Many times when you see lists like these, the subjects can be focused on one topic, which is not a bad thing, but because that topic can be so specific, sometimes you miss out on the bigger picture for ways you can save money, or some of the smaller methods that tend to slip under the radar.
We want to share with you some unconventional ways in which you can save money right now and in the long term; ways that might not fit into a single category or heading. Some of these methods will seem daunting, while others might just not be for you. However you decide to save money, especially when it becomes necessary, you need to pick those methods that work for you. In other words, the things we present here won’t necessarily be for everyone, but you might discover a few ideas that you can implement and begin saving money; in some cases, as soon as you’re finished reading this article.
So here is our list of not-quite-categorized methods to help you save some cash, and even invest in long term savings.
Can You Save Money on Your Car?
Draw up all the expenses that go into your car and add them up; fuel, repairs, maintenance, auto insurance, and any miscellaneous items that have anything remotely to do with your automobile.
Do you have an older car that always needs repairs? Are you getting loans for these car repairs?
Save the receipts and add them all up by the end of the year, then divide that total by 12. Is the monthly average more than a car payment? Would it cost you less to purchase a new car and make monthly payments that are cheaper than constant visits to the repair shop?
Think of the money you save not only per month but the fact that new automobiles have fewer maintenance issues and will save you long term. Make sure to include the cost of insurance when purchasing a more modern vehicle. What about your car’s size and gas mileage? Did you buy an SUV a few years back to haul all the kids around but now the kids are grown and driving themselves? Consider downsizing to a more economical vehicle.
Special note: if you are purchasing a vehicle, consider the idea that it does not have to be new. There are many low-mileage used vehicles available that are just as reliable, but nowhere near as expensive.
Special Note #2: Do you live in a city? Is there readily available public transportation or are the food stores a short walk from you? Consider giving up your car altogether. Imagine how much you will save just doing that.
Look at Saving Big Money on Your House
Homes can have the highest sentimental value of any material possession we own. They’re where our kids grew up, and sometimes where we grew up ourselves. An emotional attachment to a home is a very personal, very human thing and no one can be criticized for wanting to hang on to a family home where everyone goes for the holidays and other special occasions.
Having said that, you should take a look at the expenses that go into your home, even if you’ve paid off your mortgage. Take a look at the heating and air conditioning bills. Look at repairs and other things that might need to be taken care of.
Investigate what your home might be worth on the market, you can get a rough estimate in just a few minutes from this website. It won’t be entirely accurate, but it will give you an idea of what you might get out of your home monetarily, and what’s available in your neighborhood, across town, or perhaps somewhere you’ve always wanted to live. Think of it, you could not only move to your dream house but save some money in the process!
Take a Look at Higher Education and Save Money
We’ve got a secret to tell you. Unless you (or your child) is going to an Ivy League school, it really won’t matter where they got their degree once they’re ready to enter the marketplace.
That’s right, A Harvard degree looks great on a resume, but beyond that, prospective employers won’t’ care if the job applicant went to UNLV or Arizona State. Other than prestige, what’s the difference between Texas A&M and Yale University? The answer is tens of thousands of dollars.
If you or someone you know is getting ready to head off to college, take a good look at local community colleges, which offer the same basic education courses as the Universities do, but at a literal fraction of the price. After two years of local college, a student can transfer to a University and still get the same degree his or her fellow full-time University students will be getting…again, at a fraction of the cost.
Even if the plan was to pay for school via student loans, the difference could mean ten years’ worth of payments or the rest of the student’s life. Higher Education is first and foremost about one thing: making yourself available to a job market that would otherwise be unavailable to someone who only has a high school diploma. The “college experience” is indeed something to consider, but is it worth tens of thousands of dollars? We’ll let you decide.
So these are some relatively large and time-involved ways to save money, but the money saved in the long run from each of these can and will add up to a substantial amount, allowing you better financial freedom and the ability to exercise more discretionary spending. Sounds great, right? We know that implementing one or all of these takes time and effort, but there is a dividend to that effort, and you might just find yourself in a happier position once all is said and done.