Although the economy has improved since the "Great Recession," there are still many people unemployed or making less money than they did before. Luckily, there are easy ways to save money and make it easier to live on less.
- If you have a lot of credit card debt, you should research the best balance transfer credit cards. Transferring your balances onto one card with a low rate can save you hundreds of dollars in finance charges over the life of the debt.
- One good thing about the financial problems of the past year is that they drove down interest rates. Mortgage rates are now at their lowest point ever. By refinancing to take advantage of these rates, you could significantly lower your monthly mortgage payment.
- If you get your cable, phone and internet from different companies, you are throwing away a lot of money. Companies offer huge discounts when you get two or more services and you could save upwards of $50 a month when bundling.
- Another way to bundle and save is with insurance. Many companies do both property and life insurance and you can get discounts by getting all your policies with one company.
- One of the easiest ways to save is at the grocery store. Of course, you can save by clipping coupons, but there are many other ways to save as well. These include buying store brands instead of name brands and buying non-perishables in bulk when there is a good sale.
- Another easy way to save money is to eat more meals at home. Anyone with money problems should not be eating restaurant lunches every day. By packing a sack lunch each day instead of eating out, you could easily save more than $1,000 over the course of a year.
- Entertainment is another area where many families spend too much money. Instead of going out to the movies, rent from a kiosk or use a service such as Netflix instead. Seek out free concerts and sporting events to attend or stay at home and have a family game night.
- Saving money isn't always enough to make things comfortable, meaning you may need to find ways to bring in more money. You might be able to work overtime at your current job, but that's not always an option.
- There are plenty of part-time jobs that aren't really jobs at all and allow you to get paid to do something you enjoy. For example, if you have a hobby such as writing, photography or web design, you may be able to do freelance work. If you are involved in a sport, such as soccer or baseball, you might be able to become a paid referee or umpire.
- A more simple way to earn more money is to get a cash-back credit card and use it to pay for all of your regular bills, such as gas, groceries and utilities and then pay off the balance every month.
- This can earn you several hundred dollars a year in rewards. Beware, though, as you must pay off your balances every month or your rewards will be wiped out with fees. As a last resort to earn more money, you can sell stuff you don't need or use.