Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

February 26, 2013

Hoosiers challenged to be more frugal

The Herald-Tribune

— America Saves Week is Feb. 25–March 2. Friendship State Bank is helping to spread the saving message by sharing ways area residents can save money.

“America Saves Week is a great opportunity to help people in our community to set a goal, make a plan and save automatically,” said Lauren Wagner of Friendship State Bank.

She challenges citizens to try these 10 tips this week:

• Track spending and make a budget. Understanding where your money is going is the best way to start saving, which is why your first step is to make a budget.

• Pack your lunch. Start this week bringing your own lunch and over the course of a month, you can easily save $100.

• Check if you’re being over-serviced. This week take a look at your regular services. Are you using all of your cell phone minutes? Do you have more coverage than you need on your car insurance?

• Negotiate your bills. If you’re not paying a promotional rate for services like cable and Internet, you’re paying too much. Call your service provider, and ask if there is any way you can lower your bill.

• Vow to re-use, repair and re-purpose instead of buying new. Every time you think about buying something new, ask yourself if you really need it, or can you make do with something you already have or that you can borrow from a friend?

• Get to know your credit card. Visit the credit card company’s Web site and read the fine print.

• Change your living situation. Yes, this is a big change, but it also has big financial rewards. If you have extra space in your house, try renting out a room, either permanently or to travelers using a service like Airbnb. Or, if you live alone, it might be time to get a roommate.

• Clean out your pantry. Empty your cupboards, see what you have and plan meals around the ingredients you want to use up. You’ll slash your next grocery bill, and you’ll help ensure that food doesn’t go stale.

• Create a Cheap Fun Club With friends. Be pro-active, and invite your friends to share in frugal activities with you, such as potlucks, watching movies at home and board game nights.

• Sell your stuff. Taking the time to de-clutter your house and sell extra stuff has multiple benefits.

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