As the economy worsens and gas prices climb we are all faced with the daunting task of answering the question – How are we going to save? Here are 3 suggestions:
1. Get rid of your land line!
There are so many different ways to save money on phone services that it can be overwhelming. The fact is that in most cases there is no reason to continue with a land line unless you just love giving money away. A couple of alternatives are:
- Skype – use your computer to make calls to another computer with Skype for free, or to another phone for roughly $.02Â a minute. This rate covers several countries but could vary when calling a cell phone in Europe for example. While this is more popular, I am using…
- Yahoo Messenger – You may have heard me call and say that I am testing a new internet phone. My wife and I have been using this for over a year now to call my in-laws in Spain. We use a webcam too so they can see Tyler. From computer to computer it is free, and only 1 cent a minute when calling a phone line. Receiving calls requires a whopping $3 a month charge plus $.01 per minute rates and you get a phone number. Most area codes are available except 517 for some reason. The only major drawback is that your computer must be on to receive a call. But with a blue tooth headset linked to your computer that’ll reach all around your home, you can’t go wrong, except when everyone in the home wants a blue tooth headset. But you did just save hundreds of dollars getting rid of your land line.
- Voice Nation – For those of you who own a business, you can have a toll free number for $4.95 (plus $.06 per minute toll) a month. This line can be used for faxes which are sent to your email in pdf format, voicemails which are forwarded to your email in mp3 format, and a “follow me” number. This means that the person calling can press zero at any time to be forwarded to another phone number, like your 1 cent a minute yahoo messenger line or cell phone. There are several other services like this one that offer different options, but this one was the most complete from my research.
2. Shop for groceries with precision!
Don’t be distracted by displays; make a list before you shop; set a budget. You might be saying, what the heck, I do that already. Maybe so, but not with MyGroceryDeals.com. With mygrocerydeals.com you just input your zip code, county, and stores you frequent, and bam! You’ve got instant access to all the deals (sales). Search multiple stores at the same time to find the best deals. Expand the “categories” link on the left and search for specifics that you need like milk and bread. Choose the best price. Click “Add to list”, and on your right you have your complete list totalled and ready to print. You can even check out nutrients information and a coupon gallery on the top left side of the site.
3. Stop paying for entertainment! i.e. videos rentals
For several years now I have been telling people to go to the library. It is not what it use to be. At the Capital Area District Library, or CADL as those of us in mid-Michigan like to call it, for free you can rent VHS, DVD, CD (audio book and music), MP3 audio books, cassette audio books, e-books (downloaded from website), and even rent past issues of magazines. You know the issue that reviewed the best running shoes 18 months ago? All that can be done online! In the library, you can use the internet, if you don’t have access, read the paper, listen to free seminars (you may find an advisor you know there 😉 and pick up the items you placed on hold from your internet account. My wife has over 50 DVDs on hold. We get about 3 a weekend, most of which are new releases, and don’t pay a dime for them. I enjoy the audio books for when I’m on the road. Recently I attended 3 free marketing classes at the local library and had the opportunity to not only learn how to use large databases to zero in on my target market (also on the CADL website), but I got to smooze with a room full of business owners. Not a bad deal. Did I mention it is free? Check out your local library. They’ll introduce you to other libraries that are national like www.netlibrary.com and in Michigan www.mel.org where you can also do amazing things.
Saving money isn’t easy, but when you try, you can do it. For those of you that do your own taxes, you might consider checking out the “Free File Alliance Online Tax Preparation Companies“, on the IRS website. While it is always a good idea have someone do your taxes if they are complicated, if you are already doing them yourselves, you may as well do it for free.
Good luck! Save some money!