Wednesday, April 16, 2014

6 Tips to Save Money Without Changing Your Lifestyle

The end of the month always seems to creep up on you and you're wondering where all your money has gone.  You don't think much about where your money is actually going or how to lower those monthly car or house payments at the Lake of the Ozarks that are eating up all your income.  How can you end each month with more money, but without giving up the small luxuries you enjoy? These 6 tips below might just be the answer you've been looking for!

1. Trim Your Bills.

You can save on electricity just by turning off the lights when you leave a room.  Turn off the water while brushing your teeth to save on your water bill.  Keep the thermostat just a few degrees higher in the summer and a few degrees lower in the winter to save on your electric bill. Always adjust your thermostat a few degrees when you leave the house too.  In addition to utilities, you probably have a car payment, mortgage at the Lake of the Ozarks, and more!  Look into refinancing options to lower payments.  Even if it's just a few dollars a month, those dollars add up.

2. Examine What You're Using and Not Using

Many people have subscriptions to things they never use, such as gym memberships or a vast television channel subscription.  There's even an 80/20 rule that says people spend 80 percent of their tv-viewing time watching only 20 percent of their channels.  Consider scaling down your package or even switching to online streaming to cut the costs.  If you only use the gym once or twice a month, look into the walk-in fees rather than paying for a membership each month.  Do you have a pile of magazines stacking up that you never have time to read?  Consider cancelling your subscriptions or at least narrowing them down to the one you read the most.  

3. Cut Back on Grocery Waste.

Plan your meals before heading to the store. If you head in with no idea of what you're looking for, you will end up with a cart full of junk food. You'll end up with way more items than you intended on buying therefore blowing your grocery budget for the month. Only buying what you need will not only reduce your spending, but will also reduce waste of perishable food items.

4. Reduce the Number of Times You Eat Out

At the end of a long day, no one wants to take the time to cook a meal.  Sometimes it seems easier to just order takeout or go to a restaurant, but those habits are wasting away your income. Consider buying a Crock Pot to save some money and time with the food preparation.  You can throw in some chicken breasts and broth before work and dinner is just about ready when you walk in the door that evening.

5. Compare Prices and Shop Around

While in the store, you should always look at the unit sticker when trying to decide between two similar items.  The price of the best option might be higher, but gives you more for your money. Buy generic when you can; occasionally the quality won't be the same, but for the most part you are just buying the brand name on the same product.  Compare Wal-Mart's prices to your local grocery store to make sure you are getting the lowest prices in town.  On certain items such as toilet paper and trash bags that you use regularly, consider buying in bulk to save you money in the long run.  Check the paper ads and stock up when these items go on sale!  You may be paying more this month, but next month you won't have to buy it at all.

6. Skimp on Gasoline

With gas prices dramatically changing everyday, this is definitely an area of your monthly budget that you will want to keep an eye on.  To save on gasoline, consider shopping online, but if that's not an option, bundle your errands together.  Pick a time when you can go to several stores in the same trip rather than going to a different one each day and wasting gas.  Pay attention to gas prices while you are out and about.  Try to find the one on your route with the lowest price, but don't go out of your way to find one.  Most of the time the money you save at the cheapest gas station doesn't make up for the gas you burn looking for it.  There is even an app for your phone called Gas Buddy to help you find the nearest gas stations with the lowest prices.  Some stores such as Hyvee have programs that save you money on groceries and your gas, so look into those.  If you are shopping there anyway, you might as well same some money on gas.  Maintaining proper inflation in your tires will not only extend the life of your tires, it will also help you improve your car's fuel economy.

Maybe its your crazy shopping sprees or outrageous mortgage payment preventing you from ending the month with money to spare.  Unfortunately I don't have a cure for you shopaholics, but I can help you with your mortgage questions.  Call me today to discuss how to lower your house payments by refinancing your home at the Lake of the Ozarks! When it comes to your financing needs, I'm committed to working with you every step of the way. I'll discuss financing options, offer competitive interest rates and back it up with the FIRST Class Service you deserve!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 

Michael Lasson
Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender
NMLS #: 493712

2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
PO Box 1449
Lake Ozark, MO 65049

Direct:  (573) 746-7211

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