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10 ways to save $100 this week

If you implement all 10 of these tips, the savings will be much more significant.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 14, 2013 2:44PM

This post comes from Meg Favreau at partner blog Wise Bread.


Wise Bread logoMoney is like a cake. When you get that delicious dessert, it can be tempting to eat it all at once. But if you do, you'll end up with a stomachache, that sugarcoated feeling on your teeth and, perhaps most importantly, no cake for later.


Woman with jar of cash © SelectStock, the Agency Collection, Getty ImagesSimilarly, if you spend all of your money, you'll probably end up regretting your splurges -- and wishing you had some funds sitting in the bank.


Often, savings strategies are obvious: You set a big piece of cake aside, and it's there waiting for you. But sometimes it's the little things that make that cake disappear.


I'm reminded of the time my childhood friend Mike held a cake on his lap while we were driving home. He took fingerful after fingerful of frosting, and when we got home, Mike discovered that he had completely defrosted the cake without realizing it.


The following list features both kinds of savings strategies -- big ones that work all at once, and little ones that add up over time. All of them can be put into action this week, and every single one ensures that you can have your cake and eat it too.


1. Track your spending, and make a budget.

Understanding where your money is going is the best way to start saving, which is why your first step is to make a budget. It might be that, once you make your budget and realize how much you're spending in certain categories, you can immediately save $100 by making little trims here and there.


2. Pack your lunch.

One of the keys to saving is developing long-term habits such as bringing your own lunch to work instead of eating out. If you're worried you don't have time, cook something on Sunday and put it in individual containers. Start this week, and over the course of a month, you can easily save $100.


3. Check if you're being over-serviced.

It's easy to "set it and forget it," paying the same bills every month. This week, take a look at your regular services: Are you using all of your cellphone minutes? Do you have more coverage than you need on your car insurance? Are you utilizing any extra cable channels you pay for? If your answer is no to any of these, call your provider and change your plan.


4. Negotiate your bills.

Checking for over-servicing isn't the only way to lower your regular bills. If you're not paying a promotional rate for services like cable and Internet, you're paying too much. Call your service provider and ask if there is any way you can lower your bill. If they don't automatically say yes, suggest that you're going to find another provider. Be patient, nice, and firm, and you can get a better rate.


5. Vow to reuse, repair, and repurpose instead of buying new.

Every time you think about buying something new, ask yourself: Do you really need it, or can you make do with something you already have or that you can borrow from a friend?

6. Get to know your credit card.

Visit your credit card company's website and read the fine print. Many credit cards offer free benefits that are not well-publicized. These benefits may include extended warranties, free tickets, price drop protection, extra discounts, concierge services, and cash giveaways. Of course, you should not use a credit card at all if you carry a balance every month. If you can't control your spending, consider switching over to a cash-only system.


7. Change your living situation.

Yes, this is a big change, but it also has big financial rewards. If you have extra space in your house, try renting out a room, either permanently or to travelers using a service like Airbnb. Or, if you live alone, it might be time to get a roommate.


8. Clean out your pantry.

Empty your cupboards, see what you have, and plan meals around the ingredients you want to use up. You'll slash your next grocery bill, and you'll help ensure that food doesn't go stale.


9. Create a "cheap fun club" with friends.

If you're trying to save money, it can be disheartening when friends invite you to things that you don't want to spend money on. Instead, be proactive, and invite your friends to share in frugal activities with you, such as potlucks, watching movies at home, and board game nights.


10. Sell your stuff.

Taking the time to de-clutter your house and sell your extra stuff has multiple benefits. Not only can you make money getting rid of your old items, but you might also discover other useful things you had forgotten about.


More on Wise Bread and MSN Money:


Mar 14, 2013 9:05PM
All this sounds good on paper.  I just kicked out a roommate who was paying me a pittance for the room.  What a slob!  He couldn't make it to the bathroom and pooped on the carpet outside the door and just left it there for me to clean up.  When he used the toilet, the stench was like nothing I ever smelled and permeated the entire floor for at least an hour.   I am not kidding.  The room he was in was left disgusting and I have no idea how the wall-to-wall carpeting shifted.  A piece of furniture was also broken.  I'm so glad he's out and I'm sure he's been kicked out of a lot of places.  Pig.
Mar 28, 2013 7:41PM
Well not that useful...shouldn't really be an article...
Mar 17, 2013 1:47PM
Useless. I already do all of this!
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