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Is a new home purchase, vehicle upgrade or post-Covid vacation something you’re daydreaming about? If the financial part is what’s holding you back, we surveyed hundreds to find out the top ten ways people are cutting costs and building up their savings accounts, despite all that’s happened in 2020 and the start of 2021. Your goals may be closer than you think!
Here are our Top Ten Realistic Tips for Cutting Costs and Saving Money Right Now
10. Use grocery store apps to preplan your shopping list, and use free store pick up vs. shopping inside the store. The temptation to shop off list and make impulse buys is significantly decreased, and you’re more likely to stick to your grocery budget.
9. Cook and eat at home as much as possible. The average cost of a prepared meal is $13/per meal/person vs. the average cost of a meal prepared at home is $4. The typical family of 4 purchases prepared food three times per week. Cutting this down to once a week would save an average of over $3,700 over the course of just one year!
8. If members of your household belong to a labor union, ask about auto and homeowners or renters insurance that might be available through the union. Often rates are significantly lower. If not, but you are Costco members, check into their insurance services. Often switching to one of these options can save hundreds of dollars per renewal period.
7. Go through your family member’s closets and look for items that no longer fit or aren’t being worn. Launder the clothing if necessary, take nice photos and sell them on Facebook Marketplace in groups or for higher value items individually on Ebay, Poshmark, Tradesy or Mercari. Either save these funds toward your financial goal, or use these funds for future clothing needs, and try not to spend beyond what you earn by selling the unused items. You can often find clothing, shoes and accessories in excellent condition or even new with tags for a fraction of the original price on the same sites you sell on, too.
6. Re-evaluate your current transportation situation. Since the start of the pandemic, many households have been effected by changes in work schedules, locations or job changes. If someone in the home is now working from home permanently or indefinitely, or now works within easy walking or biking distance evaluate whether the number of vehicles owned or leased, insured, and fueled still makes sense given current transportation needs. If not, this may be an area for substantial money savings.
5. Buy grocery items in bulk when they are on sale, and when you cook, double the quantity of your recipe so you can make two dinners at a below-typical price. Freeze the second meal. This saves money in two ways – first by buying on sale, and second by preventing you from being tempted to just pick up food on a busy night, since you know you already have a meal ready to go at home that you just need to reheat.
4. If you can be disciplined about paying credit cards off every month and spend within your means, make all everyday purchases on a credit card that offers high rewards payouts. Use the rewards to obtain gift cards that can either pay for birthday or holiday gifts you’d otherwise be spending money on, or the little luxuries that tempt you to spend like Starbucks or eating out. This way, you can enjoy a guilt-free treat.
3. Cut the cord with cable. If you haven’t already, evaluate what you and your family truly watch most, and reduce to streaming services that cover your needs. More often than not, subscribing to Disney+, Hulu, ESPN and Netflix is still cheaper than cable or satellite subscriptions.
2. Compare cell phone provider offers, upgrade costs and rates regularly. You’d be surprised how much this can lower your monthly costs, especially if you are out of contract. Some cell phone companies will even offer to pay your termination fees if you are in a contract with another provider. Also, look into whether your employer is contracted with your carrier as a company that is eligible for a service discount. Many larger employers partner with telecommunications companies, and employees can save 5-20% on their personal bills as well by proving employment.
1. If you are currently a homeowner and have not recently looked into refinancing your current mortgage – now is the time to do that. Rates remain at historic lows and may allow you to cut costs by hundreds of dollars a month and potentially take cash out to consolidate and pay off higher interest debts, eliminating another monthly financial obligation.
We hope these practical tips can help you get closer to reaching your financial goals in 2021, and if those goals include purchasing a new home, FresYes Realty is always here to help answer your questions and guide you through the process, every step of the way.