When you start to look for ways to cut your budget, there’s a good chance that your first impulse is to stay away from those expensive double-pump lattes and cancel any big dinner plans. But saving money isn’t always about sacrifice; it can be about ingenuity. There’s no need to deny yourself the occasional splurge if you find more constructive (and longer-lasting) ways to save cash. Here are five great life hacks for the constant budgeter.
Unplug your appliances. When it comes to slashing your electricity bill, there are a few ways you can do it. One of the most effective — and easiest — tactics for saving money on utilities may be unplugging your standby appliances. Your electronic gadgets, from your cellphone charger to your flat screen TV, could be sapping money out of your monthly budget, even when they aren’t turned on or fully connected. To stop this drain on your finances, make it a habit to leave everything unplugged when not in use.
Sell old stuff. One of the best ways to save money is to make a little more of it. You don’t have to take on a second job, though. You can make extra cash from home if you sell your old electronics. You can sell ipads, old televisions and old mobile phones online by finding a website that exchanges these items for money. You could also ship them from home, meaning that you don’t even have to put on shoes.
Become a DIYer. Your household budget can be quickly overtaken by renovation projects. But if you pick up a tool belt instead of the telephone the next time you need to refit your windows or upgrade your cabinets, you could be putting hundreds of pounds back into your own pocket. Just be careful when you take on a do-it-yourself task; they can be fun and rewarding, as long as you put safety first.
Negotiate with your creditors. Another way to save money is to rework your monthly debt obligations. For example, applying for a credit card with a zero-percent introductory interest rate can buy you some time to pay off an existing balance. And getting on the phone with your cable and internet provider could result in you signing up for a cheaper communications package. Many creditors respond positively to phone inquiries, so it never hurts to call.
Eat well — for less. When it’s time to go shopping for food, it can be a lot more fun — and delicious — to head for a farmer’s market where you can find free samples of locally-produced foods. You can also find top-quality items there for much cheaper than what you would pay at a supermarket. But even if you can’t spare time for a fresh food outing, searching for digital coupons online is an easy way to cut down on your grocery bills.