Five ways to stretch your dollar and find money where you least expect it

Think you can't save any more money? Think again. Read on for ways to find free money and trim hidden expenses.

By , Guest blogger

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    Trimming expenses means more money in the bank. One way to find free money is to take advantage of your company's 401K match. One way to cut hidden expenses is to cancel unused subscriptions.
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We could all use a little extra cash couldn’t we? It’s not always easy to earn extra income and certainly none of us have the seed to that magical money tree.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is figure out some ways to make our current money go a little further by finding some frugal ways to save money and challenging ourselves to be more in control of where our money is going.

So, what are some ways that we can stretch our dollars and make them work a little harder for us?

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Let’s take a look:

1. Find Free Money

If you knew you there was $20 sitting on your front-door step, would you go out and pick it up?

I would sure hope all of us would! It’s money that’s just sitting there waiting for us to take it. So, how do you find free money?

Well, you can start by making sure you’re taking advantage of your company’s 401k match! I’m constantly amazed at how many people don’t put in enough to take full advantage of a company match!

You can also send in your rebate forms! Did you know that according to the National Consumers League, “only 2-3% of all those who buy a product with a rebate ever end up receiving the funds?! That’s a lot of money just sitting out there.

2. Don’t Automatically Renew Your Auto/Home Insurance

Have you ever received your semi-annual renewal notice on your car insurance and thought, “You know I should really shop around to see if I’m getting the best car insurance quote” only to put it down, forget about it and let it automatically renew?

I’m pretty sure we all have done that at one time or another.

Next time it comes, don’t let it automatically renew and promise yourself that you will shop around and negotiate your auto and home insurance.

Shopping around and getting cheaper auto and home insurance quotes could potentially save you $25-$100.

3. Use More Coupons

Using and saving money with coupons seems to be increasingly popular as the whole frugal-living lifestyle has really caught on.

But, what many of us fail to do – myself included – is do more Google searches for coupons. It’s amazing how many coupons are out there for just about anything and everything!

Before you make another big purchase or even a smaller purchase, type in a Google search and see what’s out there. You might be surprised.

Another great investment to make is an Entertainment Book. My wife and I buy one every year for $20 and we easily save double that each year!!

4. Cancel Unused Memberships

Don’t you just want to hit yourself sometimes with your memberships!?

How many of us have signed up for a gym membership with the greatest of intentions and then after a strong two weeks of exercising we don’t darken the door of the gym for the next three months!

Depending on the cancellation fee, sometimes it’s worth taking the hit to save on a monthly basis. Also, take a look at other unused subscriptions like magazines and movie rentals.

5. Start Budgeting

Budgeting is one of those things that few people like to do, but is something we should probably all do. Even if you’re the most frugal person out there, it’s a good idea to have a handle on where everything is going.

Financial budgeting will help you handle your expenses and actually free you from the guilt we sometimes have with spending money.

Not only that, but you’ll find that creating and using a budget is actually a “freeing” experience. It allows you to spend freely in the areas and categories that you come up with.

Don’t like the word budget? Does the word itself conjure up thoughts of constraint? Call it a spending plan, call it an envelope system, call it whatever you want, but get some sort of budget set up so that you can stretch your dollars!

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