You use coupons at the grocery store, combine errands to save gas, and watch your spending to save money, but is there anything else that you can do to save on your everyday expenses? Probably. Take a look at the following unconventional ways to save. You just may be able to save hundreds in just a few hours.
1. Cut your property tax. With the economic downturn home values have decreased by thousands of dollars. However, your property tax assessment probably doesn’t reflect this new value, which means that you could be paying taxes on a home value that isn’t there. Arm yourself with the facts. Look up the selling prices on similar homes that have sold near yours. If there is a big disparity, the home accessor should reassess your property for less, meaning that you’ll wind up paying less in taxes.
2. Barter for goods and services. The next time you need to make a purchase or engage someone for a service, try bartering for it. Almost anything can be bartered, from swimming lessons to a new lawn mower. Online classifieds, such as Craiglist offer free ads where people can post their wants and offers, and you can take advantage of this. Of course, sometimes just asking works as well. For example, you might offer to clean someone’s home in exchange for hair cutting services or barter a video game system for a new to you smart phone.
3. Skip the middle man. Most people have heard the expression to skip the middle man, but few follow the advice. Whenever you can, try going directly to the source in order to save, such as buying your bread directly from the bakery or factory store, or renting a vacation home straight from the owners. You’ll cut out the extra fees and the mark up.
4. Landscape for less. Landscaping can be an expensive cost, especially when you hire it out. Instead, do it yourself and get your materials in an unconventional way. Instead of heading to the home improvement store, look for free or low cost materials. You might find small stones, at a new building site, for example, or pavers or bricks from a homeowner who is redoing a walkway. Many extra flowers and plants can also be had for free.
5. Cut college car insurance. If you have college kids that will be away nine months out of the year and will be taking their cars with them, find out if auto insurance rates are cheaper in the town where they will be living. You may just be able to save a few hundred dollars on your car insurance that way.