Figuring out why you want to master your finances comes first and foremost, then making a spending plan is the next step toward achieving your goals. That seems easy enough to say but sticking to that plan takes dedication and commitment to being in control of your financial life. Having tools in place helps make this task A LOT easier. But to make life even smoother in sticking to your plan, let’s talk about some great discounts, or even free stuff. So, without further delay, here are enough savings to choke a horse!
Many of these ideas are mine, but many also come from an article from AARP, called 99 Great Ways To Save. You can access the full list by clicking here . And yeah before it gets too funny out there, I AM AN AARP MEMBER! But it turns out that you don’t have to meet any particular age requirement to join, and you get significant benefits for your membership. For more information on age-restrictions for membership you can click here. This is an article in the really cool Wallethacks website by Jim Wang.
Book and Movie Discounts
- Through gutenburg.org you can download more than 57,000 free e-books and read them over various platforms. This saves tons of money versus buying them new or used.
- Take a trip to the library. But SHHH! Be quiet over there. I’m talking to you!
- Go to overdrive.com or the related Libby app and see if your library (or one that you can get a library card from) is listed. Through that card you have access to thousands of books and audiobooks you can check out. Some tips: you can list more than one library; I find libby to be more user-friendly than overdrive; and if you want to read on a Kindle fire, it’s possible but it’s a process.
- Get the popcorn ready and go to kanopy.com! If you belong to one of the many libraries or campuses that are members, you can stream 30,000 movies. For free (!) on a variety of devices. Through my library for instance I can stream up to five movies each month!
- Go to a used book store. The search is half the fun and the discounts can be sizable.
- If you can’t find a book you’re looking for in any of the sources listed above, buy a Kindle Fire from Amazon.com by clicking here. Kindle downloads are less expensive than physical books and don’t take up any room on your bookshelf.
- A quick trip to raise.com will take you to a marketplace where people list their gift cards for sale. While the discounts vary, you can get a 19% discount on an AMC Theaters gift card as of this writing.
- Better yet, get Netflix which has a standard streaming rate of $11 per month. For more thoughts on Netflix, see my Find Five post by clicking here.
- Stamps? Are you kidding? Use the online billpay feature if available from your bank and save 50-cents per bill. If you send out 5 payments per month that’s $2.50 a month or $30 per year in savings.
- If there’s a product you’re looking for go to Amazon Warehouse. The items here are open box or used, but they’re covered under Amazon’s A-Z Guaranty.
- Before you finalize an online purchase, check retailmenot.com for promo codes.
- Download the gasbuddy.com app to find the lowest-cost gas in your area.
- At restuarant.com you can get a $25 gift certificate for only $10. Just enter a zip code, one of several popular cities, or the type of food you’re looking for. Many of the restaurants are locally owned, which is great.
- Bundle your insurance. Many insurance companies give you discounts if you have multiple policies (like auto and homeowners). Check with your insurance company on any discounts you might qualify for.
- Not happy with your current insurance policy, or think you can get better rates and coverage? Shop around. It may take some time and a few phone calls, but it might just save you money!
- Think about raising your deductible from $500 to $1,000 if you can afford an additional $500 in case there’s some reason to use your insurance. The monthly premium savings can be substantial. Check with your insurance agent!
House and Home
- Clean the lint trap in your dryer. Lint clogs can reduce your dryer’s efficiency by 75% and they’re just plain gross! Clean the lint trap after every use!
- And speaking of which, replace your furnace filter regularly. Think about replacing it monthly, for instance when your utility bill comes in. While you may have a reason (allergies for instance) to use souped-up high-tech furnace filters, you can save around $22 per month by going with a basic filter.
- Want a scenic getaway but can’t afford the time or expense of a house in the mountains? Try a membership at your local botanic gardens. The Denver Botanic Gardens for instance has a Friends and Family membership for $90 ($80 if you’re a Veteran) and is an urban getaway that can’t be beat.
- And if you like gardening, try buying perennials that divide well (or trading with your neighbors for free). A few of my faves are coneflowers, coreopsis and irises.
Please join me next week when we’ll start to discuss … yes … investing! I’d be honored if you continue on this journey with me, and thanks SO MUCH for joining me this week. I truly appreciate it.
If you have questions or just want to chat, please schedule a 30-minute free consultation by clicking here or by visiting https://andyproctor.com/schedule-your-free-consultation/ .