Is everyone else trying to find ways to save money. I feel like this is always a battle in life. But are we doing everything we can to save a penny here or a penny there, answer for me probably not. I love to read how others save money and sometime things that work for others will not work for my family. But you will never know until you try. Here are #8 quick ways that we have learned that help us save money…
1- Get on a BUDGET!
If you want to save any money, you must I repeat MUST have a budget. If you do not, how do you know if you are saving money, you don’t. To get on a budget write everything down that you must pay for in a month: mortgage/rent, utilities, food, insurance, internet, phone, donations, maybe some student loans/car payments/credits, and etc… This list is only of the things that you must have. Then take your income for the month and subtract the expenses, what is left is your extra money for the month.
When we first got on a budget I decided to look the last couple of months and see how we did. I was shocked!!! We were spending lots and lots on food each month, more than we needed. As you go through the month write down what you spend and give yourself a running total of what is left. I use an Excel worksheet to help me with this.
2-Stop eating out
That’s right start taking the brown paper bag to work. Let’s say you spend $5 a day for lunch, because it’s only $5. But over time that $5 can add up. For example: you work 5 days a week, within a month you have spent $100 on just lunches and that’s $1,200 a year. Or you could take leftovers because you will probably be throwing them away, and there is no charge in taking them, that’s right FREE. Another one that my husband does is sandwiches. He normally takes PB &Js. And to give you the cost difference (I am adding the cost of a fruit and chips/granola bar)
- Bread $3 per week ($12 per month)
- Jam $4 per month
- Peanut Butter $5 per month
- Fruit $3 per week ($12 per month)
- Chip/Granola Bar $12 per month
You would spend a total of $45 a month, that’s a savings of $55 a month or $660 a year by taking your own lunch. You could save even more if you take leftovers. But you can also change things up and take a different kind of sandwich, if you would like.
3- Only go to the grocery store once a week
There are a lot of factors to go into play with this one. First only go to a grocery store when you are NOT hungry. We have all done this one and we know what happens when we are hungry, everything looks good so we buy it. Make sure you have a shopping list and only buy what is on your list! Don’t by the extra cookies. If you go to the grocery store only once a week you will also save yourself time and gas money!
4- Look for the best deal
Don’t settle because you are there. Here is an example: Costco is a great place to shop because you are buying things in bulk but that does not always mean you are getting the best price. You can save by not buying name brand items at the grocery store or by shopping the weekly sell ads and stocking up when things are on sell.
5- Cut the cable
This is a big expense in today’s world. And do you really need it? There are many ways to still watch your favorite shows for a lot cheaper. There is Hulu or Netflix. Or sometimes you can view them online for FREE after about a week! We have been without cable for over 2 years. There are a couple of channels we wish we had but we are living without them just fine. And I think this is another bonus the TV is not on all the time any more.
Let’s price this out, if you pay $60 a month for cable that would be $720 a year. That is almost our mortgage payment.
6- Find the best phone deal
Look around or even call your current provider and ask for a better deal. I am currently using Republic Wireless where I save $480 a year on my current plan. You can check out my post about how I save money on my phone bill, here.
7- Find a cheaper insurance company
We recently did this and we are now saving $200 a year on our insurance, plus we have better coverage. We could have saved even more but a couple of items in our home need some updating and we fixed a couple of rock chips on our previous insurance. Dave Ramsey has a tool to help you find a cheaper insurance company it’s called “elp“. Go check it out and see if you can save money on your insurance company, here.
8- Stop spending on things you don’t need
This one is always always a hard one and I believe it is different for everyone. But if you can honestly answer this question: DO I REALLY NEED THIS? It can help you save money. An example we have everyday is our car and the room we have in our little corolla, we still love our car just want something a little bigger. But do we really need a new car? Answer NO, we all can fit in the car and it gets us where we need to go. So until we have the cash to buy a different car, we will keep this one.
But sometimes this question can be used on smaller things. Do I really need these cookies? No, I will just have to work them off later. Do we really need to eat out? No, we have a kitchen at home (this answer can change sometimes). Do I really need soap? And of course you do but not the most expensive one, just the one that gets the job done. And again this questions and answers are different for everyone, these are my answers.
I hope these quick ways to save money will help you save more money this year. Does anyone else have any ideas on quick ways to save money? I am always looking for new ideas.
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