For Mark Roberts’ Use: If your New Years resolution focused on renovating your financial life, you may be thinking about paying down debts or upping your retirement plan contributions. But your home life can be a major source of money loss, and impact your ability to save money. Take a look at your habits around the home, and try these money-saving tactics.
Bunk up. If you have a child in college, or beginning college later this year paying for tuition and books is likely to be a huge drain on your finances. Rather than opting for a doom room or apartment, consider letting your child live at home and attend college nearby if possible.
Live simply. We often buy things we can make ourselves, from home decorations to packaged breakfast foods. Analyze whether the easier, quicker options are really worth the extra cash.
Plan your meals each week. When you don’t have a plan for dinner, it’s easy to lapse into a pattern of expensive take-out meals. Plan out your meals each week, and cook bulk amounts of some items that you can reuse another day. For example, that roasted chicken you can for dinner can also be cut up and used for chicken salad in the next day’s lunch.
Cut back on cleaning products. Many cleaning products are really just expensive marketing gimmicks. Bleach, baking soda, and vinegar are all cheap and very effective cleaning agents.
Substitute beauty products. Many natural solutions work just as well as, or better than, expensive beauty products. For example, a large container of coconut oil costs only a few dollars, lasts for months, and works better for many skin ailments than expensive lotions and creams.
Opt out of catalogs. Ask companies not to send you catalogs anymore. Keeping them on your coffee table is the equivalent of walking through a mall every day. Cut the temptation to impulse shop out of your life.
Unplug electronic devices. Electronic devices use power even when they aren’t turned on. Unplug electronics when you aren’t actually using them, and you can cut down on your power bill.