Saving money. Just two simple words that sound so easy but they are not. There always seems to be something you need or want to spend your money on. Here we look at five painless ways that you can start right now to save more money.
Use a Virtual Piggy Bank
Piggy banks used to be plastic containers or jars that we tossed our loose pennies and dimes into and let the money accumulate. Today plastic money is used almost as much or more than cash and those plastic piggy banks are fast disappearing. The alternative in our modern world is to create a virtual piggy bank. In other words a “Keep the Change” account through an online bank. Bank of America offers such an account. Every time you use your check card to buy something the total of your purchase is rounded up to the nearest dollar. The difference is then placed into your saving account. This is one way to make your extra change count.
Open an Education Matching Account
If you are a parent then you are going to like this one! To contribute to the savings for your children’s future education you can open what is known as an “Upromise” account. It is free to join and it will allow you to put money away in savings every time you make purchases at any number of retailers. There are presently 550 companies that are participating in this. Examples of these include eBay, Barnes& Noble, JC Penney, McDonald’s and Office Depot. Do a Google search to learn more.
Be Smart and Sensible with Your Automobile
It is recommended for most automobiles that the gas tank be filled with premium fuel, which has a 93+ octane rating. With some cars however you can use a lower grade of gasoline and not have to worry about harming the engine.
There are other things you can do as well to save money on your car. According to the Car Care Council you can properly inflate your tires. This gives you better traction, better gas mileage and it may help to prevent an accident from occurring. You can cease to drive in an aggressive manner. Aggressive driving habits as well as hard accelerations can make you car 33 percent less efficient on the highway and five percent less efficient when you are driving in the city. Any time you accelerate beyond 60 mph your gas mileage suffers and can cost you more money.
Replacing your air filter is also a smart idea. A dirty air filter can bring about an improper fuel-to-air mixture which in turn can ruin the efficiency of the fuel. Replacing your air filter will improve your mileage by as much as 10 percent (or what works out to be 15 cents a gallon).
Reduce Your Electricity
In most homes the utility bill is one of the biggest expenses. What is good to know is that there are ways to reduce the amount of electricity you use. Replace the existing light bulbs you have right now with the newer energy-saving compact florescent bulbs. While they are more expensive than the older bulbs (in the area of $8 to $10) they use up to 75 percent less energy and can last anywhere from five to 10 times longer.
Give to Charitable Causes
Giving to charitable causes, whether it be donations of clothing, toys, books or household items or money is a way to help others less fortunate and also to get a tax deduction. It is best to give to a registered and qualified local or national charity. An example of this would be the Salvation Army. This is yet another way to save money in a painless manner.