How To | Family

15 Totally Painless Ways To Save Money

orOften when we try to save money we make really drastic changes in our lives.

Sure, we could all save a lot of money if we stopped buying soda forever, but let's just admit that's probably not going to happen.

Instead, there are lots of tiny changes you can make that will barely affect your daily life. At first, it won't feel like you're saving much, but when you look back after a few months you'll realize that you've been saving almost without noticing! Challenge yourself to try just two of these tips and you'll see a big difference.

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1. Check your bank fees

Did you know some banks charge you for using your debit card too many times in a month? This is just one of the sneaky fees your bank loves to hide on your monthly statement, so read it carefully and switch if your account has too many hidden charges.

2. Leave your cards at home

When your parents signed you up for your first card they told you it was for emergencies. Now we use them all the time, and it makes us lose track of how much we're spending. Withdraw some cash each week and pay with your bills as much as you can.

3. Learn basic car repairs

If it seems like you're always wasting time and money waiting for the mechanic to fix up your car, you probably are. With help from some online tutorials you can save money doing everything from oil changes to battery repairs yourself.

4. Cut your cable bill

4,000 channels and nothing to watch, so why are you paying for all of them? If you only watch a handful of channels switch down to a more reasonable plan, or use a Netflix subscription instead.

5. Check your tires

Did you know that when your tires are under-inflated your gas mileage goes down? Gas is one of the most expensive things in your budget, so learn how to keep an eye on the air in your tires for a cheaper ride.

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6. Make gifts yourself

Even when you manage to save $50 it seems like you spend $100 on birthday presents. And just forget about Christmas! Next year, make some homemade crafts like candles and give those out instead of expensive, store-bought presents.

7. Cut your grocery bill in half

There are so many ways to save money at the grocery store that we've made a whole other list of them. The easiest trick is to stick to your list no matter what catches your eye!

8. Insulate your windows

During the winter, part of the reason your heating bill does up is because the warm air escapes through your windows. There are lots of ways to cut down on your heating bill, from covering your windows with insulator to using special blinds.

9. Make a monthly budget

A vague idea about how  much you make each month and "about" how much you should spend on groceries doesn't cut it. Look at your income, plan for expenses and follow your budget like it's the law.

10. Don't trust expiration dates

Every month people waste a big chunk of their grocery bill throwing away "expired" food that's perfectly fine. If it doesn't smell or feel "off" and you've stored it properly, you should have a few extra days.

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11. Skip brand names

Just compare a pretty basic item like Oreo cookies. A 10oz bag will cost you almost $3, while a 15oz bag of the store brand costs less than $2. Maybe the taste is a little different, but you can't argue with those savings! Check with your doctor if you can also try the generic version of your medications.

12. Use all of your benefits

Some companies automatically sign their employees up for special discount websites or loyalty clubs with other companies. Know if any apply to you, then take advantage of them!

13. Delay your big purchases

If you see something you absolutely have to own, write it down and wait a month. If you still feel so strong after all that time, go ahead and buy it. If not, you've just saved some cash.

14. Make your own cleaning products

Odds are between your baking supplies and your pantry, you already have everything you need to clean your house from top to bottom. Learn which natural products are great cleaners and don't bother buying a cart full of chemicals each week.

15. Invest in a reusable cup

Most coffee shops offer a small discount, say 20 cents, if you bring a reusable cup to fill. It may seem like it's not worth it, but if you save that 20 cents every day it adds up to a huge discount over the course of a year.

Share these money-saving tips with someone you know!

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