According to CNN Money, 76% of Americans now live paycheck to paycheck. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics puts current U.S. unemployment rates at 7.4%. That is much improved over the incredible rates seen during the Great Recession, but the fact is that people are still hurting and often wonder how they will make it from week to week. If you are one of these people, here are four great ways to save.
- Eat at Home
- Replace Windows
- Go on a Staycation
- Cut Out Unnecessary Expenses
Americans love their food. We love to go out and experience all the flavors of life. According to Living on a Dime, however, our obsession with eating out can be a very quick way to run out of money and fast. If you are looking for smart ways to save money, consider crafting a shopping list each week and sticking to it. Learning how to cook at home and cutting down on eating out so often can be one of the most effective ideas for saving money.
When looking for ideas for saving money, many people skip over the option of improving their homes. Why? Well, that costs more money. However, there is truth to the old saying that to make money, you must spend money. As Energy Star points out, replacing your windows with newer, energy efficient models can lead you to amazing savings on your utility bills. You can save up to $465 a year! If you are looking for tips to saving money that also help the environment, consider making your home more energy efficient.
According to American Express, the average vacation for a family of four costs $4,000. For families wondering how they are going to put food on the table for their children that number represents an impossibility. Ronda Kaysen of Lifehacker writes that she managed to go on a “staycation”, a vacation in her local area, for $500 for a week. Her family was able to enjoy the stress relief of a vacation without the pressure of huge bills.
If you are looking for a quick way to save money, look at the bills you have each and every month that are not essential. Obviously, you have to pay your utility bills, for groceries, and for gas, but do you really need 2,000 channels of cable? As Forbeswrites, you can save up to $130 a month by cancelling your cable bill. If you really feel you need a media service, consider an internet-based service like Netflix. The outlet offers a lot of great programming for less than one-thirteenth the cost of cable.
As Americans continue to try and live from week to week on their paychecks, money saving ideas and tips are increasingly important. Implement these ideas for saving money immediately and watch your stress disappear.