It has been said that repetition is the mother of all learning. I think it’s healthy to revisit the basics of whatever we are learning every so often so that we can continue to set our goals (and achievements) before us as motivation. In our case, saving money is our goal. So, let’s review some of the basics of saving money.
1. Eat at home. Part I: Cook. Food purchased from restaurants, grocery stores, fast food restaurants and stands, cafeterias, etc. is exponentially more expensive than food you prepare at home. You get so much more for your money by purchasing the ingredients you need to prepare your own food. The closer your food is to its original form, most of the time, the better the price (and quantity). If you buy your veggies chopped or sliced, you will pay more for that. If you buy your beef or chicken seasoned, you will pay for that too. Do it yourself, save money and eat healthier in the process! Part 2: Eat leftovers. Enough said 😉
2. Don’t use credit cards…or pay them off right away. I wish I’d learned this lesson many, many years ago! Between interest and potential late fees, you end up spending much more than you bargained for when you first thought you’d put “that one thing” on your card.
3. Pay your bills on time. Late fees are the worst. It’s just money that is thrown away if the reason you are late is simply not being organized or remembering to pay the bills. Find a system to help you remember. Mark a calendar; pay your bills online so that it doesn’t take as much time; set an alarm on your phone; do whatever you need to do to remember. If you are simply waiting on money, then it is what it is. And, I wish I didn’t understand that predicament, but I do. Otherwise, don’t throw that money away.
4. Comparison shop. Know the prices of what you buy most frequently. Prices vary, of course, from time to time. But know how much your favorite toothpaste or juice or toilet paper costs at your Target or Walgreens, etc. That way you’ll know when you see a good deal and can maximize the value of coupons you may have for those items.
What else would you consider a “basic” of saving money?
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