More than ever, Capitol Region consumers need to be money-smart. Here are just a few simple tips for stretching hard-earned dollars:
- Choose the matinee over the full-price evening movie.
- Clip coupons on the things you know you always use. Don’t worry—you don’t have to become an “Extreme Couponer” to save a few bucks on each grocery run.
- Make sure you’re getting all the insurance discounts. Most companies give auto insurance discounts for young drivers with good grades, safe driving records, and homeowners’ insurance discounts for things like having a security system or fire alarm.
- Pick the library over the book store, especially during the summer when your kids may be reading more than usual to meet reading requirements for school. (This can save you a bundle.)
- Lose, or cut down on the expensive coffee habit. Sure, we all love the aroma and atmosphere of coffee houses, but indulging at Starbucks on a daily basis can add up to hundreds of dollars per year.
- Drink water as a family, when dining out. Most table service restaurants charge $1.50-$2.00 per soda or tea. Encouraging (or requiring) your family to have water with their meals saves money (like $10 off your tab for a family of five), and cuts down on empty calories consumed.
- Watch the hobby-related spending. We love our hobbies, but buying all the equipment/supplies can add up.
Small actions can add up to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Use this "found" money to invest for the future, get out of debt, or properly protect your family. Money can be a huge stress for Capitol Region families. Take control.
Dave Balog helps New York families with money. For more ideas, write or call firstname.lastname@example.org, 355-0967.