- Personal Finance»
- Frugal Living
Trying to save money? Here's what I know.
The reality is...
...we all need to make money, save money, spend money, and repeat. Unfortunately, a large portion of Americans are not able to create a well-funded savings account. Due to rising costs that come from basically everywhere, saving money seems almost impossible these days.
My husband and I have 2 small children, and we live off of one income. Luckily we are able to live comfortably on one income, but a big reason we can live comfortably is because we have figured out many ways to save money, on a lot of things!
As adults, in the busyness of everyday life, I think that a lot of us end up just getting used to how much things cost, and having to accept it. Meanwhile, there are things out there that are costing us so much more money than we actually need to spend! Due to how clever advertisements are, and the media telling us the things we need to have and what will make our lives easier, we end up just going with it. I am so happy that I have been able to see past some of these things, and have figured out that there are other ways to do things, and save money in the meantime!
Did you know?
Did you know that there are A LOT of ways that we lose money everyday?
For example, when is the last time you actually read your bank statement? If you don't usually read it, I definitely suggest that you do. Some banks don't automatically send them anymore, and receiving them in the mail is becoming something that you can opt out of. Hidden fees on your bank statement are what you're looking for. They can pop up unexpectedly and could be costing you MUCHO $$, without you even realizing it!
Here are some other examples of the way we lose money, and ways to save money very easily:
- Most importantly, if it is possible, try to only use your bank's ATM's. Some banks charge up to $4 to use other bank's ATM's, and some add a finance charge (that they don't tell you about) up to double the original fee!
- Switching to a company such as Netflix can save you hundreds of dollars a year, instead of paying for cable or satellite tv!
- Did you know that most libraries will let you check out DVD's from their media department, for free? Sounds better than paying to rent them!
- Tired of rising gas prices? There are many apps/websites out there now, such as GasBuddy that will tell you where the cheapest gas is in your area.
- Make sure to ask for senior, student, or military discounts. There are a lot of restaurants and stores that offer them, but do not always advertise it!
- Unplug appliances that are not used all the time, or even after every use. All of those "little amounts" of energy can add up!
- Why buy plastic water bottles? Buy a reusable water bottle and fill it up! Not only does it save you money, but it is much better for the environment.
- A can of spray paint can change the look of any home décor item!
- Use cloth towels instead of buying paper towels! Also, using old washcloths as rags for cleaning is a good idea.
- In warmer weather, line dry your clothes! Save on your energy bill!
- Rent DVD's from RedBox. The cost is only one dollar per night, and depending on where you live, there are RedBox locations everywhere!
This video also has some easy tips for saving money
Here are some other ways to save money:
- Make and bring your lunch to work. You could be spending hundreds of dollars a month on take out! And it might be doing a number on your health!
- This one is HUGE. Grocery shopping can be very frustrating and we can end up spending a lot more money than we want to. Spend the time to make a menu for a couple of weeks (or how often you grocery shop), make a grocery list, and stick to it! It has been proven that if you do not have a plan, you are more likely to buy on impulse, and forget a lot of the things you actually need, causing you to spend a lot more money on groceries each month. Also, shopping alone prevents other hands from throwing extra items into the cart. And bring a calculator! You are more likely to put unneeded items back if you see how much you are spending. Also, keeping an inventory of what is in your cupboards is a very easy way to save yourself some dough. Keep stock of what you have, and base your meal plans on the items that you already have!
- Keep snacks in your car! Sure it is super easy to just hit the drive through, but we all know that it is an unhealthy habit! Keeping healthy snacks in the car in order to fend off hunger strikes, will save you a lot of money, and time!
- When it comes to buying spray cleaners, for example, cleaners for your surfaces and countertops.....stop buying a new spray bottle each time! I buy a larger bottle of Mr. Clean or 409, the kind without the spray handle. I fill a spray bottle that I already have about 1/4 of the way up with the cleaner, and fill the rest of the bottle with water. Using this method saves me so much money. A larger bottle of Mr. Clean only costs $3.99 and usually lasts me well over a month.
- Use money saving apps to get cash back on the things that you buy! There are so many apps out there now that are available, for free, that are for this purpose! Checkout 51 is my favorite app for earning cash back.
Drive-Through Coffee vs. Making Coffee at Home
Buying coffee in drive-through
$3.99/ 3x a week
Buying coffee at store/making it at home
$5.99/ 1 bag lasts 1 week
Just a few things...
These are just a few examples of ways that we can save money everyday. Sure, they are mostly common sense, but like I said before, I think we get caught up too easily in the busyness of life, and just get used to how much things cost us. I hope that these tips help! Feel free to ask me any questions!