From paying off your student loans to scrounging up the money for your first house, you've probably realized by now that life can be expensive. Saving money may seem like something that is continually out of reach, but all you need to do is make a few simple changes to the way you handle it and the things you buy to stash away a few hundred dollars or more within a few months' time.
Keep your car in good shape. Cars use less gasoline, which will cost you less money, when their tires are properly inflated and their engines are in working order. Unless your car absolutely needs a premium gasoline, you can save money by using the lowest octane fuel.
Cut out a few non-essentials. If you only get a latte or gourmet sandwich every other day instead of every day, you can save $10 to $20 per week. Stash that extra money in a jar in your kitchen or bedroom for use for emergencies or to save for something special.
Turn items off when you're not using them. Leaving the lights on when you aren't in a room or running the water at the sink when you are brushing your teeth lead to higher bills.
Get over your fear of generic brand products. If you are on a prescription medicine, a generic drug will work just as well and cost much less. Not all drugs have a generic version, unfortunately. Store brands of products such as tissues, milk and soda cost less than name brand items and taste just as good or work as well.
Downsize your cable or satellite television. Most of the time, you can watch the television shows you like for free online, or you can subscribe to a DVD delivery service that includes streaming of television shows and movies, for about a third of the cost of a digital cable service. If you find watching movies or television on your computer screen unpleasant, you can buy a device that will stream the media to your television.
Shop with purpose. It may seem that certain stores are set up to distract you from your shopping list and encourage you to buy those shiny things you just don't need. Always go to a store with a list. If you see something you like that isn't on the list, don't put it in your cart right away. Leave it on the shelf and return at the end of the trip. You may end up completely forgetting about it before you leave the store.
Call up your Internet service provider, cell phone company or newspaper and see if you can get a better deal. A lot of times, if you hint that you are planning on getting a new service because of the price, your current company will offer you a lower monthly rate. The same can hold true for credit card companies, who will often offer you a lower interest rate if you ask.