Save Thousands Every Year (part2)

Many of us need to save money, for different reasons. You may simply want to get your head above water. Or you may want to save up for something you want. or you may feel your family is wasting, and some of the money spent can be put to better use. Whatever the reason may be, there are certain basic areas where you can attend to, and save substantial amounts of money by making a few simple changes..... Beyond that, it is simply a matter of applying principles.


Firstly, how eager are you to "hop in the car" and drive to the nearest shop, for whatever reason ? Have you calculated what each trip costs you ? Have you calculated what it amounts to over a year ? Plan your driving. Where possible, try to incorporate more than one destination into one trip. When you shop, have a list handy, and get everything you need.

Are there other people in your area working for the same company ? Form a club, taking turns to drive to work. You will save yourself a small fortune, especially if you have to drive some distance to get to work. Not to mention the savings on wear and tear on the car, and the fact that it will be in a better condition when you sell it.

Are you driving a fuel efficient car ? Have you done some calculations to see what the savings would be if you had to change ? This will depend on how much driving you do. Larger cars also cost more in terms of tires, brakes, shock absorbers, etc. Once again, it comes back to not having something bigger than you need.

What is your driving like ? Do you put your foot down, or just let it roll ? Your driving style can save you up to 40 % on your gas bill. Are the tires pressured up to standard ? If not, you are wasting, because the car has to work harder slugging the body along with more friction. Do you have any heavy stuff traveling along permanently ? Get rid of it.

How long do you have your car idling in winter before you drive off ? It does not have to be up to running temperature before you can drive. As soon as the gauge starts lifting, you can drive, as long as you keep the engine running at a low speed Low revolutions).

Do you use a prepaid gas card ? It's a very good way to set limits to your gas bill, and force yourself to stick to it.

Your Home......

Are you capable of "using your hands" ? If you have your own home, doing some things yourself can save you a small fortune. Simple things like painting are time consuming, and labor intensive, but relatively simple. Just see it as paying yourself instead of a contractor.

Is your house properly insulated ? If not, you could be wasting a lot of energy in winter. You could be "throwing money into the air".....literally.

Also, living in your own home, have you done any research as to what your savings could be if you had to refinance ? Because of the time involved, a small difference in interest rate will make a huge difference over the life span of the mortgage. However, only do this if you intend to be staying in your house for a while, as you will only recover the closing costs after about two years.

Are you renting ? Have you taken a good look at your situation ? Are you close to work, schools, shops ? Moving into a more strategic location may save you money on other areas, besides your rent.

If you really need to save, you may want to consider the option of an apartment, rather than a house. Besides the lower rent, there will be no garden to maintain, and probably a smaller utility bill.


Firstly, if it is possible, bundle your insurance. You will be able to negotiate a better deal, as you are insuring a larger "package". Stating exactly what you want or need, and taking it to a few different companies for quotes, will leave you in a position to make a better comparison, and have bargaining leverage. Raising your deductible will also have a measurable effect on the premium. However, you will have to calculate the risk around it, depending on your individual circumstances.

Extra security measures on your home or car may leave you eligible for a better rate, depending on the insurance company.

If nobody in your house smokes, you may get an extra discount on health insurance, depending on the company.

Involve the Family......

If you have a family, it has to be a total effort. In order to get commitment from everyone, you could always motivate them by offering to put a percentage back into the family, or even the kids' pockets. If you offer, for instance, 10 % of the savings to be shared among the kids, you will have them motivated, and their motivation will help to keep you from slipping up as well. You'll be surprised to see how stingy your ten year old son becomes when you "waste his money". The expense should (depending on the situation) pay for itself because of the motivation to save more.

If the saving is to be done for say, a vacation, that in itself is reward enough.

Keep track of all spending, and all saving. Track every penny, regardless of what it is spent on. Put the "saving statement" in clear view, where everyone can see it. It will also show which areas need more attention. But it will be a great motivational tool.

And Lastly.....

Don't carry any more money on you than you need. It's simply a temptation to spend more.Now go and take control of your life. It's yours.