By Judy Lawrence MS Ed.
Saving money seems to be on everyone’s minds these days, whether cutting back on lunches or turning the shampoo bottle upside down to salvage one more shampoo out of those last few drops.
As a Money Coach, my focus with my clients and workshops is on creating and maintaining proactive spending plans and mindfulness around money, so you can spend with less guilt and save with more ease. Let’s look at a variety of ways to free up more money and save with more ease.
BE PROACTIVE AND PREVENTATIVE
Know the general life span of your appliances
When appliances break down, it may seem like an emergency, but a little planning ahead by knowing the average lifespan can go a long way. If you recently moved into an older home, be prepared to replace the dishwasher (12 years), washer/dryer (13 years), electric range (16 years) or fridge (14 years).
Change the oil every 3000 miles
Since the average age of automobiles is eleven years, it pays to maintain your vehicle. Watch for local coupons. You can still find that oil change for under $30. And if you’re a woman and the serviceman comes out insisting you need something new or replaced, which just bumped up your bargain oil change price to the $40 plus range (and this happens every time) consider finding a new auto repair shop.
Drive the speed limit – especially in the neighborhoods
You may have thought you got away with driving 36 mph in a quiet little 25mph neighborhood, only to receive a photo-radar notification a month later regarding your ticket and traffic school. Both of which could be $100s, plus the costly effect on your insurance.
Floss your dog’s teeth (or give Fido good bones)
You’d be surprised how much you could save on vet bills. For the cat owners, if you have that certain breed of cat that needs eye drops 3 times a day to prevent eye problems, set your alarm.
Floss your own teeth
Not only do you save on the cost of future dental and gum problems, but believe it or not, flossing helps your heart as well!
Buy the Gap Insurance
If you just lost a job, graduated from college and off of your parent’s insurance, or ran out of COBRA, be sure to have a bridge medical policy for emergencies. You can never anticipate tendonitis, a fractured elbow, appendectomy, or broken ankle. When it happens, you can be looking at some hefty surgery and daily hospital bills in the thousands. Most major insurance carriers have Gap insurance that can be good for one to six months. Other options can be to enroll in a university class or belong to an organization that offers insurance benefits.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DISCOUNTS
Be aware of the Bennies at work
Talk to your Benefits Program person at work to learn about special offers and savings. These can include: education assistance, recreational discounts (movies, entertainment centers), legal services, product discounts, free transit passes and so much more.
Shopping for flaws
Have you ever found the perfect blouse, but it was the last one and was missing a button or had some other minor defect? Ask for a discount on items you find that are wearable, but have minor flaws.
Buy the local Entertainment Books and USE them
Take time to check out all the discounts for entertainment centers, movie passes, dry cleaning, travel, grocery stores, gas and two-for-one meals at local restaurants.
Volunteer for Fun
If you enjoy the Blues Festival, Expos, concerts, plays, or opera, ask if you can volunteer to be an usher, cashier, ticket taker and enjoy the performance for free.
Perhaps some of these tips triggered a few other ideas for you to save more money with more ease. Saving money can be rewarding as well as fun!
About Judy Lawrence
Judy Lawrence, MS Ed. is a Financial Counselor and Money Coach and the author of the best-selling book The Budget Kit: Common Cents Money Management Workbook 6th Ed, with over 425,000 copies sold. She has appeared on CNBC, Style Network, many national news networks, radio shows, and online interviews. Her down-to-earth style and focus on the emotional as well as the practical aspects of basic money management through her books, coaching, seminars and www.moneytracker.com website, has helped thousands of professionals, couples, individuals and small business owners locally and nationwide, get out of debt, gain financial mastery, experience financial peace of mind and create a solid, workable personal financial system. If you would like a 30 minute free phone consultation or just find out more about her services and books, you can reach her at Judy@MoneyTracker.com or 505-554-2638.