I agree that it can be difficult to make lunch every morning, but just a few times a week can help tremendously.

  3. Drive the Speed Limit: I never understood why people race to the next traffic light.  Technically speaking, you’re not going to make it to your destination significantly faster.  With rising gas prices, it’s important to watch your MPG.  Don’t accelerate too hard on your gas pedal.  I’m not telling you to drive like a grandpa, but if you treat your car with TLC, you’re definitely notice an increase in your mileage!

  4. Generic > Brand Name: Buying generic brand names (especially when it comes to medicine) is an instant money saver.  Does it really matter if you’re buying Claratin or Walatin (Walgreens Version)?  Although sometimes I must admit, I’m not a big fan of generic brand soda. [Editor's note: The thought of buying generic medications lead to a good debate in one of my recent articles]

  5. Buy Online: This is especially true for electronic items.  Whenever you go to a retail store, write down the brand and model number and search for this item online.  I can almost assure you that you’ll find better prices with online retailers!

  6. Common Cents Savings- It’s time to find an empty jar or milk jug and turn it into your new piggy bank! Saving your coins can really add up.  Most people can save about $40/month in coins!

Once you start to apply some of these money saving habits into your lifestyle, you’ll begin to see a noticeable difference that’s left in your bank account every month. These are just a few of many ideas that can help unload some of the weight off your shoulders.  Be creative.  Have fun.  And be persistent!

photo by Renjith Krisnan

Author Bio: Kevin is a writer for www.debteye.org.  Debteye is a place where you can get unbiased opinions on anything related to personal finance.  Kevin previously owned a debt settlement company prior to joining the DebtEye team. He is a certified debt specialist and also works with credit counselors across the nation”

© 2011 – 2013, KNS Financial, LLC. All rights reserved.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dana

We use a large juice bottle to collect all the change – last time we emptied it we had over $50! It’s also a great way to visually show the kids the benefits of saving and how little amounts do add up.

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2 Freebies and Deals

Common sense tips that we all need to remember these days!

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3 Wealth Artisan

Hi Khaleef & Kevin,
You make an excellent point about driving the speed limit and taking care of vehicle, but there’s another good financial reason to drive below or at the speed limit: Speeding tickets. A random $150 – $250 ticket can really put a damper on your monthly budget. Great article.
Thanks,
Timothy

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4 Kevin Yu

That’s very true, speeding tickets are a pain in the butt!

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5 Kevin Yu

@optionsdude – i never thought about saving aluminum cans, that’s a great idea. don’t they give you like .10 for each can?

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6 optionsdude

Certain states require a deposit on the can when you make the original purchase. These are the ones that would return 5 or 10 cents per can. But you are just getting back the money that you paid. This is a form of forced recycling since the retailer gets all these cans and recycles for you.

If you don’t pay the deposit, like in my state, it works out to about 2 cents per can. It takes about 30 cans to make a pound and the last time I returned cans (last fall) the price of aluminum was 60 cents a pound for recycling. It may be more now with the recent inflation, but I haven’t checked recently.

I also recycle magazines by bringing them to Half Priced Books. They will purchase and I can usually get 10-25 cents per magazine depending upon the title. It is lots better than having them end up in the trash and a landfill.

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7 optionsdude

Generic drugs and store brands can provide major savings compared to the name brands especially for commonly used items like cold medicine. I have a bank and save my coins. Another good tip is to save aluminum cans if drinking soda. I recently brought in a year’s worth and got over $100 from the aluminum. It is good for the environment, too.

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8 Justin @ MoneyIsTheRoot

Im fortunate my employer pays for our coffee here at work. Though i do suffer from laziness when it comes to packing my lunch.

I really wanted to drop a comment to you and say kudos to the point about buying online! Im sorry, but if you want the best deal available, no brick and mortar can successfully compete with an online retailer…they have too much overhead to make up for. I even vote for this option on big purchases like an engagement ring!

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9 Kevin Yu

@ Justin I know what you mean, I don’t think I ever bought an item @ Best Buy in years. Actually, I take that back..I think I bought a 20oz Coke there once..haha

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10 Everyday Tips

I save my change all year long and cash it in at Coinstar and get an Amazon gift card to be used toward Christmas presents. (In December, you can usually get an extra ten dollars if you cash in 40 dollars in change.)

Great suggestions.

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11 Amanda L Grossman

Hello Kevin!

Unfortunately for us, we don’t use cash, so it takes a loooooooonggggg time to build up a piggy bank. But we are working on one right now (it’s thrilling to find a quarter or two to throw in!).

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12 Kevin Yu

@ Scott – Does your car have one of those mileage buttons that tells you what your current MPG is? It’s almost like a game to me, I check it every time I drive to see if it went up, whenver it goes up .1 , I get super excited, lol

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13 Scott Messner

@Kevin – No, unfortunately it does not. I commute enough miles per day that it wouldn’t take long for me to track mileage for each fill-up.

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14 Scott Messner

I follow all of these great tips with the exception of driving the speed limit. I’m going to experiment with this as I be curious to see the results.

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15 LaTisha @FSYAonline

These are great tips. I really like the tip jar idea.

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16 Kevin Yu

Here’s another one: Lose the gym membership if you’re not going atleast 3-4x / week! If you do the math, you’re paying almost $10-$15/day if you only go once a week. Weather is warming up, so I would rather go buy some running shoes and go for a run/job. :)

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17 krantcents

Good ideas! I start with savings and live on what is left.

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18 Jon | Free Money Wisdom

I just bought some generic sleep aid! Name brands are overrated, completely agree, nice article!

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19 Kevin Yu

@ Riya – Nowadays everyone should comparison shop online (amazon.com, buy.com, etc)

@Ravi – Once you start getting into the habit of saving coins, it actually gets exciting.

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20 Riya @ Couponseasy

I too like to buy online as I can compare products price very easily and can choose best and cheap product. ;)

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21 Ravi Gupta

You have some great tips. I have plenty of coins on my dresser that I never count. As soon as I’m home that money is going in a jar.

-Ravi Gupta

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