6 On Your Side Answers: Basic money saving tips

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – It seems everyone is exploring new ways to save money, but sometimes the basics are forgotten.

If you have ever bought something that’s used and in good shape, the depreciation was taken on the chin by the original owner. Purchasing a used car, secondhand appliances in good working order, and gently used clothes and books are some of the best money-saving moves.

Don’t wait until you need an item to buy. For instance, look for bargains right now during the dog days of summer. Now is the time to scour thrift stores for winter clothes.

Another money saving tip: if you have a large family, buy in bulk. Compare prices per ounce or per unit, instead of focusing on sale prices for individual items. Often, buying in bulk makes more financial sense, but keep three things in mind when buying in bulk.

Don’t buy more than you have room to store or share. Buy only those products you actually will use. For perishable grocery items, make sure you’re not buying so much that you won’t have time to use them before they go bad.

If you lighten up on utilities, you can save a bundle. If you’re a child of the 1970s or older, you probably remember the first energy crisis. It seemed like overnight the country began trying to conserve energy. You can do it a little at a time by turning off lights when you leave a room, using dimmer switches and keeping the thermostat set at reasonable temperatures as the seasons change. Installing energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs also helps.

Here’s one lots of people may have trouble with: skipping the treat. Do lattes come to mind? How about that doughnut that goes along with the gourmet coffee? For the frugal-minded, a treat that happens every day is no longer a treat. It’s overhead. Remembering to keep your treats in line with your budget is essential when trying to save.

Have you gotten a raise recently? If you get a raise, but can still make ends meet on your pre-raise salary, consider pocketing the extra cash and putting it toward paying off bills, or toward your retirement savings. Try the same approach with your tax refund.

All these money-saving tips have a theme in common: the details matter. Small expenditures are easy to overlook as we focus on big expenses like mortgage payments, student loan debt, or credit card bills. but, every bit of spending and saving adds up.

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