I was out to dinner the other night with some friends and we were laughing about the questions strangers will ask as soon as they find out your profession. One friend who is a doctor – always gets a medical question. Our lawyer girlfriend is often asked whether certain (sometimes dubious) behavior is legal. Me? When I tell folks about Abundance Bound I can pretty much count on being asked for “just a few simple tips” on how to save money.
And truthfully – even though I’ve been asked in some strange places (waiting for a taxi at the airport, during the intermission at the opera, and even on line for the restroom…) this might be my favorite question! There are so many ways to save. Everyone’s situation is different, which can make it difficult to hone on in a few generic tips. Still, here are some ideas that help many people:
If you’re looking to save a few dollars:
- Focus on the grocery store. Between better coupon clipping, being conscious about where you shop, paying attention to sales, and eating out less, you can save a significant amount of cash. In 2010 I cut $2400 off of my family grocery total for the year just by changing the store where I purchase all of our produce!
- Shut off lights and sprinklers, and unplug utilities when you aren’t using them. Utility companies offer budget plans, which allow you to pay the same amount every month.
- Bike or walk if possible instead of driving. Do you know that over 44 percent of all car rides are less than two miles? As gas prices rise it bites more and more into the budget. Are there places you could get to easily without taking the car? If so, you’ll receive a triple benefit; first, you’ll save money on gasoline, but you’ll also feel great about helping the environment AND getting out exercising.
If you need to save big bucks:
- Relieve your debt load. By focusing on a good debt strategy you could save more money than you ever thought possible.
- Lower interest rates. Examine all of your credit cards. Are there places you could lower your rates? Would a balance transfer from one card to another lower rate card save you money? With interest rates low, does it make sense to open a consolidation loan or refinance your home?
For many who read this column, coupling these ideas together can create additional opportunities. Use savings at the grocery store to pay more toward debt. Use a strategy to lower interest rates to purchase a used car that you’ll drive less often because you’re riding your bike to work. Although finding these pairs isn’t always easy, when you discover savings it’ll help you reach your goals that much more quickly.
And speaking of goals…There is no better place to find all the support you need to move powerfully towards the fulfillment of your financial and creative goals – then the next Artist’s Prosperity Boot Camp, starting in just 2 weeks. We dive deeply into strategies not just for saving, but for actually earning more money. Read all about it and register to join us today!