5 Creative Ways to Reduce Your Monthly Spending

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Saving creativelySaving creatively means taking measures other folks would not give much thought to.

When you are looking to save money, it often seems like there?s no more room to work with. You?ve saved in any way you can. If this sounds like you, see if any of these creative ways to reduce your monthly spending will help.

1. Get rid of your car. Sell it, and put the money you make on it to good use. Start using bikes and public transportation. They help you get around at a fraction of the cost having a car did. For the times when you do need a car, try ZipCar or Uber. If you must keep your car, try carpooling to work.

2. Consolidate your loans. When you?re paying off multiple high-interest loans, the bills never seem to stop coming. Combine your student loans, mortgage, credit card debt and more into one large loan at a lower interest rate.

3. Alter your shopping habits. Stop shopping at ?regular? stores and turn to thrift stores for your clothing needs. No need to stop wearing designer threads; it?ll take more hunting, but you find high-end clothes at thrift stores. At grocery stores, buy the inexpensive store-brand products rather than name brands. Once in a while, though, stores run sales on name brands, so they are not always cheaper than store brands.

4. Go lower tech. Do you really need that no-holds-barred phone and the plan that gives you nearly limitless minutes and data? Perhaps it?s time to get a cheaper phone and a less costly plan. Along these lines, you can ask a neighbor you trust to split Wi-Fi costs.

5. Fiddle with the temperature on your hot water heater. Hot water could account for as much as 14 percent of your energy costs. Move the temperature to about 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and put on a water heater blanket to retain heat. For further savings, insulate your hot water pipes.