If saving money is on your list of resolutions for 2013, you are not alone! Unfortunately, in these challenging economic times, it can be easier said than done. However, taking small daily steps now can really add up by the end of the year. Here are some easy ways to start:
Nix the ATM: We all know that the ATM machine is a wonderful convenience. But remember that every time you use an ATM that is not connected with your actual bank, you could be charged anywhere from $2.50 to $5.00 to access your own money! That really adds up over the course of a year. You may want to use ATM finder apps, bank specific apps or Foursquare to find banks in your area. Or go to the drug store, buy something like a pack of gum, then get cash as well.
Stop Auto-Spending: Items that are automatically debited from your account can really add up. You may even be continually paying for things that you no longer need or use. Magazine and newspaper subscriptions are a good example. Go through your bank statement and discontinue any auto payments that no longer serve you.
Save on Your Phone Bill: These days, many people are cancelling their traditional landline. There are services out there that can really save you money, such as Ooma, where you pay $99. and get free phone service for life! Check your cell phone bill as well. If your plan is more than a couple of years old, often there are better deals out there. Check with BillShrink.com and find out where the best deals are.
Maximize Savings: If you have already saved the recommended 3-6 months of cash for emergencies, good for you! Continue to save, and consider moving some of that money to an investment with a high yield of return.
Simplify Your TV Viewing: Its true, most of us cannot live without basic cable. But do you need all the extra channels, Netflix, and Hulu Plus? Consider cancelling all but one service and see how it works for you.
Monitor Spending: There are a lot of great tools out there to help you track your spending. One great site to check out is Mint.com.