How to Save More Money in 2013
I have never really made New Year's resolutions because I always felt like you can make a new start any day of the year, but 2013 is going to be different. In addition to keeping my handbag clean, I also want to save money, so here are a few ways to save some money without having to give up little extras.
One thing I always find in my purse are receipts. They take up so much room because they're so dang long. I thought "Why do we need to waste all this paper?" Well, it turns out all that extra paper at the end of your receipt is usually a coupon of some sort for you to use on your next visit. The coupons are usually targeted at you based on your buying history at that store. I have done a lot of grocery shopping at Target and they handed me my receipt and a coupon for $8 off my next purchase of $80 or more, which at Target is very easy to spend. That one was a keeper. Even if that happens once per month, that's a savings of almost $100 per year at just one store!
Glen still pays some of the household bills via check and regular U.S. mail. I think it's old fashioned, especially when so many financial institutions offer online bill pay for free, but sometimes you just can't teach an old dog new tricks. The idea here isn't just to save money on postage (have you seen how much stamps cost these days?), but we have since learned that some businesses will give you a discount and even offer free upgrades and perks if you pay your bills via automatic draft or their website. The key here is remembering to do it, but we have our TV bill on auto pay and in return after a year of on time payments, we qualified for a free HD upgrade. That saved us a ton. Some insurance companies offer you discounts on premiums if you pay online and they offer even more of a discount if you get your statements via email. It also eliminates the chance of a late fee which can be up to $30 for some carriers. Even if you add up the savings of late fees alone, that's $360 a year.
Identity theft is a scary thing to think about, but you don't need to pay someone $20 a month to keep an eye on it for you if you're vigilant about it. Keep an eye on your bank statements and credit card purchases. If you get credit card applications you aren't going to use, shred them. I'm ridiculous about it so I shred them and then use them as kindling when we have a bonfire. A lot of the information the ID theft protection companies give you information you can often get for free yourself. Plus, a lot of credit card companies are on top of stuff and watch for potential fraud for you for free. You can also get a free copy of your credit report once per year by going to annualcreditreport.com. Make sure you look over them to see if there's anything on there you don't recognize. Oftentimes, if you don't understand how to read your credit report, someone at your bank should be happy to help you go over it and help you fight fraudulent credit. The Federal Trade Commission has more at their website ftc.gov/idtheft. Being vigilant and keeping an eye on your identity yourself can save you $240 a year.
What will you do with an extra $700?