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We all deal with money. It helps us care for our family’s needs, provide things for fun and entertainment, and a bunch of other things. It is likely you wouldn’t say no to more money, but where do we get it? You may be surprised to find you have more money coming through your bank account each month than you realized! Jump right in and discover how to save money and tips you can try today.
1. Track Your Spending
This may sound difficult, but it really is possible and can be SO helpful to see where your money is actually going each time you get a paycheck. There are many apps available that help you categorize your spending. My husband and I have created a google doc before where we could both access it through our phones and add in the amount, location, and purpose (category) each time we spent money. This doesn’t have to be a long-term thing, but doing it for a couple of months may be eye-opening!
2. Cut Out Expenses
Are you paying for an extra TV service like Netflix or Hulu? Take a good look at “extra” things you are paying for each month and work to cut down these expenses. It may come down to whether you value your TV time or potential family activities and vacations (or however you’d like to use some potential savings!).
3. Set Money Goals
After you get a feel for where your money is currently going, sit down and actually write out some goals. Is there a big purchase you’d like to make for a car or a house? Are there fun family vacations you have your eye on? Write all of these things down and make a plan for how you are going to pay your monthly bills and also set some money aside to put towards your goals.
4. Pack Your Own Lunch
Do you find yourself or your spouse stopping by a fast food restaurant frequently because you have a limited lunch break and you’re hungry? $10 here and there doesn’t seem like much, but it can add up quickly when you are doing it often! Save time and money by packing your own lunch from home. The easiest way I have found to do this is by using leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. I have gotten into the habit of packing my husband’s lunch soon after we have eaten dinner so it is ready to go for the next day.
5. Take A Closer Look At Your Closets
Do you have some hidden gems in your closets you could pull out and sell? Selling things online is a big deal these days, so you could try that route if you found something fun to sell. It feels so good to get things cleared out and you just might get a couple of bucks in return!
6. Buy in Bulk
It will cost more upfront, but the benefits can be completely worth it! Buying things in bulk will help you be more stocked up and hopefully help you shop less. The truth of the matter is, we are more likely to find more things to buy each time we go to the store (at least that’s the case for me!). You can stock up on things like toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, flour, sugar, spices, etc. If you purposefully buy food in bulk, you can also make more meals up at the same time and freeze the extras. Boom, now you’ve saved money and prepared for future meals!
7. Turn Those Lights Off
It may not seem like a big deal to have all of your lights on all the time, but your electrical bill will certainly start to feel it. If you have windows that allow the natural light in, take advantage of that! Try to turn lights off as you leave a room and teach your family to do the same. Basically, if no one is in the room using the light, go ahead and flip it off.
8. Buy Used Things
New things are nice to have, I won’t deny that. But there are many instances when buying something used can be just as good as new at a fraction of the cost. My daughter has enjoyed many used toys and even clothes and she wouldn’t know the difference! She’s as happy as can be and our bank account is feeling good too!
9. Practice Saying No
This could apply to telling yourself no and potentially to your family members. It can be hard to pass up what seems like a great deal or something that really catches your eye, but if it doesn’t line up with your money goals- resist and tell yourself no! You’ll thank yourself later.
10. Give Homemade Gifts
Sometimes the homemade gifts given from the heart are even better than anything you could buy at the store! Use your talents to share fun things with your friends and family.
11. Pay Off Credit Cards Monthly
Avoiding debt is the best way to stay out of debt! The next best option is to stay ahead of payments to avoid unnecessary additional costs. When you do use your credit card, make a plan to pay the monthly bill off. When possible, save up for big purchases rather than paying for it on credit.
12. Check Your Cell Phone Plan
Are you overpaying for your cell phone service? Check into your specific plan and see if it fits your needs or if you might be paying for more than you actually use.
13. Cancel Your Gym Membership (Or other monthly memberships)
The great thing about exercising is that it can be done anywhere. If you find yourself paying for a membership that is rarely used, consider canceling it and trying exercise the old-fashioned way- outside or in your living room.
14. Use Your Local Library
The library can be a great place to borrow movies and books you and your family are interested in. You can watch/read them then return them with no charge. No need to buy all of those books and movies! It’s a great way to expose your family to a variety of books and movies without breaking the bank.
15. Watch For Coupons and Deals
These days many stores have coupons that are sent out by mail and/or found on their app. Use these to your advantage! You can plan out your shopping trips and use the weekly deals that each store is putting on combined with your coupons.
16. Create Your Own Activities
There are tons of fun toys and activities you could buy! There are great times to buy these things. There are also times to just make your own version with things from around your house. You can find some toddler activity ideas here.
17. Buy Generic Brands
Whether you’re buying clothes, food items, medicines, or something like paper products you will nearly always pay more for the name brand. Compare the labels and you will likely find they serve the same purpose but for a cheaper price. Oft times you really are just paying more for the well-known name!
If you are serious about saving money and changing the way you deal with money, pick a couple of tips from above and get started today! You may surprise yourself on how much money can be saved through changing a few habits and being more aware of where you are spending your money. Happy Saving!