Saving for a new car doesn’t have to be painful—minor changes to your everyday life can help you reach your goal in no time. Here are a few of our favorite money-saving tips and tricks. If you have a savings tip that you don’t see listed, please share it in the comments section below.
1. Use coupons
You might be surprised at how much you can actually save by clipping coupons. According to MSN Living, you can save up to 60 percent off your grocery bill just by taking advantage of coupons. Babble.com has a great list of coupon websites to browse whether you’re looking to save on groceries or household items.
2. Cut the cable
MSN Living says that an average cable or satellite television bill is about $150 a month—that’s nearly $2,000 per year. If you don’t want to quit cold turkey, don’t worry, there are cheaper alternatives for viewing a variety of programming. According to Forbes, a Nielson study found that more than 5 million homes have switched from cable to streaming services. Some options include Netflix or Hulu Plus, both of which start at only $7.99 a month.
3. Evaluate your cell phone plan
Do you need the biggest data plan on your cell phone? What about those extra minutes that keep rolling over? MSN Living says going through your cell phone bill to see what services you don’t use anymore is a great way to save. You may be paying for something you didn’t even know you had, and could save up to $20 a month!
4. Buy generic
Looking for a coupon-free way to save at the grocery store? Try buying the generic or store brand. They are often less expensive and many taste the same as the name-brand product. MSN Living says you can save up to 30 percent when you buy generic.
5. Pack your lunch
Packing your lunch doesn’t have to be boring. There are a variety of options to make every day delicious, and with savings around $120 a month, you’ll be motivated to try new recipes. Julia Layton, in her article, How Much Cheaper Is It to Pack Your Own Lunch says that many workers are making the shift to packing their lunches because of the possible savings.
6. Trim your energy bill
Little things like washing your clothes in cold water and remembering to turn off the lights can help you keep your energy costs down. According to MSN Money, 90 percent of the energy used when washing your clothes is for heating the water. Wash and Save on Laundry says that washing on cold can be 94 percent less expensive than using hot water. You can also trim your energy bill by remembering to turn off all lights when you leave a room. According to The Daily Green, lighting is responsible for 11 percent of a home’s energy bill.
7. Ditch the gym membership
MSN Living says cancelling your gym membership could save you $300 a year. Bankrate suggests that buying a bike can help you stay in shape without the gym membership, and also save you money on the gas it takes to get there. For other ways to make sure skipping the gym doesn’t mean skipping your workout, try these at-home exercises from The Huffington Post.
8. Dine in
Try cooking at home to help meet your savings goals. ABC News says the average family can save $3,000 per year by whipping up meals at home instead of going out. For the occasional meal out, check sites such as Groupon or Living Social for great dining deals in your area.
9. Pay bills online
Paying your bills online is a quick and easy way to save time and money. If you’re an Ally Auto customer, check out our online payment option here: /auto/payment/.
Whether you’re saving for a new car or just trying to cut back on your expenses, following these tips will help you save your hard-earned money. We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.