Ten Simple Ways To Have More Money
When a person finds that he or she is consistenly low on funds each month, or lives check to check with no savings, they automatically think they need to make more money. While that is one solution, there is another worth considering: spending less. There are easy ways to spend less without much effort. The following is a list of ideas to get you started.
Throw Out Your Body Wash; Use Bar Soap Instead
Many women spend quite a bit of money on health and beauty products. If you are really looking to cut back and have more money, an easy option is to stop using the expensive stuff. I come from a frugal family who would never dream of using anything but bar soap to wash their body. Bar soap is less expensive and works just as well as body wash. My doctor also recommended I start using a gentle bar soap because it would help my body maintain the healthy bacteria while eliminating the bad bacteria. I was getting a lot of yeast infections, and just switching from body wash to bar soap stopped them altogether. You can also use bar soaps to make your own laundry detergent. To find out how, check out: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/how-to-make-your-own-laundry-detergent-and-save-big-money/.
Wash and Reuse Whatever You Can
My mother washes and reuses ziploc bags, both quart and gallon. Now, it doesn't seem like much savings to do this, but think over the years how many times she has saved herself the $5 it would take to buy new baggies. All the little things add up! You can rewash plastic party cups. You can use a water filter pitcher instead of buying bottled water all the time. You can reuse any party supply that isn't ripped or torn. Use cleaning rags and wash and bleach them, instead of buying cleaning wipes. And you can wash and reuse any plastic container as a storage container for leftovers. As long as you are using hot water to sanitize and remove any germs the original item might have left, you can use just about any container over again. I have washed and used cleaning wipes tubs without the lids for storing paintbrushes. There are so many ideas out there for cute and creative ideas to turn what would be trash into something useful. And whatever you are using it for saves you the cost of purchasing the item it replaces!
Learn to Love Leftovers
This is actually quite a money saver if you take the time to do it. Groceries are a major expense in any household and the longer you can make your food stretch, the more money you'll save. Use tupperware to save leftover food from supper and have it for lunch at a later day. Also, I have found that especially in winter, it is wonderful to have a warm, hearty reheated meal for lunch rather than a cold turkey sandwich. Some of our leftover food, my husband says actually tastes better the second time around! And if you have any kind of meat for supper that you can shred up, wrap it up with cheese in a tortilla and heat it in the microwave, or put it on a bun with some cheese for a tasty but different type of meal. The more you get used to doing this, the more money you can save.
Turn Off the Lights and the Water
An easy, easy way to save money is by reducing your electric and water bills each month by shutting off lights you are not using, and using only the water that is neccesary. When brushing your teeth, shut the water off after wetting your toothbrush, then only use it one more time to wash the toothpaste down the sink and clean the toothbrush. If you are hand washing dishes, fill the sink only 1/4 of the way up and don't leave the water running on the rinse side. And if you are feeling really adventurous, turn the shower off in between shampoo and body wash. You will be surprised how much both of these can make a difference when you get your next bill. Here is a great article that helps explain how to save money on utility bills: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/smart-spending/10-ways-to-save-money-on-your-utility-bill-1.aspx.
Never Buy Anything New That You Can Purchase Used
Some people are really opposed when it comes to buying used items, especially when it comes to clothes or furniture. I understand not wanting junky things, but there are lots of ways these days to find some really nice stuff that is hardly used by its previous owner. My husband and I like to go to the upper class subdivisions and look in yard sales for whatever we might need. The stuff their can be really nice or hardly used because the people can afford to buy whenever they feel like a change. This actually benefits us who are lower down on the totem pole. We have bought a dining room set for $20, a futon for $20, couches, chairs, bicycles....pretty much anything, all at great prices at yard sales and resale shops. If you can handle the thought of wearing clothes that someone else has worn, buying your clothes used saves a ton of money as well. Children's items are especially great to find used because they grow out of stuff so fast. The previous owner's child may never have fit into whatever it is and now you get to have it new for a significantly lower price.
Learn How to Fix Things
The internet now provides all kinds of how-to guides for how to fix broken things. If you break a lamp, instead of purchasing a new one, you can go online and find out how to repair it. If you need a car luggage rack, you can find videos on how to make one yourself...and so on. Just recently my husband's video gaming system quit and wouldn't turn back on. He went online and found out how to take the motherboard out, bake it in the oven for a certain amount of time, let it cool, then put it back in. And can you believe it worked? We would have had to go out and buy a new gaming system if it had not been for the video. Take advantage of the resources that are out there before deciding to throw something away. Even if the item can't be used for what it was originally intended for, it might be useful in some other way.
Quit Smoking and Drinking.
Cigarettes and alcohol are major, major expenses that, despite the way it feels, are not neccesary. If you can wean yourself away from both of these things, you will save so much money you can reward yourself with a small vacation! With cigarettes at an average of $5.00 a pack and alcohol a $7-$10 for a pack of six beers, you can have a wild amount of savings by kicking these out of your life. And in the long run you save yourself money on medical bills from all the damage it causes your body. Just more motivation to quit.
Wash Your Car By Hand
Forget the car wash. If the weather is right, you can get outside, get some fresh air and sunshine, as well as some exercise just by washing your car. This saves you the $6 it takes to go through the automatic car wash. If you pay someone to detail clean your car, you can do this yourself as well. All you need is a vacuum and armorall. These services do not need to be paid for when you can do them yourself. I think some people forget they are capable of doing this themselves.
It costs less to cook your own food and it is healthier than going out to eat. Plus, you get the leftovers I mentioned above. If you are not a great cook, learn to use the crockpot. All that involves is throwing food in and letting it cook all day. Studies show families that sit down and eat together every night are healtheir, happier families than those that run through the drive through then go their seperate ways when they get home. Skeptical? Especially when you can get a $1 burger at McDonald's these days? So were the people at the Boston Globe. They tried it out themselves and wrote about their findings here:http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/food-dining/2013/08/20/put-new-study-test-eating-out-cheaper-than-cooking-home/CytldzC97LORKpESA31RTI/story.html.
Would you move into a smaller house to save money?
Don't Buy What You Don't Need
I know this seems pretty obvious but I think we Americans need to hear this. The overwhelming amount of credit card debt we find ourselves in is proof that we have the bad habit of spending money we don't have alot of times on things we don't need. I talked to a friend the other day who really did need a new laptop. So what did she do? She went out and bought the most expensive one in the store, using her credit card of course. Not only did she not need the top of the line, name-brand laptop, but she bought it using money she didn't have. The weirdest part? She fully believes she needed that specific laptop. I have noticed that alot of people are doing this these days. They no longer can decipher between needs and wants. Do we really NEED a new iPhone? Our old one works just fine, it just doesn't have all the features the newest one has. Do we really NEED a new vehicle? Sure, we are getting up there in miles and the brakes need changed, but does that really qualify for purchasing a new vehicle as opposed to fixing the old one? Do we really NEED that 51-inch plasma television set? In that case, do we really NEED cable? If someone is really, really trying to make more from the income they have, I think they will find there are a lot of things they can downsize or avoid buying altogether. Changing this whole mentality can save limitless amounts of money.