Welcome to the third part of 25 ways I save money.

11. Automatic savings plan.

I have set up a little automatic transfer from my checking account to my online savings account. I have a little emergency fund called my Never go back to Fresno fund that I am working on currently. Right now I do not have much in there since I just started it and I can only put in about $3 a month but it is better than having no savings at all in my opinion.

12. Pay bills online.

I use my Electric Orange account to pay my bills online because it is free for me and offers me a great way to track my spending. I modify this online system by continuing to receive paper statements (bad for the environment I know….soon I will stop getting them) so that I can monitor the due dates. The money is taken out of my account and sent to the appropriate place and I do not have to lick any stamps or carry cash around. I also have a record of when the money was sent and when the check was actually cashed so I can gauge the time it takes for each bill to get paid.

13. Reduce interest rates.

I have called my credit card companies and asked for the interest rates on my cards to be lowered. I know that the ideal situation would be to not carry a balance from month to month but at this point I am not able to pay off the cards in full. Since I have already resigned to carrying a balance and working at bringing down the balances it is in my best interest to get the interest rates lowered on the amounts that I am already paying. You can see how I got a lower rate on my Discover card here. I also lowered the rate on my Amex card as you can read here and these both helped me to save money because I will have less to pay to the card companies. In some cases I took advantage of a lower rate on a balance transfer so that I would have to pay less in interest and fees.

14. Take the bus or walk.

I made a choice to let Honey have the car since he just moved to a new city. There is a bus that runs here which I can use to get to and from school so not having the car was not a really big issue to me. It also forced me to plan my groceries better because I have had to ask someone for a ride to the store instead of just being able to jump in my car and run to Wally World four (cough cough) two times a week. I have not been walking…..we had some really cold days (and I am lazy) and besides the bus runs right in front of my apartment. But even when I did have the car I would take the bus most mornings when I was going to work to save on gas. It was really not necessary for me to drive when the bus is right therefor my use. So we would save the car usage for days when I would be coming from late night classes or to go shopping.

15. Cook for multiple days.

I don’t like to cook and I certainly do not want to cook every day. I cook on the weekends and a couple of times during the week but when I do make something I make a HUGE amount. The extra food goes into the refrigerator and I have meals for two or three days. I make an extra large container of potato salad (my FAVE!!!!! yum yum) and that lasts for about three days. I do not like to eat food that has stayed more than three days so by then I have to cook again.

Read part 1, part 2.