Saving money – Forty money-saving tips – Part II

This is a continuation of Saving money – Forty money-saving tips – Part I. I begin this second portion of the list at number 21 to maintain continuity. Here are twenty additional money-saving tips.

Money-saving tip #21: Buy used cars.

Low-mileage used cars are less expensive than new ones, and if you shop, you can find one in stellar condition. Why lose several thousand smackers as you drive a new car off the dealer’s lot?

Money-saving tip #22: Be wary of spendy friends.

You don’t have to can your friends to save money, but you should control how they affect your finances. Invite them to your home for wine and hors d’oeuvres before going out, and insist on dining at restaurants that won’t do major damage to your bank account. If they won’t respect your financial situation, then meet them for coffee or chat on the telephone from time to time.

Money-saving tip #23: Quit smoking.

This one’s so obvious that I considered leaving it off the list. Smoking is expensive and bad for your health. Need I say more?

Money-saving tip #24: Slow down your drinking.

Social drinking is relaxing and enjoyable, but it is also expensive. Purchasing wine for a special dinner with friends may fit your budget, but drinking liquor on a daily basis can severely cut into your funds.

Money-saving tip #25: Avoid eating fast food.

Fast-food restaurants may seem economical on a per-calorie basis, but such food, when measured by any reasonable nutritional standard, is high-priced. First you pay for the food, and later you pay to fix the damage you’ve done to your health.

Money-saving tip #26: Establish a goal for saving.

Most people spend what they believe they must, and if anything remains, that goes into savings. This is backward thinking. You should save first and make your lifestyle fit the remainder. If you find living on that amount to be impossible, you know you need to make some adjustments.

Money-saving tip #27: The quantity of cash you have should be unrelated to the amount you spend.

Some people spend more if they have money in their pockets. How much you spend should be unrelated to the amount of money you have at the moment. A five-dollar tomato is too expensive to purchase no matter whether it’s the day before or after payday.

Money-saving tip #28: Pay attention to small purchases.

Most of us work hard to get good deals on major purchases. It’s the little stuff that eats away at our pocketbooks, like being too tired to cook and ordering takeout pizza, or buying something for the kids to shut them up while you shop.

Money-saving tip #29: Cancel cable-television service.

Many of us think of cable television, cellular telephones, MP3 players, and other electronic conveniences as necessities. If you are suffering a financial reversal, it might be well to reevaluate these things and determine which ones you really need.

Money-saving tip #30: Renegotiate insurance contracts.

Many people are over-insured. As renewal dates approach, take a close look at your insurance contracts to see if you can modify your coverage or negotiate better deals. Some insurers offer discounts, but you may have to read the agreements and talk to your insurance agents to identify them.

Money-saving tip #31: Buy at garage sales.

I have a friend who has a marvelously decorated home, and she did it by shopping at garage sales. Her house is filled with fine furniture, original art, and charming decorative objects, all of which she purchased at garage sales for a fraction of the retail prices.

Money-saving tip #32: Hold a garage sale.

Having a garage sale will make you money and create storage space at home. If you are paying for a separate storage unit, perhaps the added space at home will allow you to close it and save the monthly fee.

Money-saving tip #33: Paint your own house.

If you are unwilling to climb a ladder to paint the outside of your home, you can paint as high as you can reach and pay someone to do the rest. The savings can be substantial.

Money-saving tip #34: Get price estimates.

Always ask what things will cost before committing yourself. Get price estimates before allowing anyone to work on your home or your car. If you wait until the work’s done to talk about the price, it will be too late to negotiate from a position of strength.

Money-saving tip #35: Ask for discounts.

Many stores and restaurants offer discounts, but they don’t always mention them up front. Often, lower prices are there for the asking.

Money-saving tip #36: Return or exchange merchandise.

Many stores have liberal policies regarding the return or exchange of merchandise. If you find an item to be unsatisfactory, don’t hesitate to return it.

Money-saving tip #37: Stop buying CDs.

Music is wonderful, but the retail purchase of it is expensive. Try downloading tunes from the Internet to an MP3 player, and make sure you pay for the privilege. Penalties for pirating songs are severe.

Money-saving tip #38: Do regular car maintenance.

Routinely changing the oil, inspecting the tires, and checking the fluids will help you minimize car-related expenses. Also, examine your driving habits. If you start fast, stop on a dime, or corner like a bat out of hell, you can save money on gas, tires, brakes, clutches, and transmissions by changing your behavior.

Money-saving tip #39: Limit your purchases of electronic devices.

Many electronic devices are obsolescent at the time you buy them. In addition, phones require service contracts, printers need toner, and so forth. I’ve purchased so many color printers and ink cartridges that I’ve elected to avoid the color feature altogether. A simple scanner and laser-jet printer do all the printing and copying that my business requires.

Money-saving tip #40: Turn off the lights.

Turning off lamps and overhead lights when you leave a room is a great way to save money. Training your family members to monitor their lighting habits will pay off when you receive your electric bill.

Saving money requires forethought and sacrifice, and many people refuse to do either. If you are willing to make adjustments to your habits and lifestyle, however, these money-saving suggestions should help you get off to a good start.

Note: You will find the first portion of this article at Saving money – Forty money-saving tips – Part I.

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