This is a great time to think about buying a San Diego home. Home prices have dropped and interest rates are at all time lows. The biggest hurdle for many San Diego home buyers is saving money for a down payment. Here are 25 things to do on a regular basis to save money:
Make it automatic.Before you see your paycheck, have a percentage of it automatically deposited into your 401(k) and savings.
- Keep minimum funds in checking account. Transfer extra funds into your savings account where it will earn more interest than in our checking account.
- Don't pay banking fees! Use your bank's free bill pay, automatic deposits, free checks, and free reimbursements for all ATM fees.
- Use rewards credit cards. Use a credit card offering cash back on every purchase and pay the card off each month to eliminate interest fees.
- Actively search out deals. It never hurts to try and find a better deal, or request a better deal from your service providers.
- Use a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats save you an estimated 10-20% on your heating and cooling bills.
- Use ceiling fans, floor fans, and space heaters. Turn your thermostat down, close the doors to unused rooms and use a space heater for heat. Use ceiling fans and floor fans to assist with heating and cooling - depending on the season of course!
- Install CFLs to save energy. Compact fluorescent lights use about a quarter of the electricity of normal incandescent bulbs. They also need replaced much less often.
- Drive smoothly. Accelerate smoothly and at a reasonable rate, and coast to a stop as often as possible. Also use cruise control on the highway. My car is rated to get 26 mpg around town and I regularly get 29. You can also use these tips to save money on gas, and use gas rewards credit cards to save money on fuel costs.
- Plan and research major purchases. Take the time to research the best deals when planning a vacation.
- Buy quality products. Quality items may cost more up front, but they last longer and generally provide better results than cheaper, inferior products. Examples of items you should buy higher quality - furniture, clothes and shoes, vehicles, and other items that will see a lot of use.
- Buy generic where applicable. You can save a lot of money on generic items for which the brand name product is essentially the same as the store brand. Food and medicines come to mind as items where generic products are good deals.
- Use coupons and rebates. Use coupons for oil changes, groceries, books, on-line purchases, and just about anything else we can find.
- Use store rewards cards. Many grocery stores have their own 'reward cards' saving you money each time your shop. If you are a senior, shop on designated senior citizen discount days.
- Cook at home. Limit restaurant dining to once a month.
- Eat leftovers. You can save a minimum of $20 a week by bringing your lunch to work. It is also healthier. On the rare occasion you go out to lunch with coworkers, you'll enjoy it more.
- Use the library. Borrow books and movies from the library. New movie releases aren't always available, but there are usually plenty of classics from the 40s and 50s.
- Use parks. They are great for hiking and outdoor recreation.
- Take care of things. Treat the tings you own with respect and take good care of them. This includes doing things such as cleaning the house, washing your cars, and polishing shoes. Things last much longer when you take good care of them.
- Buy insurance. Health insurance, home owner's insurance, auto insurance, and other types of insurance are designed to save you money! Sure, you may end up paying premiums for years and never file a claim, but in the event you need to file a claim, your premium will likely be small compared to what you would have had to pay. You'll be very happy if you ever need it!
- Bundle cable and internet. You can save a lot of money by bundling these together rather than purchasing the separately. You can save more if you bundle your phone as well.
- Use cell phones - skip the landline. Depending on your plan, it can be a real cost saving.
- Cancel subscriptions. Almost everything you want can be found on-line for free.
- Home improvement. Try making your own repairs before calling a professional.
- Avoid debt. If you don't have the money for it, don't buy it.
Saving money and watching your savings account grow is a rewarding experience...especially if it can help you purchase a San Diego home of your own. Start searching homes for sale to find your dream home.