The first step to building wealth is spending less than you earn. There are several little things that you can do on a regular basis that will help you earn a little more budget room. But it is important to remember that this is a lifestyle change, and building wealth means that when you cut costs you do not just spend the extra money on things you do not really need.
1.Use a cosmetology school to have your beauty treatments applied. Many students have a vested interest in doing a good job, and they are closely supervised. Services like manicures and pedicures, haircuts and styles, coloring, and other beauty services are offered at cosmetology and trade schools at a fraction of the price even the cheapest salons charge. The same is true of massage therapy schools. Instead of visiting pricy, or even mid-priced, salons, take a trip to the local beauty school.
2.Scour your local service provider for bundle deals on communications services like television, Internet, and phone. There are all sorts of bundle deals for bundled packages. Additionally, everything comes on one bill, simplifying your life. Cable companies are offering low rates on packages that include cable TV, digital Internet service, and digital phone. Additionally, some phone companies team up with satellite providers to offer TV, DSL Internet and DSL phone services on a single bill. Analyze what you pay now for individual services, and check into special rates. You can save up to $200 per year by bundling your services at the time of a “sale” on services.
3.Haggle for lower rates. The art of haggling is one that is rapidly disappearing from American society. However, it is still possible to do some haggling on various items or services. In stores, many managers and clerks are instructed to give 10% to 15% off for damaged items or display items. I once got $50 off a TV stand at a store because of a scratch on the finish. Ask if you can get a discount on damaged products; you might be surprised what you will get.
For services, it is possible to haggle your way to a better rate. If you find a TV service that offers the same benefits at a lower cost, let your current provider know that unless you get the same value, you will switch. If you are in a contract, find out what the fee is to get out of the contract, and then determine if your savings will exceed this fee. This can be applied to Internet and phone services as well.
Credit cards are other commodities that can be haggled over. If you make on time payments regularly, and have fairly good credit, call to find out if you can get a lower interest rate. Most companies will comply if you have a good record and if you are in a position to transfer to another company with a lower rate. Additionally, if you are usually on time, but a payment arrives late once, call and ask to have the late fee waived. Many companies will do this for regular customers.
4.Make a grocery and errand list and then stick to it. Keep a list of groceries and errands throughout the week, and then finalize the night before you go shopping and run errands. Shopping is much less expensive if you only buy what is on the list. Do all of your shopping and errands in one day. This helps you save money in two ways: you use less gas each week if you only go out once a week to run errands and shop and you do not have time to browse the aisles and make impulse purchases (which account for nearly 25% of shoppers’ final costs).
5.Use the library. Most public libraries offer free memberships. Those require a fee, usually only require it once, and then it is not very expensive. You can read magazines, books, and newspapers at the library (and even check quite a few of these items out). You can also rent movies and music at the library. Many libraries have a surprisingly good stock of new movie and music releases as well. You can save money by picking up your entertainment needs at the public library rather than paying for them at stores and rental shops.