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Pay Attention to Your Spending
- Create a budget – A budget offers a variety of benefits, including, saving money, prioritize spending, keeping track of your progress, and being prepared for emergencies.
- Keep a log of your spending – Keeping a log of your spending allows you to realize bad spending habits and forces you to reflect on ways to better disperse and save your money.
Cut the Cost of TV
- Switch and Save – Cable and Satellite TV is great for entertaining the family but the costs can be expensive. Ditch the cable and go with a cheaper source such as Netflix or Hulu.
- Cancel the cable and satellite channels you don’t watch – Many people with cable services often pay for a premium package that they don’t really need or rarely use. (Ex. – HBO, Cinemax, Starz)
Save on Cell Service
- Switch to Monthly Plans – When my husband and I first got together I thought it was crazy how much his phone bill was monthly. It was four times the amount that I paid for mine. A lot of times when you get a contracted plan they will talk you into extras that you don’t need. Plus, if you miss a payment there is a chance that you will get charged for the late payment, charged to turn the phone back on, and mess up your credit. Most pre-paid plans now days have unlimited talk, text, and internet for a very low price.
- Cut out the extras – If you aren’t willing to switch to a pre-paid plan atleast take a look at your phone bill and get rid of any services you don’t use.
Save on Groceries
- Compare stores – Do your research and figure out which stores have the best prices.
- Use coupons and rebate apps – Clip coupons from your Sunday paper, print them off online, or use apps to save on everyday purchases. Some fantastic rebate and coupon apps I use every shopping trip are CheckOut51, Ibotta, and Coupons.com To learn more about these apps and how to use them be sure to read my post Coupon and Rebate Apps.
- Buy generic – Try out generic versions of all the food you buy. Most are actually very good in comparison to name brand items.
- Stick to a shopping list – Make a shopping list before you go to the store. This will save you from throwing extra items in the cart or buying impulsively.
- Plan your meals around your grocery store’s flyer – Read your weekly ads and plan your meals around sale items. Add these items to your list.
- Don’t shop when you are hungry – This is the number one rule when it comes to stopping yourself from overspending. We have all gone to the store for a couple of essentials and left with a box of cookies, chips, cupcakes, ice cream, or pie. Next thing you know your $10 shopping trip has turned into $40 or $50. It happens to the best of us so make sure you eat before making that trip to the store.
- Sign up for store loyalty programs – Many stores offer incentives to loyal customers. These programs range in incentives. Some include racking up points for free items, offering exclusive discounts to member, and getting coupons or discounts sent directly to your email.
- Buy a deep freezer – This investment is sure to pay off quickly. Stock up sale items that can be frozen in order to have them when they are no longer on sale.
Avoid Dinning Out Costs
- Cook at home – Buying groceries at the store and cooking at home not only provides better nutritional benefits than fast food but also allows you to save cash.
- Buy a crock pot – If you want to save money by cooking at home instead of eating out but don’t have the time to actually cook than a crock pot is your new best friend. Crock pots are simple and easy to use and cut down the time you spend making a meal. Just add ingredients before you head to work, set the crock pot, and a nice hot meal will be ready by the time you come home.
- Pack your lunch – Take a few minutes before bed to pack a lunch for the next day or pack a weeks worth on a Sunday night in a reusable lunch box.
- Utilize coupons and deals when you do go out to eat –
Cut Electric Costs
- Save money when you aren’t home – Before you leave to go to work or to any place for more than an hour or two make sure you shut off all lights and tvs. Make sure you adjust your thermostat as well. Is it really necessary to have your empty house at a steady 72 degrees when no one is there? Adjust it by a few degrees.
- Install a smart thermostat – If you want to save money by adjusting your thermostat when you aren’t going to be home but would like your house to be at the perfect temperature as soon as you get home than this is for you. By setting it to heat or cool your home at certain times, you can ensure that your utilities aren’t being wasted while you’re away.
- Switch light bulbs – Energy-efficient light bulbs cost a bit more initially but cost less overall. Plus, they have a much longer life than normal incandescent bulbs and use far less electricity.
- Weatherize your home – Weatherizing your home helps you save money by saving energy. Weatherization also improve the comfort of your home. Things such as drafty windows can be costly and health hazardous.
Related: Coupon and Rebate Apps
Avoid Credit Card Debt
- Remove your credit card numbers from your online accounts – when you have your credit card info saved to a website it makes it easier to mindlessly hit the “swipe to pay” button.
- Take advantage of perks and rewards – If you are going to use a credit card than you might as well get one that gets you the best perks. Some card companies offer sign up bonuses, cash back, or points to use for travel. Do your research before you make a commitment.
- Use for emergency only situations – Instead of using your card to buy new boots or a television reserve your card for use only in situations such as, when you don’t have enough money for gas until the next pay day, your heater goes out, or you have to travel for a death in the family.
Save Money on Clothing, Shoes, and Other Goods
- Shop at thrift stores – Thrift stores are a great place to find gently used (and sometimes new) clothing and other goods. Honestly, some of my cutest outfits are finds from the local thrift store. You can even find name brand clothes for a fraction of their original costs.
- Check out yard sales – Yard sales are a gold mine just like thrift stores but often they are cheaper. When my kids were babies I found almost brand new clothing for them for 10, 25, and 50 cents at yard sales. Why pay full price for something they might only wear three or four times before they are too big? Most yard sales can be found in your local paper.
- Utilize hand me downs – Hand me downs are great for children. Tons of parents buy new clothing that their children grow out of before there is any real wear and tear. Many people give children’s clothing away for free or very cheap and you are definitely in luck if you know anyone with a kid a bit older than your child.
- Shop during sales – An easy way to save a couple bucks is to buy items only when they are on sale. Be sure to pay attention to local ads to find the best sales.
- Buy products at certain times of the year – For example swimming suits are cheapest when stores begin to put out items for fall. Check out What to Buy Every Month of the Year in 2020 by Courtney Jespersen for a full list of the best times to buy products at their cheapest prices.
- Make your own cleaning supplies – Most diy cleaning products are simple to make and you probably already own most of the ingredients already. Pinterest is a rich source of these recipes.
Save on Outings and Activities
- Don’t break the bank on family entertainment – Check out my other post Fun Family Activities – 16 Free (or Almost Free) Ideas
- Date nights can be cheap without sacrificing fun – Check out my post Date Night Products that will Keep the Spark in Your Relationship and 35 Date Ideas for Couples.
- Be the host – If you want to have fun with friends or double date host an event at your house instead of going out. Have a BBQ, host a game night, play trivia, have drinks on the patio.
- Carpool – Take turns driving to work with co-workers.
- Use public transportation – if you live in a big city or metropolitan area riding the subway or bus can save you costs on gas and car maintenance and keeps miles off your car.
- Drive slower – Most cars are most efficient at 55 mph plus you are less likely to get a costly speeding ticket and a hike in insurance rates if you refrain from speeding.
- Buy an energy efficient car – The better the gas mileage the greater the savings.
- Air up those tires – check your cars manual to see what your tire pressure recommendation is. Check your pressure every so often with a tire pressure gauge. For every two PSI of air pressure under the recommended level in your tires, you lose 1% on your gas mileage.
- Don’t buy new – Yeah, a new car might be pretty but as soon as you drive it off the lot it depreciates exponentially. Many dealerships offer used cars that are just as good and much cheaper than brand new ones.
Use Common Sense
Last but not least use common sense. Living within your means is the best way to keep from being totally broke or digging yourself into a financial hole. For example if you make $2,000 a month, don’t knowingly seek out to rent a house that is $1,800 a month as you won’t have enough to cover all of your needs.