How to save money and live within your means

Posted in tcochelps

This is part 2 of our tips on how to live within your means and save money

Clothing

You can learn that flea markets and garage sales can be great sources to get quality clothing at modest prices. You can also establish a sort of clothing exchange with your neighbors or friends to trade, for example, your children’s or adult clothes. What  may seem old to you or your friends may seem like new and exciting to other people.

You can also go to thrift stores on a regular basis where usually the inventory changes frequently, and start checking out clothing sales organized by service groups or local churches.

You may also check out so-called ‘consignment stores’. These stores are accepting and selling used clothes and they can give you money for items that you bring in. You may find clothing for both adults and kids in these stores.

Another advise is to stick with classics when and wherever you can. Classics are usually staying in style longer than trendy outfits and are generally made of longer-lasting materials.

Though it could be difficult to find good used children’s shoes, you may be successful if you look for sales, but don’t make the mistake that your child needs $75 running shoes, even is that is the sale price tag. You should instead help them to learn distinguishing between needs and wants.

Food

It may be pretty easy to cut back on you food costs, and you can start by avoiding to eat out. Also at a simple fast-food joint, you will pay at least five times more for food than you could have if you had cooked at your home.

Try also to shop at larger grocery stores and food warehouses. You should be avoiding the smaller ‘boutique’ stores as well as the high-priced convenience stores.

Buy house brands as they generally are far cheaper than the nationally advertised big brands though the produce and the quality are often identical. It is wise to make a shopping list and stick to that list. Avoid purchasing food impulsively and don’t go shopping when your stomach is empty as you end up coming home with a lot more food stuff than you originally intended, and why don’t you pack a lunch for school or work rather than going out to eat.

You can also use coupons or so-called ‘membership’ cards at larger grocery stores, but mind you, buy only items you need. Compare also the unit prices of all products, and buy the product per ounce or per pound, or whichever unit is cheaper. You can also take advantage of various 2-for-1 promotion sales, but only if it concerns items you’re using anyway.

Stay away from junk food like pretzels, potato chips, candy, or soda, as much as you can. Junk food is generally pretty expensive, and offers little or no nutritional value. Stock up sale items you need anyway like canned food or paper products, and check if you qualify for food stamps.

This may help you cover your grocery expenses in times of financial hardship, and though it generally will take some four weeks before you may qualify for this, emergency approval may be available in around one week.

Transportation

You may easily save money by changing your transportation habits. Check if your community provides some sort of carpool matching service, so you can find someone who is willing to share the rides to work. In case you are living close to work or school, go talk a walk, or try biking or inline skating. You’ll save on transportation while you at the same time get a great exercise. You may also benefit from public transportation if available, and if it takes you where you need to go fast enough.

Have also your car regularly serviced. Keep your tires properly inflated and change oil and coolant at set times. This will let your car run more efficiently while you’ll be saving money all the same. Check gas stations for the lowest prices on gasoline and avoid expensive stations, and when you need a new car, consider buying a used model rather than financing a new one.

Beware to buy a vehicle with a good gas-mileage rating, as this will save you a lot of money in the long run, and every 2 years, go shopping for the best deal on your car insurance. If you want to learn more on how to best save money, go to 22 Spending Tips, and before you know you will be living within your means. It is sure to become a positive part of your life, so learn all these positive actions will also have a positive effect on other fields in your life.