5 Tips to Help You Save More and Get Rich Quicker

Let’s face it: We all waste money. Sometimes it’s that pair of jeans we don’t really need or that brand-name cereal that tastes just like the generic label that’s $2 cheaper. But with a small amount of effort and discipline, you can generate additional retirement savings without putting a dent in your lifestyle. Here are five rules to follow to help you get thrifty, get a good deal, and get rich quicker.

Photo by Tax Credits via Flickr

Shop Online for Household Items

When it comes to buying paper towels, toilet paper, and even breakfast cereal, forget about the grocery store (and don’t bother with a warehouse club, either). There’s an easier, and cheaper, way to keep your house stocked. Amazon.com’s “Subscribe and Save” program allows you to set a regular schedule (1 month, 3 months, etc.) for delivery of products ranging from diapers and paper towels to pet food and motor oil. In return, you’ll get free shipping and an additional discount off regular prices. Best of all, there’s never an obligation to continue, and you can shift the delivery schedule at any time. Similarly, Wal Mart’s “Home Free” program currently includes free shipping on $45 or more in purchases of select household goods.

Cut the Cord

It’s the rare person who doesn’t complain about the astronomical cost of cable and satellite television. But there is a cheaper alternative — ditch the cable in favor of a digital antenna, a streaming or mail-in DVD service, and Internet television and video. It takes a bit of time to assemble the right setup for your viewing habits, but the payoff can be considerable, particularly if you pay for premium channels. Be warned, however: if you live far from a broadcast signal (check antennaweb.org); must watch TV series from places like HBO as they air; or are a real sports nut, “cutting the cord” may not meet your needs.

Shop for New Insurance Frequently

Every one or two years should do it. We have outline a few websites and tools that can help you find the best insurance price. Getting quotes from several providers of life, homeowner’s and car insurance is incredibly quick and painless. And it could pay off, either in lower monthly premiums or greater benefits for the same premium. Insurance providers take into account a range of information — age, credit scores, previous claims — to arrive at a premium. Since things like a credit score can improve over time (age, sadly, does not), and premium-raising previous claims usually “drop off” your record after several years, you could be leaving hundreds on the table every year.

Use a Budgeting Site Regularly

We all know that creating and sticking to a monthly budget is among the best ways to build savings for retirement and life’s unforeseen expenses. But as recently as a decade ago, the record-keeping was a huge hassle. Internet sites like Personal Capital have changed that, and have made it much easier to track spending, set financial goals, and achieve them. It takes a bit of work up front to set up budget categories, label individual expenses, and link the site to your bank and credit card accounts. After that, however, it’s incredibly easy monitor your spending.

Buy Used

And not just cars (though that’s always a great idea!). Given our obsessions with places like Home Depot and Lowe’s, we waste plenty of money on shiny new tools, lawnmowers, stoves and other pricey toys. But if we put our vanity aside, there’s a bundle to be saved. With a little cleaning, a few new parts and some elbow grease, you can have something as-good-new–at more than half the price. Yard sales, eBay, craigslist and your local newspaper are great places to hunt down you’re next great find.

About the Author

By , on May 8, 2012
author
Matthew Malone is a staff writer for RothIRA.com, a leading retirement and Roth IRA resource. Matthew is also a contributing writer to CBS SmartPlanet. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Smartmoney.com, Fortune.com, Forbes.com, and other publications.

Leave Your Comment (7 Comments)

  1. Suresh says:

    Fixing up monthly budget would be helpful to control expenses. I am following this for the past 2 years and I am success. Thanks for the post

  2. Belinda says:

    Thank you Matt, this is a great list. I love free shipping. In addition, one can use credit card to get cash back – this is a great way to maximize the strategy.

    Since we all agree that once in a while we buy something that we don’t need or rarely use, then it’s logical to do regular closet cleanup and sell the items.

  3. Rye says:

    These are very doable tips that do make a lot of difference based on personal experience. When you buy pre-loved items, not only are you saving a lot of money, every now and then you will find some rare gems too!

  4. Jonathan says:

    I love buying used items rather than getting them new. The cost savings that you can make are huge. Amazon marketplace and ebay are great places to pick up hot discounts on loads of household items and even with postage and packaging it can still work out cheaper.

  5. Definitely buying used is a big thing. Just like in TMND, you let the first user pay for the first 3 years, then buy it from him with a lot lower price. Golden!

  6. Great suggestions here, especially “shop online for household items”. Like Doug, I had no idea about the Wal-Mart home free program or their shipping program. These small tips add up to big savings! Thanks for the information.

  7. Doug says:

    Thanks for an article that is not a re-hash of so many articles with the same subject. Can’t believe how many times I’ve read the same thing over and over on different sites with the same topic. I had no idea about the wal-mart shipping, and the antennae website. Nice to get some new info for a change. :)

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