We could all use some extra cash, amiright? Getting strict with your budget can certainly help you save money, but that’s not the only approach. A few tweaks to your lifestyle and a little organization can help pad your bank account.
Here are five organization ideas that can save you money:
If you have a stack of bills — somewhere in your house — chances are you’ll eventually miss a payment. Or worse, lose a bill. To avoid mail chaos and bill pay panic, create a mail system. That way, you’ll always be aware of what is owed when and avoid late fees. To make things even easier, skip the paper entirely and sign up for automatic withdrawal to pay bills.
Potential savings: $34 per bill paid on time (an average credit card bill late fee)
When it come to clothes, we typically stick to certain “looks,” but that doesn’t mean you need to own five black sweaters! Take the time to organize your closet and remind yourself what you already own. That way, the next time you’re partaking in a little retail therapy, you’ll avoid buying a repeat item by accident.
Potential savings: $70 per sweater not purchased
Paper coupons are great in theory, but actually keeping up with them can be a hassle. Instead of a box or binder, try the free app SnipSnap. To use the app, take a picture of it with your phone when you get a paper coupon. The coupon is then stored and organized by store. So, for example, when you walk into Kroger, all of your Kroger coupons will be saved for you.
Potential savings: $10 per week at the grocery store
Over the weekend (or whenever you have a consistent 30-minute gap of free time) plan a menu for the week. Then, buy all of the groceries you’ll need at once. That way, you won’t be stressed to find something to eat last minute, which often leads to a restaurant or takeout. And neither of those help your wallet.
Tip: Give your fridge a onceover before you head to the grocery store. Not only will you save some cash by not doubling up on items, you may save some veggies that are on the verge of expiration.
Potential savings: $8 per person, per meal (the average difference between eating out and cooking at home)
Let’s say you want to buy your sister a shirt from J. Crew for her birthday. Which is tomorrow. You’re pretty much doomed to a mall trip where you’ll pay whatever price they’re offering.
But, if you plan ahead, you can snag that shirt when J. Crew is having one of its many sales! Tip: This works especially well for the holidays because you’ll also avoid the stress of shopping for so many people at once.
Potential savings: $21, if you snag a $70 J. Crew sweater on a 30% off sale!
BrightNest is a free site that provides customized tips and tools to help homeowners save money, get organized and keep their homes in great shape.