Is your wallet feeling empty because of the economic downturn? Having trouble finding the extra money to make ends meet? Try these tips to stash some extra cash without losing a limb or getting a second job. Some tips will pay off instantly, while others may take a few months to bring home the savings, so pick and choose the ones that work best for your lifestyle. Here are 5 ways to save $1,000 per year:
[Slideshow: 8 Painless Ways to Save Money]
1. Fix your rotten resume. Finding employment can be a challenge in this tough economy, so do yourself a favor by fixing your battered resume to help you land a job worth at least $1,000 more a year. Your poorly written resume may be costing you job interviews, and if you can't get your foot in the door then it's impossible to get hired. Besides, a resume that boasts your skills and sells your stellar accomplishments is far more likely to win you a wicked salary. Read this fabulous series How to Write a Resume (that gets job interviews) and download these free resume templates to fix your rotten resume today.
2. Stop paying the bare minimum on your credit cards. Paying just the minimum on each card only prolongs the agony and increases the amount of total interest paid to your issuer. Save yourself over 20 percent in interest charges by fully paying off your credit card debt. Depending on your debt, you may add thousands to your wallet. Don't believe me? Try this Credit Card Calculator to see how many years it will take to pay off your balance based on your minimum payment. Results will shock you.
3. Stop buying crap. Do you really need to own the latest gadget or gizmo? Recognize the marketing machine for what it does -- separate you from your hard-earned money. Turn off the television and ignore all ads when advertisers attempt to entice you by launching crap, unveiling crap, and trying to convince you to upgrade crap. Crap is expensive. Learn to Just Say No to Crap before your wallet gets whacked by this needless expense.
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4. Lose the extra car. How many cars do you own? Two? Three? Get creative and optimize the use of a single family car to save thousands on insurance, gas, and car payments this year. You may be surprised with how much money can be saved by reducing the number of cars parked in your driveway. Try walking to work, taking the bus, carpooling, or ditching your expensive ride and opting for a used vehicle. Check out How to Buy a Used Car (without sipping lemonade) to start cruising in a thrifty set of wheels.
5. Look at laundry and cleaning costs. We all need to do laundry -- it's a chore we can't escape. But when you stop to look at the costs of detergent, drying clothes, and water for the wash, it's easy to see how this dingy chore can add up to a tidy sum each year. Learn How to Save Money on Laundry to decrease the cost of cleaning your clothes this year. Also, try these super thrifty 4 Swiffer Cleaning Hacks for Cheaper Dust-Free Living to cut costs on those expensive disposable lint cleaners. Still feeling strapped for cash? Try these 50 Ways to Save $1,000 a Year to really cut some costs.
Kerry K. Taylor writes at Squawkfox.com, a blog where personal finance and frugal living are sexy, delicious, and fun. Kerry is the author of 397 Ways To Save Money: Spend Smarter & Live Well on Less.