61. Turn your Hobby into Money
Everyone has a skill – find yours and turn it into money. For example, if you have a skill for woodworking, start creating children’s toys, or curio cabinets to sell. Perhaps you are computer savvy and could teach a class at your local community college. Find something you enjoy and sell it.
Try a different type of recycling that will save you money. Have you ever received a nice gift that you like from someone but will never use? Rather than take it back to the store for an exchange, consider keeping it to give as a gift to someone else.
Another way to recycle is to look around your home. There are always things right in your home that can be used to make nice gift baskets – things you never use. For example, the next time you purchase shower gel where you buy one and get one free, keep one for yourself and set the other one aside for future gift giving. You will find hundreds of ideas so be creative and consider things you purchased but have never used.
63. Heating and Cooling
Make sure vents in rooms not being used or the garage are closed. Many people tend to try to heat and cool the entire home. Instead, take the time to close off areas that you are not using. You will save substantial money on your utilities.
64. Shop Online
Many online businesses offer great bargains and in some cases, free shipping. Since the Internet is such a competitive market, you can usually find fantastic deals. In addition, many of your favorite businesses where you shop in person have websites that offer even greater savings.
Bookstores such as Amazon.com will sell books up to 70% off the original price. Overstock.com is another online business that sells closeout items for fantastic bargains.
65. Consignment Shops
Rather than throw out or sell slightly worn clothing or other household items in a garage sale, consider selling them through a consignment shop. You will get a better price for your items and consignment shops are always looking for quality merchandise. Check out Half.com, which is an online consignment shop offering books, movies, computer software, and much more in either new or used condition.
66. Selling your Home
If considering putting your home on the market, make sure you work with a reputable realtor. A good realtor versus one that is not as experienced can be the difference of thousands of dollars.
A good realtor will know exactly what you need to do to your home to get it in the best selling condition, which in turn will get you more money. In addition, experienced realtors know all the best methods for advertising and selling your home while saving you the most money.
67. Stay out of the Malls
If possible, stay away from shopping malls. High-dollar shopping malls have expensive overhead and are designed to sell, sell, sell. Prices are generally higher and in most cases, people walk out with more than they anticipated buying.
It is better to shop at stand-alone shops or on the Internet.
68. Car Shopping
Shop around for the best price. While you may have your eye on that “perfect” car and want it now, by waiting and looking around, you could be saving yourself a lot of money. In addition, check out other states.
If you live within a few hours drive from other cities, check out the price difference. The five hours it takes to drive may be worth the money saved.
69. Check Receipts and Statements
If you were to check your grocery or store receipt, approximately 50% of the time you would find an overcharge. This happens all the time and in some cases, the charge can be substantial.
The same is true for credit card statements, bank statements, phone bills, etc. Check the detail because it is quite common to find errors. These mistakes can easily be corrected simply by asking and providing a copy of the receipt or statement.
70. Challenge the Doctor/Hospital
If you have stayed in the hospital recently, you know the outrageous charges associated with every thing used. While you could buy a box of bandages for a small cut in the drug store for $5.00, at the hospital, they will charge you $10 for one bandage.
While the government and insurance companies are cracking down on these charges, you should check things closely and challenge anything that is ridiculously priced.
The same is true for your doctor. One woman having a hysterectomy was asked by her doctor if she wanted her appendix removed at the same time.
The patient thought it was a good idea and agreed. However, after the surgery when the bill came, there was an additional $1,200 for the removal of the appendix although the doctor never mentioned an extra charge.
The woman called her doctor to discuss and the doctor removed the charge. If something seems way out of balance, question it.
Something else that most people do not know about is what is called “professional courtesy.” If you are having financial difficulties, you can ask your doctor if they will write off any balance owed as a professional courtesy.
Many will and if not the full amount, at least some.
71. Overdraft Protection
Almost everyone has at one point or another had an insufficient check. Most banks charge $20 per returned check, which if not careful with your account, can quickly add up to a lot of money.
If you have a savings account, consider adding overdraft protection onto your checking account so if you ever go into a negative balance, the money would automatically be covered by your savings. Most banks offer this service free.
72. Bank Accounts
Make sure you work with a qualified banker that can set up the “right” kind of account for your type of spending. There are numerous options specifically designed for people that write a good number of checks versus those who do not.
Check with your existing bank to ensure you have what you really need and if they are not willing to work with you, change banks. In general, credit unions are good options. Their rates are typically lower and because they are employee owned, you can find better options.
You may be wondering what being organized has to do with saving money but in reality, it has a lot to do with it. For example, if you miss a credit card due date by one day, you will be charged anywhere from a 15% to 25% penalty.
The same would be true for taxes. Missing one simple date can cost thousands. You need to be organized so you know the exact dates your bills are due as well as keep all receipts, contracts, etc. in an orderly manner.
74. Good Health
You need to make sure you take care of yourself physically. Missed dental cleanings (every six months) can lead to gum disease or tooth decay that can cost thousands to fix.
The same is true for your health. After trying home remedies or over the counter medications, if you still do not feel well, see a doctor. It is far better to pay the doctor visit than to let your simple summer cold turn into pneumonia.
75. Automobile Care
Keep your car oil changed, tires rotated, and overall care up-todate. First, the $30 for your oil change will save wear and tear on your car, which could result in significant money.
Second, you need your car to get to and from work. By not having your car in top working condition could put you in a bad position when it comes to required transportation.
While Paris, England, or Germany offers excitement, they also cost money to visit. Unfortunately, people on a regular basis forget about the United States and even the very state in which they live.
One man had lived in Arizona his entire life. At age 50, when asked by a friend what the Grand Canyon was like, he was unable to answer because he had never been there.
The next time you get ready to plan your family vacation, look around where you live and consider an exciting road trip that will not only be educating but cost effective. A vacation does not have to be expensive to be fun and memorable.
77. Annual Maintenance
Make a list of all annual maintenance items for your home such as air conditioner, heater, hot water heater, etc. Once again, being prepared and working in a proactive manner can save you unnecessary expenses.
If you take care of your air conditioner by getting an annual tune up then you lower the risk of something going wrong during the hot summer months when it will be quite costly to repair.
78. Borrowing Money
Unless you have an emergency, avoid those enticing advertisements to lend you money at incredible rates.
Banks and lending institutions make it much too easy to borrow money and especially during the holidays, they flash all their great advertisements drawing people in.
Afterward, you have borrowed money that you could have done without and now you are locked into a five-year repayment contract. If you want a new car or boat, it is better to save.
If you do need a new car, avoid brand new cars, which lose massive amounts of depreciation the minute you drive off the lot.
Instead, look for something a year or two old where you will still have a nice car but much more in line with an appropriate cost.
79. Repair versus Replace
Instead of spending $1,000 on that beautiful new couch, you might consider one of two options. If your couch frame is still good, you might spend $300 to have it recovered or purchase a quality slipcover for $100.
Redecorate in an instant at Sure Fit Slipcovers!
Your couch will look brand new for much less, than it would to replace.
Another example would be if you have a lamp that you want to replace. Consider painting it and adding a new shade rather than spending money to buy a brand new one.
Perhaps you have a washer, dryer, or refrigerator that is running a little sluggish. Find out the cost of repair over that of purchasing a new one.
Even if you have an appliance with the wrong color, businesses offer fantastic paint jobs. With a little creativity, you will be amazed at how much can be repaired, thus saving you money.
Plus why not make some money from the same thing? Pretty up old lamps and sell them.
80. Dining Out
Eating out can be expensive. Rather than stop eating out, simply cut back and look for options of two-for-one. Restaurants of all calibers offer weekly specials and if you check in your Sunday paper, you can often find special bargains.
You might even think about signing up as a Mystery Shopper on the Internet where you can eat at fine restaurants free or at a huge discount just for writing a report on the food, service, and cleanliness.