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Simple ways to save money.

Many Americans are feeling the pinch as the United States experiences record high inflation. Food and energy prices have skyrocketed to a 40 year high. If you are trying to stay afloat and save money, every penny counts. So, it’s important to remember it doesn’t matter how much money you make - what matters is how you spend and save your money. Here are some ways to tighten your budget.

  1. Housing & utilities. Did you know by lowering your water heater by 10°F you can save between 3-5 percent in energy costs? Some manufacturers set water heater thermostats at 140°F but most households only require them to be set at 120°F. By turning down the temperature you not only save money but also reduce the risk of scalding. Another option is installing an on-demand or tankless water heater which can deliver up to 30 percent savings compared with a standard storage tank water heater.

    More ways to save: Install a programmable thermostat to lower the indoor temperature in the winter or when no one is home and raise it during warmer months.

  2. Entertainment & shopping. Before you add another book to your home library, check your local library to see if you can borrow it instead. Besides offering audiobooks and DVDs, many libraries are now carrying board games and puzzles, at no cost to you. Plus, reading is a free activity, make a day of it with the family - head to the library for story hour for the kids before they pick out a few books for the week

    More ways to save: Look for social events with free admission, like local festivals and art exhibits – and save the more expensive events (like concerts) for special occasions.

  3. Unsubscribe. Maybe you signed up for a trial offer for a new music streaming service. You wanted the “30-day free trial” benefit and planned to cancel before they automatically enrolled you, but then you forgot about it. Maybe you have a subscription you never read or use. Check your monthly transactions and see if there are any subscriptions you don’t need. Cancel them and get that money back.

    More ways to save: Keep a list of your subscriptions and their renewal dates. Check the costs of subscriptions every year; you might not even be aware that you are paying more now than when you originally signed up.

  4. Re-examine the low deductible. A low deductible on your health, auto or homeowner’s insurance is nice if you must file a claim. But in the meantime, you’ll be paying for it with higher premiums. Raising the deductible even a few hundred dollars can lower your monthly expenses considerably.

    More ways to save: Don’t spend money on coverage you don’t need. Review your current policies to assess whether or not they still fit your lifestyle.

  5. Budgeting. Whether it’s the water bill, your mortgage payment or a credit card statement, missing a due date by just one day can cost you extra money in late fees — not to mention damage your credit score. Stay on schedule by setting email or text alerts to remind you when payments are due.

    More ways to save: For recurring bills, Online Bill Pay allows you to schedule payments that automatically post to your accounts on a specified date of each month.

  6. Savings. While stashing your cash is the ultimate goal, where you put it is important. Traditional savings accounts are a great foundation, especially for funds that you want to access easily.

    More ways to save: Skip the latte on the way to the office or fast food on your way home. If you skip spending $20 visiting the office vending machine every week and start packing your lunch you could save $1,000 in a single year.

These simple money-saving hacks will help you enjoy life while leaving you with extra cash to save for the future. Starting with small changes can have a big impact on your monthly budget ­– and help you reach your financial goals even faster!

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