Saving Money Tips

How To Save Money

During these trying economic times, money may be a huge stress factor in the lives of several families across America. A paycheck can easily be blown away when someone has to worry about paying the bills, feeding the family, buying gas, etc. Small money conserving steps can make a huge difference in the lives of the average American family and may be able to keep your wallet a little bit thicker.

One problem that can easily lead to draining money is the process of impulse purchasing. Impulse purchasing is an unplanned or otherwise spontaneous purchase. So many people shop and purchase a product without even considering how much they actually “need” the item. One may wonder around the mall and find a new dress and purchase it just because they think that it looks good. At the end of the day they may wonder where all of their money disappeared to. An easy way to curve impulse shopping is by waiting a week before you purchase the item in question. During the course of the week think about whether or not you could live without the item. If you still desperately desire the item by the end of the week, purchase it. If you no longer want the item as much as you previously had, you’ve saved yourself a sum of money.

Another way to conserve money is by eating at home as opposed to eating out at a restaurant. The average cost of a value meal at McDonald's is $5.95. A family of four eating McDonald’s value meals would almost add up to $24.00. To produce the same meal (with leftovers) would cost less than $20.00 if one were to eat at home.

Cutting out Starbucks or other store bought coffees can help save money as well. The average price for a cup of Starbucks coffee costs $3.00. The average price for self-brewed coffee costs 25 cents a cup. You save a total of $2.75 a day and $1003.75 a year. As you can see, small steps help to save a lot of cash.  While store bought coffee may not be as delicious and readily available as Starbucks, it's a very minimal sacrifice to help you save a large amount of money throughout the year.


The gas crisis is drastically affecting the way money is being spent across the United States. People are starting to trade in their gas guzzling SUV’s for smaller gas conserving cars. While one reduces the cost of gas by using less fuel, the cost can be reduced even more if one uses other methods to cut down on gas spending. Being involved in a carpool can save tons of gas usage a week. Schedules can be set up between four employees and reduce the cost of gas a week by ¼. Overtime this will accumulate to save a large sum of money for each member of the carpool.  This not only helps your wallet, but it also helps the environment because you are burning less fossil fuels.


Walking or riding a bicycle to different places can also cut down on gas spending. Instead of burning fuel, one can travel somewhere and also exercise in the process. Though it may take a longer amount of time it will add up in the long run. Lauren Sexton, A student of the University of Louisville, chooses to walk to class each day instead of driving her car. “Walking to class saves me so much money every day in gas money. Even though I have to walk a few miles to my classroom from my apartment it is well worth the switch. I don’t have to burn up gas in long traffic lines and the walk is really therapeutical for me and helps me to relax and have time to think about things.”

Family outings for entertainment can also put a damper on your finances. At one time going to the movies was an affordable form of entertainment for the family. With soaring ticket prices, it is now considered a tad pricey. Average ticket costs for the year 2008 was $7.18. For a family of four to go to the movies together, it would accumulate to around $28.00. A much cheaper alternative would be to rent a movie where the average cost is $4.00. McDonald’s and Wal-Mart also have the option of 1-dollar movie rentals through the red box program. Redbox kiosks are placed outside of different locations and allow a person to rent newly released DVD’s for a dollar a day.  Also, Netflix is also available, for unlimited streaming movies online for around the same amount of money as one movie ticket at the theater.


Family togetherness is important along with conserving your money. Along with movie nights, an affordable form of entertainment is a nice, free visit to the park. It is 100% free (minus gas money) and can help strengthen the family bond.

Small adjustments can make it a long way for Americans struggling with the rough economy. One can greatly improve their lifestyle by only tweaking a few minor things. Having a little bit of extra money greatly reduces stress and makes life flow a lot easier. Money may not be able to buy happiness but it can remove unnecessary sadness