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Financial Fun: New Ways to Save

Camping with friends
Camping with friends

Finding new ways to save can mean trying something new

Once you’re working toward a financial goal, you feel a sense of empowerment and accomplishment. You’ve taken steps to become more financially secure and you’re in control of your finances. It’s a good feeling and it might even make you want to do more to reduce your spending and increase your savings. Here are a few “fun” ways to save a few bucks.

Become a copycat chef.

Is there a restaurant item you love and just can’t give up? Try to duplicate the recipe at home. Start with an online search. Chances are good that someone else has already tried to recreate the soup, salad dressing, or appetizer you love. Unless your dish contains premium or specialty items, ingredients from the grocery store will probably save you money compared to a meal at the restaurant.

Embrace the throw blanket.

Set your thermostat back a few degrees. If you normally keep your house at 75, consider dropping the temperature down to 72, 70, or even 65. Not only will you see savings in your heating bill, but you might also be getting a better night’s sleep. Everyone is more fun when they’re well rested.

Enjoy the peace and quiet.

You can’t write off the benefits of a relaxing vacation, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to unwind either. Swap your hotel room for a campsite or rustic (read: cheap) cabin in the woods. If you’re already a camper, you know the sense of tranquility that comes from being surrounded by nature. If you’re not—you’ll get the opportunity to try new things, like building a campfire and cooking over the open flame. Either way, you’ll see savings in lodging and dining expenses.

Try occasional couponing.

Extreme couponing can be time consuming, lead to hoarding items you don’t use, and eliminate healthy fresh foods from your diet. On the other hand, occasional couponers can cut down on grocery bills without stockpiling a lifetime supply of dehydrated potato products. Start by perusing your grocer’s weekly sales ad and joining any rewards or savings clubs they have.

Care for your community.

Does your city or town have a community calendar? Check out the events local organizations are hosting. You may find free concerts, classes, or sports leagues. Rather than paying $10 per person for a movie plus $20 for popcorn and soda, spend a few bucks on snacks from a local restaurant at a free community concert.

Try all the new cost-cutting tips you want, but don’t let it take over your life. Remember that money is just a tool. Use it to achieve what you need—paying off debt, stocking your savings account, or planning for retirement.

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