Sunday, June 27, 2010

10 Effortless Saving Money Tips, No More Budget Woes

Saving money is by no means glamorous but don't be put off by the coupon clipping or money pinching just to save a buck.

You have to sacrifice a luxurious lifestyle to reach your financial goals but when you see a balanced household budget and observe that you are making headway in setting up a retirement nest, you will feel all the sweat is worth it.

I am not a very motivated person by nature. My wife has called me lazy at times. So when it comes to saving money, it is a wonder I persevered for so long.

Here are some effortless saving money tips which any lazy person can implement before going for tougher measures. These methods are set-and-forget and you can keep more cash in your pocket without depriving yourself:

1. Get dining and shopping rewards

If you use credit and debit cards regularly, remember to get cash back or rebates for eating at participating restaurants. No coupons or gift certificates necessary.

When you go shopping, use a rewards card that pays you back, preferably in cash. Then shop and reap the rewards. You can compare cards online at such sites as and

2. Join a credit union

Yes, you love to spend beyond your means but that doesn't mean you must pay exorbitant interest rates. Almost everybody qualifies for a credit union, and they usually have lower fees and loan rates than traditional banks.

3. Use retail loyalty cards

Sign up for a card at frequently visited supermarkets and retailers. Then shop as usual and watch the savings and goodies pile up. Often you don't need to carry the card. Cashiers can usually look it up by phone number.

Or, combine loyalty-card bar codes with such tools as CardStar,, which has smart phone apps and a wallet-size card via a partnership with KeyRing

4. Buy store brands

Reach for the house brands. They're so much better than they used to be; no coupons or comparison-shopping needed. Or peruse the weekly supermarket specials.

5. Get browser add-ons

Several Web browser toolbars and plug-ins can help you save money shopping online. An example is Its toolbar is hidden until you visit a product page. Then it appears and tells you whether this is the best price or where you can get it cheaper. It doesn't include shipping, but it's passive price comparison for the truly lazy.

6. Pay online and automatically

Online and auto-pay options can save money, especially by preventing late fees. Buy fewer stamps and envelopes, which is a hassle and expense. You might get a discount through online payment or automatic bank withdrawals.

7. Raise your retirement contribution when you get payraise.

You won't notice the difference. And if you do it online, it might take one minute. Repeat every time you get a raise.

8. Raise your thermostat 1 degree

Up in the summer, down in the winter. You won't notice the difference, but over time your wallet will.

9. Use energy saving bulbs

Replace your five most-used nondimmable lights with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) and save 75 percent in energy costs. Lazy people will appreciate CFLs as you won't have to replace them as often as incandescent bulbs due to 10 times longer lifespan.

10. Shrink your spending is a good comparison site for wireless phone service, credit cards and savings account rates, but it's also convenient for tracking gas prices. It will send you an e-mail alerting you to the lowest-price gas on your commute.