I read an awesome article the other day at MSN Money and I’d love to share some of the money-saving tips they propose. I’ll also add in a couple of my own!
1. Don’t overpay your taxes. Sure you love to get a fat refund from the IRS every spring. The fact is, however, you’re effectively lending money to the government interest-free. Go through your tax return and see if you can plan your withholding so you get to Dec. 31 maybe getting a $100 refund. That way you can use your money NOW. (And bank the refund when you get it.)
2. Never spend a windfall. Take your income-tax refund, that holiday money from your folks, the $16.35 overpayment check from the telephone company and any other extras and save em.
3. Go veggie. If you can do three meatless days a week (without substituting pricey fish), you could save $25 a week, which equals $100 a month, which equals $1,200 a year! Beans: Ya gotta love em.
4. Clean it yourself. I’ve discovered a nifty trick: When a clothing label says, “Dry Clean Only,” I wash it. Or I dab out that little coffee stain with an old-fashioned cleaning device known as a sponge.
5. No pet pampering. Does your dog need those pricey snacks? Does your cat need acupuncture? Probably not.
6. Re-evaluate. Re-evaluate. Re-evaluate. That dinner out cost more than you spend on groceries in a week. That pair of shoes is worth half a commuter pass. Learn what your money is worth, and you won’t be so quick to dispose of it.
7. Dont pay unnecessary fees. Like the $1.50 you pay just because the ATM is right there, right now, as opposed to walking two blocks to your bank, where you don’t get charged every time you use your card. Or, the late fees for returning videos. Or, the fees that some companies charge you to make your payments online.
8. Try not to pay a pro. If you can fix the neighbors car, and she can paint the bathroom: do it.