Implementing money saving modifications that go beyond the standard rules of thumb can help you lower your cost of living so you can put money towards more immediate needs.
You've most likely watched the money-saving endeavors of the frugal-obsessed on reality TV (using a candle at night, reusing uneaten sauce by dumping it back into its rightful jar, buying pork fat instead of pork). You've also probably heard the tips intended for the average Joes (using a monthly pass to commute, brown bagging your lunch, clipping coupons, skipping your morning coffee). However, there may be money-saving methods you haven't taken into consideration. Take a look at the following eight ways you can save more -- and don't worry, you won't have to give up your morning latte.
1. Consider the total number.
Costs are often broken down by retailers into more digestible terms -- cell phone contracts, for instance. You may be paying $100 a month for your cell phone contract, but instead of thinking of it in increments of $100, consider the total amount you are paying, which is $2,400 for a two-year contract. By thinking long-term, you can visualize how much you're really paying, for services like these.
According to BillShrink, a service that compares phone plan rates, Americans waste on average close to $350 a year on wireless service. Imagine how much you could save in the long-run if you switched to a cheaper carrier or plan. A different plan for even $15 less monthly would add up to an overall savings of $360.
2. Let go of extended warranties.
There are a few costs that can easily be let go of, right away. For instance, extended warranties bring in a significant amount of profit for many manufacturers, but your credit card offers extended warranties on nearly every purchase you make, usually doubling the original manufacture warranty up to a period of three years. It can be helpful to re-consider the insurance you're currently paying for and figuring out what might be costing you more money than is necessary.
3. Learn the art of haggling.
There are several costs you can almost always haggle with customer service representatives for like cable, phone and internet services. Simply by calling and stating your desire to switch to a different service provider, representatives are inclined to lower the price of your existing plan in order to keep you as a customer. There are plenty of scripts for these phone calls online, especially from MyBankTracker's previous interviewee, personal finance guru Ramit Sethi. Haggling is also applicable to annual fees, late fees, and overdraft fees.
4. Avoid being cash poor.
Avoid wiping all of your credit card balances each month in order to ensure you aren't "cash poor," which means you won't have any cash on hand in the case of an emergency. If you can't stand having a credit card balance, try paying down fifty percent instead, so you can reserve some of your cash.
5. Appeal to your group-saving mentality.
There are a variety of arrangements you can create with your friends or neighbors that can help you make ends meet. For instance, big warehouse stores like B.J.s, Costco, and Sam's Club sell almost everything in bulk. By purchasing everyday necessities with friends, you can all split the cost of the groceries and end up paying less than you would have if you went to the supermarket on your own. Also, it may not feel glamorous but living with a roommate is a great way to save on rent. If you're friendly with your neighbor, it can help you save costs if you agree to share subscription services. For instance, if you have Netflix and Hulu, offer your passwords for your neighbor's Wi-Fi.
6. Move leftover funds into savings.
Whether it's your rainy day fund or a nest egg, the day before payday, assess the leftover cash you have left in your checking account and move it into your savings account. This ensures that your savings grow on a consistent basis, and that you never leave your checking account vulnerable to overdraft fees.
7. Reuse recipes you love.
If you're like most people, you gravitate towards the foods you enjoy the most from month to month, especially on nights when you're tired or don't have much time to prepare a complicated meal. While many would like to imagine themselves making a delicious meal that they've never cooked before, chances are, they'll most likely stick to recipes they are familiar with. Stock your kitchen with the foods you love to cook and keep a file of recipes on hand that are easy to prepare. This way, you don't overbuy, avoid wasting food, and can reserve dabbling in new meals for your nights out or weekends in.
8. Do it yourself.
Make it a goal to learn a small task -- such as changing your oil in your car, or making small repairs around your home. YouTube can be a valuable source when it comes to learning something new.
Money saving modifications such as these can help simplify your lifestyle, financial and otherwise. Keeping these eight tips in mind can help keep more money in your pocket, allowing you to prioritize how you spend and save your money.