Times are tight – no doubt about it.  Following up on yesterday’s post where I mentioned how saving $500 corresponds to even a greater amount in earnings since we pay for things with after tax dollars.   So really, a penny saved is more than a penny earned.   Since greater earnings are likely to be harder to come by in the near future, it got me thinking about other ways to save.  Here are a few of tips to help you save fairly large sums of money in very simple ways. 

By all means don’t just try to negotiate your telephone and cable bills, take a shot with any recurring payment that you have.

Don’t pay bank fees.  It’s just not necessary.  Many banks have free checking and no annual fee credit cards.  If you are paying penalties and overdraft charges, just keep better track of your bills and payments.  If you read this blog, you know that there are free services like Quicken.com and Mint.com that help you manage your money to avoid these charges.

Here’s another way most people can save at least $500 per year.  A family of four can save $2000 per year.  It’s not all that complicated.  You can start today.  It won’t just make you wealthier;  it will make you healthier.  You just have to change one simple habit.  Don’t laugh when you read this.  I’m actually serious.  Here’s the big tip.  Drink water.  When you are thirsty, drink water.  When you have a meal, drink water.  When you go to a fast food place, drink water.  When you go to a restaurant, drink water.   Most people drink sodas or other sugared drinks regularly with meals.  Cutting out one $2 soda per day, five days a week, saves you over $500 per year.  I speak only of the financial aspects, but the the health benefits are even more substantial.

If a $2 soda habit can save you that much money, what other habits can you change?  I don’t even want to get into the whole Starbucks/Jamba Juice thing.  A lot has been written by others on that subject.  I think most people know that dropping $3 a day is more than $1000 per year.  I’m not sure you can even walk out of those places for less than $4 now.  By the way, $4 a day is $1500 per year; the same as getting a $2000 raise.  Food for thought.

Please share your ideas in the comments section below.