(BLACK PR WIRE) -- We live in a complex world. Responsibilities, needs and expenses confront us daily that our parents and grandparents never experienced. It is very hard for many people to save money, even with the best intentions and most careful spending habits. The rising cost of housing, insurance, medical care and education; and the need for many electronics that did not widely exist 25 years ago – cell phones, home computers and Internet service, 150 channels of cable TV, and many others – are understandably stretching budgets.
While saving money is very hard for the most well-intentioned person and family, here are five tips that may help reduce expenses each month. They are lifestyle habits. Over a year or decade, the impact of these habits can be significant. These are not easy – they are just suggestions:
What’s in your wallet – only one credit card perhaps! Credit cards allow us to make impulse purchases, encourage us to spend more than we should, and often can incur debt – 15 to 18 percent or much more annually. If possible, carry only one credit card in your wallet for a rainy day or emergency. We all need credit cards (for airline tickets, online items and unavoidable expenses), but those who can reduce frequent and daily use of credit cards may save a lot of money in the long-run. Write a check, use a debit card (where the money comes directly out of a checking account), or pay in cash. (Also, watch out for so-called “deals” on credit cards such as points and free hotel rooms. These may actually encourage you to spend more and the cards can carry annual fees.)
Pay off your credit card balances. We have all heard this before. Easier said than done! But, these annual fees and debts add up and present a huge burden. If you have debt, develop a plan to pay it off.
If you own a car, keep it as long as possible. Many autos can last more than 100,000 miles. In some cases, the odometer can roll over twice. Maintenance bills can add up past the 100,000-mile mark, but driving an older reliable car may be more economical than buying a new one – especially when the car is paid off!
Take your lunch to work! Eat healthier, save gas if you drive at the noon hour, and save money on food.
Look carefully at repetitive expenses. These are the charges that automatically come each month or year. For example, a gym payment, the purchase of a discount card for a store (which may just encourage people to buy more), and many other expenses that we agree to over time, but perhaps we can live without.
Every person and family has a different financial situation. These habits may not work or be practical for many. However daily, weekly and annual steps can reduce spending and debt and help people save money over the long-run.