We could all stand to save a few bucks, right? I know I can. With school season in bloom and Christmas around the bend, I thought I’d share a few ways to save some money.
- GAS—Getting the best price on a gallon of gas isn’t the only way to save big at the pump. Make sure your ride has inflated tires, clean oil, good spark plugs, and a clean air filter. And don’t lug around unnecessary baggage in your car; the extra weight actually eats up gas.
- CAR REPAIRS—Look for some colleges and vocational schools that have on-site auto repair shops open to the public. While you still have to pay for parts, you’ll get a huge deal on labor costs. Students are guided by an instructor who supervises every step.
- DINING OUT—At Restaurant.com, you can buy gift certificates to participating restaurants for cheaper than face value. (For example, you can purchase a $25 coupon for only $10.) Register as a member to be alerted to special deals. Look for happy hours and restaurant discounts and if you really want to be cheap, bring your own wine. You’ll still be charged a corkage feed but it’s cheaper than buying theirs!
- CREDIT CARDS—Many people don’t know that it’s possible to lower your interest rate — you just have to ask. Call the credit card company and ask if they’ll lower your rate; they may be more likely to if you have good credit. Also, no matter what APR you’re charged, pay off your highest interest debt first.
- OFFICE—Bring your own lunch and snacks. Don’t go out to fast food or the restaurants and don’t buy from the vending machines.
- GYM MEMBERSHIPS—Many gyms charge start-up/enrollment fees on top of monthly dues. Ask the sales rep if these one-time charges can be waived. If not, start to leave and the rep will probably give in. Also, sign up during off-peak times. Everyone signs up in January, but more deals are offered mid-summer.
- MAKEUP—Gift with purchase is your friend. There’s no need to forgo the products you like, but do buy them wisely. Wait until there’s a special offer with your cosmetics/skin care line, then stock up. Gifts with purchase allow you the opportunity to sample new products for free while spending the same money you usually would.
- UTILITIES—Even if electronics (such as a computer or printer) are turned off, they can still suck up power and energy if they’re plugged in. This is especially true for cell phone chargers. And the more electricity they use, the more you have to pay for on your next utility bill. Plug all your electronics into one power strip and turn it off before you go to bed. Also, turn off the light when you leave a room. It may not seem like much, but cutting back on these little things together can absolutely save you anywhere from $15 to $50 a month.
Money jars are great ideas, however, if you’re anything like myself, you’ll grab a buck or two out of them when you think you need it. I find that layaway is the best option for holiday shopping, which means you’ll need to start asap. It’s no secret that I do 90% of my shopping at Walmart so I wanted to share that they’ll be offering this option once again, with some changes. Layaway at Walmart will begin on September 16 – December 14. If you’re a facebook fan of Walmart, you’ll get access 2 days earlier so be sure and check out that app. If you’re wondering how it will differ this year from last, here’s a brief rundown of what to expect.
–Individual items must be priced $15 or more, and the total basket must be at least $50. (same as last year)
–A down payment of 10 percent or $10, whichever is greater, is required when items are placed on Layaway. (same as last year)
–The Layaway open fee is $15 but if the customer pays in full they will receive it back on a Walmart gift card. Last year, a one-time non-refundable $5 service fee was charged.
–If the order is cancelled, the open fee is not refunded; however no additional cancellation fee will be charged. Last year, there is a $10 cancellation fee for any orders not picked up by that date or cancelled by the customer.
PROS OF LAYAWAY
- Cost is spread out over several payments.
- Layaway fees are much cheaper than interest paid on credit card over couple cycles.
- You mostly likely won’t have to worry about out of stock items by buying early.
- Avoid the Holiday rush!
- Allows you take advantage of sales when you don’t have the entire purchase amount.
- You’ll save money by not making impulse purchases! I feel like this is the #1 way to save money during the holidays because you’re basically pre-planning what you’re gonna put on layaway. I’ve always said, quality vs quantity. I promise your friends & family would rather have a very nice gift over 20 ‘eh’ gifts.
Do you plan to use layaway this year? If so, what do you think you’ll be purchasing?
Disclosure: I’m an official Walmart Mom. Walmart has provided me with compensation and gift card in return for my time & efforts to create this post. Opinions are my own, as always.