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The most practical ways to save money

There are many ways that you can save money. But you don't really want to cut too much expenses that may be necessary for you life, such as quality foods, good education and daily necessities.

The best way to find where to save money is to go through all the items in your budget. For the most large amount items, such as housing, foods, transportation, etc. there may be some spaces to save more money.

Here is a list of most practical ways to save money:

  1. Home expenses (mortgage or rental) are the largest expenses of all time. You may consider moving to a place where the price of home and rental is reasonable. When interest rates are lower, you may consider refinance. Rental is usually only going up, so you may consider sharing with a friend.

  2. Car expenses are usually the second largest expenses. You may consider buying a second-hand car with good status. When interest rates are lower, you may consider refinance your auto loan. You can cut ongoing car maintenance costs by driving less, which also helps to reduce gas usage.

  3. Combining home insurance and car insurance in the same financial institution can save some money as well.

  4. For TV, Internet and phone bills, if you use the same provider, it will usually give a big discount for several years maybe with a free cell phone. After that, you can just ask another service provider for another discounted plan for another several years with a new free cell phone.

  5. For electricity, water and natural gas bills, consider plugging any insulation leaks in your home, using smart power strips, swapping in more energy-efficient appliances (washing machine, LED lightbulbs, etc.), switching to a smart thermostat, taking shorter showers, and fixing leaky pipes.

  6. For interest for other loans (excluding mortgage and auto loan), enrolling in income-driven repayment could lower your monthly payments to a manageable level since the amount you pay is tied to your earnings. Other options include refinancing, enrolling in autopay to trigger a discount, and making extra payments so you can unload the debt faster, which cuts the overall interest you’ll pay. Always pay off your credit balance with full amount, because the interest rate for any remaining balance is quite high.

  7. For major purchases, you can save by timing your purchases of appliances, furniture, cars, electronics and more according to annual sale periods. It’s also worth confirming a deal is actually a deal by tracking prices over time.

  8. Pack lunch and eat at home, minimize restaurant spending. Making healthy food at home is more healthy than eating at a restaurant, also you save lots of money.

  9. Enjoy free learning. There are lots of websites providing free courses, such as "Coursera". You just need to enroll a course and choose "Audit only" instead of paying the costs. There will be no certification for audit, but you can learn free courses. Library is also a good place for free learning. Before you click “add to cart” on a brand-new book, check your local library to see if you can borrow it. Most libraries also have audiobooks and digital copies of your favorite books for rent.

  10. Enjoy free entertainment. You can take advantage of free days at museums and national parks to save on entertainment costs. Your local community might offer free concerts and other in-person or virtual events; check your local calendar before splurging on pricey tickets to private events. Try staycation and being a tourist in your own city, and there could be lots of free parks you have never been before. You can watch movies on Youtube or other websites for free as well, you can also download the movies or other videos by using online video downloader: "".

  11. Prepare for grocery shopping for daily necessities. Always make a list for shopping to avoid impulse buying. Try to use as much coupons as possible and buy more of those discounted products. Buy no name and generic products. Generic brands of medicine, staple food items (like rice and beans), cleaning supplies and paper products cost far less than their marked-up brand-name friends, and they work just as well too.

  12. Cutting unnecessary expenses. Cancel unnecessary automatic subscriptions and memberships, delay purchases with the 30-day rule (reconsider for 30 days before buying), DIY your home project by yourself.

  13. Create a 50/30/20 budget for money management. This approach means devoting 50% of your after-tax income to necessities, 30% to wants and 20% to savings and any debt payments. If one of your allocations exceeds these percentages, you can make some adjustments elsewhere.

  14. Sell everything that you don't need.

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