Financial expert Lynnette Khalfani-Cox (aka "The Money Coach") offers five money-saving tips that our viewers can incorporate into their daily life which can save them big bucks!
Think of all the purchases you make on a daily or weekly basis -- coffee, groceries, clothes, gas, etc. Whenever we pay in cash and get change back we have a tendency to throw that change into our wallets or purse and spend it later. Let's consciously think about this. Instead of leaving that money in our purses and spending it, put it in a fund for a specific purpose. I say, in 2013, don't spend your change. Put all of your coins into a change jar as an easy and pain-free way to save money. You can end up saving hundreds over the course of a year.
It's also a great visual reminder. A goal-oriented piggy bank or change jar is really great and motivates you to save. Personally, I love to travel, so I have a piggy bank that says "Vacation Fund." It's white with red and pink sunglasses. He has a margarita glass with an umbrella and straw hat. But you can do this with a "New House Fund" or a "Wedding Fund" or "New Car Fund."
GIVE UP ONE VICE.
Make 2013 the year you kick a bad habit like smoking or drinking excessively and replace it with a good habit. You can think of it as a way to get healthy and save money! Of course, there are a lot of reasons to give up bad vices, but let's focus on the financial. Let's take this example, if you're a smoker and buying a pack of cigarettes a week, you're spending an average of $50 a month and $600 annually! And think about those people who smoke a pack a day! Consider all of that money you're saving by quitting smoking or at least cutting back – not to mention that boost to your health. Maybe smoking isn't your thing, maybe it's drinking. We can apply the same idea. Instead of having that final glass of wine or beer, go to bed early. Or go for a walk outside. Maybe your vice is fancy chocolates. That too can add up quickly. If stopping altogether is daunting, test yourself by just trying it day by day and month to month. Use the financial motivation to help you.
BAN THEIR BEAUTY OBSESSION.
We all want to look younger and every day there are new products coming out that claim they can do that for us. But ladies, get a hold of your compulsive spending and over-shopping on beauty products. For starters, avoid the malls and places that cause you to blow your budget! We all know how expensive makeup is. Some of those high end creams are $20 to $30 an ounce! Even if you stop yourself from spending for one month, you'll save money. But if the idea of giving up makeup scares you… there is no need to go completely cold turkey. Say you love perfumes, creams, toiletries, eye shadows, blush, lipstick… just ask for samples, freebies and complimentary trial size offers! You can go to your local department store and try on makeup. Often times, they will give you samples of the colors. Use those and save, then when you have the money to spend, you can go out and buy the one product that you really want. Until then, get someone to do your makeup at the department store makeup counter. It's free, you get the samples, and there's a great feeling of coming home with something you didn't have to pay for.
411 on their H2O
A great way to save money this year is to slash your water use. Mainly stop constantly running water. Here are some examples; they say you should brush your teeth for two minutes. If you're running water for that long, you're literally pouring money down the drain. So while you brush your teeth turn off the faucet. Letting your water run while you're doing the dishes is also very inefficient. It's actually more economical to use your dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand. The same can be said for when you're doing your laundry - washing your laundry in hot water cost nearly 70 cents per load, but washing in cold water costs less than five cents per load. So just by using cold water you'll save $5 bucks a month or $60 year.
Lastly, stop buying bottled water, especially the ones that cost two to five dollars apiece. It's expensive and bad for the environment. Instead purchase a water filter and reuse the same bottle container.
TRY DIY CLEANING PRODUCTS.
A few days ago, I was unhappy with how my dishes were looking after the dishwasher. I went out and purchased a product that had ten capsules and cost $3. Now I run my dishwasher every day, so if I stuck with this product, I could end up spending an extra $10 a month on this product alone! That's when I realized, you don't have to spend a small fortune buying brand name cleaning supplies from supermarket and retail stores. Just use your own homemade cleaning products. Lemon, baking soda, white vinegar and alcohol all clean really well. Just mix them with water and try them on dishes, countertops, floors and more. Not only are the cost efficient and great for sustainable living, they are non-toxic. A ½ cup of vinegar, ¼ cup baking soda mixed with ½ gallon of water will give you a good all-purpose cleaner. In fact, there are a lot of great websites that offer tips about using natural non-toxic products to use for household cleaning. If you clean your house regularly, this can be a huge money-saver and you can feel good about living in a healthier home!