Where to Downsize Your Spending
Whether you're in a financial pinch or simply want to save money, consider these tips
If you're looking for ways to save money, there are plenty of areas where you can potentially downsize your spending. Whether you're currently in a financial pinch or you simply want to save more for an emergency fund, consider the following ways to cut back.
How much electricity are you using? NV Energy offers free in-home energy assessments in which a professional visits your home to evaluate your power use and offers customized tips to improve energy efficiency, recommend upgrades, and tell you about rebates you may qualify for to help cover the costs.1
You can use this information to see if you're using too much. Consider leaving appliances and devices unplugged when you aren't using them, and don't leave lights or televisions on for long periods of time. Invest in energy-saving devices and efficient lighting. You may have to pay up front, but the savings will add up.
It may seem counterintuitive to use a grocery delivery service, when you consider that this will likely mean a delivery fee and a tip for the person bringing you your items, but you may find that not entering the store requires you to stick to your list and reduce impulse buys. Grocery stores are designed in ways to encourage this type of buying behavior. Items are strategically placed so that shoppers will increase the amount they're spending. By adding items to a digital cart from home, you can avoid falling victim to this trap.
Spend Less on Beverages
Water is the most important liquid you can put into your body. In fact, many ailments can be relieved by simply drinking more water. It also happens to be much less expensive than other beverages - none of which can compete with the benefits of water. Make it a point to drink more water, but don’t switch overspending on beverages to overspending on bottled water. You’re already paying for water in your home, so use that. Get a filtration system or use a filter pitcher if you're worried about water quality. Invest in a thermal container to carry water with you while on the go.
Don’t Waste Water
While drinking a lot of water can save you money on beverages, you can also save by cutting down on your water usage. Filling a glass doesn't make a big impact on your water bill, but taking a long shower does, as does leaving water running for any period of time when you really don't have to. Start being more conscious of how much water you're really using, and you may find that you can easily cut back, and in turn, lower your bill a bit. To really experience water savings, get rid of your thirsty lawn. In southern Nevada, qualified homeowners can get a rebate of $3.00 per square foot from the Southern Nevada Water Authority for converting grass to water-smart landscaping.2
Find Cheaper Sources of Entertainment
Entertainment can get expensive, whether you like to go to the movies and buy popcorn and drinks or attend concerts or plays. Just about any ticketed event will cost more than staying in and finding your entertainment in your own living room. Services like Netflix and Hulu are relatively inexpensive, but even if you don't want to pay for those, there are other options like Tubi, which offers free, ad-supported movie and television content. YouTube has countless hours of video on most subjects you can think of, and if you're already using Amazon Prime to get free shipping, you're also getting a wealth of content as an added bonus.
When you make everyday purchases, look for less expensive alternatives. This often means opting for a generic or store brand rather than the name brand. While quality will vary from product to product, the reality is that generic alternatives can be just as satisfactory as their more expensive counterparts. In many cases, they're even made by the same manufacturer. Try more generic versions of items, and even if you're not always pleased with the results, you don't have to stick with that version the next time you buy. Dollar, variety and Costco stores are also good places to look for grocery items.
Credit Card Balance Transfer
As The Simple Dollar points out, "If you’re paying a lot of interest on your credit cards, it’s important to know that you do have some power as long as you’ve been making your payments. Not only do you have the right to negotiate your current interest rate with your credit card issuer, but you have the right to transfer your balance to an entirely different card as well. (In fact, that is perhaps your biggest bargaining chip.)"
Nevada State Bank's Amazing Rate credit card offers a 0% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers. This can give you some time to save on credit card interest, which is a great way to cut back on spending.
The more you can downsize your spending, the more money you can save for what really matters. Sign up for a savings account from Nevada State Bank.
1. For more information and to apply, visit https://www.nvenergy.com/save-with-powershift/energy-assessment/energy-assessment
2. For more information and to apply, visit https://www.snwa.com/rebates/wsl/index.html
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC.