10 Ways to Save Money This Fall

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This is a guest pot by Anton Ivanov. Anton is a financial writer, a personal finance and investing coach, an investor and an entrepreneur. He writes about reaching financial freedom on Financessful Blog.

Spending less than you earn and saving money are some of the key ingredients to increasing your net worth. You can’t grow your emergency fund, savings fund or retirement portfolio without having money to put aside – money that you saved.

Living a frugal lifestyle isn’t always easy and takes a little creativity. Here are 10 ideas to help you save money this fall season:

1. Keep your gas and electric bills in check.

As the summer fades and winter approaches, your gas and electric bills can go up. Depending on where you live, consider turning your AC and heater completely off for most of the fall. The outdoor temperature is often pleasant enough to simply open your windows and let the fresh air in.

2. Cut back (or get rid of) your cable bill.

Do you really need 200 channels that cost over a hundred dollars each month? Take a look at your cable subscription and see if it’s time to downgrade your plan to the channels you actually watch. Or try living without any TV for a month - you may find that you don’t even miss it. I'm 26 and I have never had cable TV since I've been living on my own.

3. Cook at home instead of going out.

Restaurants are much more expensive than cooking at home no matter where you live. Cooking can not only save you a considerable amount of money, but can also be a fun and stress-relieving activity. If you are too busy to cook at home during the weekdays, at least try to do so on the weekends.

4. Look for low-cost fitness regiments.

An expensive gym membership is not at all necessary to remain in shape. Many cardio activities can be performed outdoors for free or at a minimal cost. Try walking, jogging, roller-blading or riding your bicycle. You can also consider circuit training or cross fit workout programs, both of which can be done with minimal equipment at home, your local park or a playground.

5. Spend more time outdoors.

Going to theme parks, concerts, restaurants or movies are not the only ways to have fun. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy without spending a dime (or at a very low cost). You can try jogging, riding a bike, hiking, visiting the local state or city parks or even going on leisurely walks in your favorite neighborhood. As the winter approaches, play in the snow with your kids - you are guaranteed to have a great time!

6. Re-think driving to work.

If you drive to work, the costs of gas and car maintenance can quickly add up. Ask around to see if any of your coworkers live nearby and would be willing to carpool. Perhaps there is public transportation that you can take to work instead. And there is always an option of trading in your gas-guzzler for a more fuel-efficient car.

7. Be a shopper, not a buyer.

Buyers don't tend to pay attention to prices and only try to satisfy their need to buy something new. Shoppers, on the other hand, know what they need and are willing to shop around for the best deals. Make sure you are a shopper and not a buyer. Do research on all major purchases ahead of time and spend some time finding the best deal.

8. Avoid peer pressure.

Even if you have good self-control when it comes to spending, you may find your friends or family peer pressuring you into spending more than you would have otherwise. It's best to avoid people or situations that may cause this to happen. Don't be afraid to pass down opportunities to go out for food or drinks. If going out, be mindful of your spending or consider leaving your credit cards at home and bringing only cash.

9. Make your travel plans way ahead of time.

Everyone probably knows that buying airline tickets and vacation packages ahead of time is much cheaper than buying them last minute. But do you actually buy your plane tickets months in advance? To avoid spending more than you should, make travel and vacation plans as early as possible and make the necessary travel arrangements way ahead of time.

10. Pay yourself first.

This is a timeless principle that is excellent for saving money in any season. Paying yourself first means setting an amount to save or invest each month and withdrawing this money out of your checking account as soon as you get your paycheck. When you save first and spend second you make your financial goals a priority and don't let your poor spending habits get in the way of being successful.

Living a frugal lifestyle does not mean being a miser. It means spending your money on what's important and not on the things that are not.

 

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