Saving money in 2015: Part 4

More ways to save at home.

Continue saving money throughout the year! In the previous articles in this series Saving money in 2015: Parts 1, 2, and 3, I provided numerous money saving tips on a variety of household expenses. The final article in this series will provide additional ways to save money, including costs associated with transportation.

General tips to help you save money:

  • Start saving right away! Aim to save 10 percent of each paycheck, but if that is not possible, then commit to saving all loose change.
  • Ask yourself if a potential purchase is a “need” or a “want”. This quick assessment can help keep spending on track. Remember, “needs” include things that are necessary for life: i.e. food, clothing, shelter, water, healthcare, etc.
  • Having trouble being a disciplined saver? America Saves Week encourages consumers to “save” the same amount that they spend on nonessential purchases such as alcohol, cigarettes, coffee drinks, etc. So, if you are unable to save the matching amount of an item (i.e. a $4 coffee drink), than you can’t afford the item.
  • Don’t make expensive impulse purchases. Give yourself 24 hours to think it over. Also, consider the cost of an item and divide it into your hourly wage. For example, if you want a $50 pair of shoes and you make $10 an hour, you can decide if the shoes are really worth five hours of work?

Reduce transportation costs with a little time and effort:

  • America Saves Week encourages auto owners to keep up with maintenance. Tune-ups and proper tire pressure can help you save money over time. Don’t forget to include car maintenance in your overall budget.
  • Be a comparison shopper. Compare prices for gasoline and automotive repairs. Some automotive repair shops offer coupons and or accept competitor coupons. So be sure to ask.
  • Combine errands and shopping trips to save both time and money, and when possible consider car-pooling.
  • Public transportation costs less than utilizing a cab ride, so make sure you know what is available in your community.
  • If flying, make sure to comparison shop across airlines, including discount carriers.
  • To avoid costly parking tickets, keep loose change in your vehicle for parking meters or parking ramps.
  • When traveling on short or long trips, consider bringing snacks and beverages to reduce the costs associated with fast food.

When you make small changes, they can really add up. Finding extra money in your budget will help you meet your financial goals and help you create an emergency fund. For a variety of financial resources, including how to develop a monthly budget and set financial goals, visit In addition, Michigan State University Extension offers money management and homeownership classes, listed on

Other articles in this series:

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