If you’re living on a minimal budget or trying to save for an upcoming vacation, you’ve probably already scrimped and cut costs in the classic areas.
Maybe you’re buying generics instead of name brands, eating out less often, and resisting the urge to update your wardrobe. These classic money-saving moves are certainly effective, but there are ways to boost your savings even further. Adopt these lesser-known money saving strategies, and watch the dollars add up faster.
1. Share internet costs with your neighbors. Even the slowest internet plans have been steadily increasing in cost. How often are you actually home to use the internet, anyways? Approach your neighbors and ask if they would be willing to split the cost of an internet connection. All you really need is the Wi-Fi password.
2. Say goodbye to your gym membership. You can exercise for free by going for a walk or jog around the neighborhood. There are thousands of excellent free workout videos online, too.
3. Replace your costly cleaning supplies with white vinegar. A bottle of white vinegar often costs less than one dollar, and a mixture of vinegar and water can be used to disinfect and clean most any surface. As an added bonus, you’re doing the environment a favor by washing fewer harsh chemicals down the drain.
4. Forgo expensive haircuts. If you’re a male, begin sporting a simple crew cut that you can maintain at home with a pair of electric clippers. If you’re a female, grow your hair out and say no to those unnecessary monthly trims. Dying your hair is also a luxury that you can forgo when trying to save.
5. Request 3-month supplies of prescriptions. Ask your doctor if you can pick up your prescription medications in three-month supplies rather than one-month supplies. Often times, insurance companies charge the same co-pay, regardless of how many pills are dispensed at once.
6. Put your electric hot water heater on a timer. Electric companies charge different rates at different times each day. Contact your electric company and ask when “off-peak hours” are. Then, put your hot water heater on a timer so that it only turns on during these hours. As long as you aren’t using your water constantly throughout the day, it will stay hot until you need it.
7. Don’t use your air conditioning. Air conditioning, whether a whole-home system or window units, requires an enormous amount of energy. Reduce your energy bills by going without air conditioning this summer. Instead, use energy-efficient box fans, take cool showers, and dress lightly to keep yourself cool.
8. Change your laundry habits. Washing and drying clothes accounts for approximately 15 percent of most home utility bills. Cut your laundry costs by washing in cold water, drying your clothes outside on a clothesline rather than in a dryer, and try to do laundry less often. Wear outer garments several times before washing them.
You don’t have to completely change your lifestyle to live more frugally and save some extra cash. By making the simple changes listed above, you can end each month with a little extra money in your wallet. You’ll be relaxing on the beach or buying that new hot tub in no time