No one is ever going to say no to saving and having more money. And, believe it or not, you don’t have to stop having fun or doing things you like in order to store up some extra cash. There are small but effective ways that you can save money, and here are just a few of them!
If you haven’t already, make a budget for you and your family. Budgets help you know how much you are making and how much, in general, you should be spending in every area of your financial life.
More Energy Efficient House
This may cost some money in the beginning, but it will save you money in the long run. Invest in energy saving appliances like a dryer, washer, or fridge that will cut your utility bills in half!
Price Check Your Rates
Spend some time looking for new insurance when it’s up for renewal. We often stick with bad rates and high costs because we’re familiar with the company and our policy. However, doing just a little bit of research can save you hundreds of dollars throughout the year.
Take a few extra minutes every week and plan out what you will be eating. This will stop you from buying things on the go and prevent food from going bad that you never eat.
Plan Holidays and Vacations
It may sound silly, but planning vacations and holidays around free events and good deals is a great way to save money and still have fun! You’d be surprised at how many great deals are around tourist areas if you just put in the time and effort to find them.
Don’t Waste Food
Whether there’s a lot of people living in your home or it’s just you, evaluate how much food you’re buying and wasting and then adjust accordingly. If you find that you throw away 50% of your fruit before you eat them, then buy less fruit! It’s that simple!
Sell Old Electronics and Unused Items
We all have that closet that’s got boxes of unused items stashed away, or that drawer that houses our old and abandoned electronics. Take some time to clean them out and sell anything that you think other people would want to buy.
Use Household Products
You don’t need to go out and buy expensive, store bought, chemical cleaners. Instead, just use items you already have around the house. For example, you can clean a lot of surfaces with baking soda and/or lemon juice. Find some ideas online and save some money!
Do Your Research
Before you make any big purchase, do your research. Read online reviews, compare prices and quality, find different vendors, etc. This may take some time, but it will save you in the end, plus you won’t be frustrated with buying a bad product since you’ll know it’s good quality!
Wait if Needed
Try implementing the 30-day rule. Pretty much, if you want to buy something on an impulse, wait 30 days. If you still want/need that thing after 30 days, then you can consider buying it. This will whittle away at those things that you actually don’t need or want in your life.
It may sound a little extreme, but if you have a bit of extra cash, install solar panels on your home. In only about five years, you’ll start making money off your investment. Not only that, but if there is ever a power outage, you can program your solar panels to power your fridge, freezer, or other essential items that need electricity.
Credit Card Rewards
Lots of people will tell you to shy away from credit cards if you want to save money, but that’s not always the case. If you’re smart, you can actually make money off of using your credit card because of all the perks and rewards they offer. Find a credit card that has deals you like and go for it!
Spend Less than you Make
However, make sure to live within your budget still. A good rule of thumb is to not buy anything that you won’t be able to pay off within the month. That way, you won’t have any interest building up against you, but you’ll still get all the perks and rewards!
Some people win big from gambling, but most people just lose money. I would suggest not trying to press your luck and win the lottery. Instead, take that money you want to spend on a scratch ticket and invest it in stock or put it towards your savings.
Learn Basic Home Repair
By teaching yourself how to fix a leaky pipe, change a tire, or unclog the shower, you can save hundreds of dollars every year. Hiring someone to do maintenance is a costly expense, and most of the basic fixes they do you can do yourself!
Round up all the stuff you don’t need or use anymore and have a yard sale! Not only will this get you money, but it will also help you remember what stuff you and your family doesn’t use. For example, if you’re selling your treadmill that’s never been touched, don’t go out and buy a new one in a few months!
DIY projects are both fun and cheap! You don’t have to spend nearly as much money as you would on an already-made product, plus you get to put your own style and touch on the craft!
Entertain Children Cheaply
There’s really no point in spending hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to buy your kids the best toys or go on the craziest vacations. Kids can be entertained by a box, so reign in your elaborate presents for them and they probably won’t even notice!
Avoid Fast Food
I know it seems convenient (and sometimes tasty), but fast food is NOT a good way to save money. Plus, it’s not really ever good for you. So, do your wallet and your waist a favor and stop getting fast food.
If you smoke, then quit right now! The habit isn’t just dangerous for your health, it’s also bad for your cash flow. Seek help and medicine if required, and you’ll see an increase in money, for sure, even if the cost up front is more than a pack of cigarettes.
Replace Your Car Air Filter
By replacing your car filter, you can increase your gas mileage up to 7%! That’s pretty crazy, if you think about it in the longrun. And changing your filter is super easy and doesn’t take much time a tall.
While it might be nice to get your favorite magazines in the mail or those subscription boxes that you love, but are they really worth it? If you want to, you can keep one or two subscriptions, but try to get rid of the rest. Over time, they eat up a lot of your money.
Buy Used When Possible
Most items work just as well, even if they’re used. Cars are a huge thing that you’ll want to buy used, since it doesn’t really make sense to buy a new car. You can also buy used clothes, books, toys, etc.
Believe it or not, name brand and generic items are almost equal in quality (if not actually equal). When you pay all that extra cash for name brand, you’re just buying the label, not better quality.
Whenever you go shopping, try to follow the 10-second rule. Every time you pick up an item or product that you don’t need, ask yourself, “why am I buying this?” If you can’t come up with a good reason within ten seconds, then don’t buy the item.
Creative Gift Giving
Instead of spending a fortune on presents and gifts, trying giving creative gifts this year. You could do homemade objects (like soaps, crafts, lotions, candles, etc.) or even give the gift of labor! You can offer babysitting to new parents or a free car tune-up, for example.
Rent Out Unused Space
No point in letting all that empty space in your home go to waste. If you have an extra room, or even a whole floor that’s not being used, considering renting it out or at least doing a program like Airbnb.
Visual Debt Reminder
Make a visual debt reminder that will help you see how much money you owe. That way, when you’re tempted to buy a new TV or something you don’t really need, you can look at the debt reminder and remember what’s really important!
You can also considering setting up a services swap with your friends of neighbors. Pretty much, you often to pay each other in services instead of money for things you need done. You can offer babysitting, yard work, house repairs, etc. It’s a great way to make friends and save some money.
I’m so surprised at how many people just throw away their leftovers, even from restaurants! You can still be classy and get a doggy bag, I promise. Or, even at home, save the leftovers and use them for lunches. It’s cheap, tasty, and saves you money.
Depending on where you live, this can be a great way to save tons of money while also not having to worry about things like car insurance and auto loan payments. You save money and are hassle free because you don’t have to park or worry about other car-related problems!
If you really want to keep your car, then use it smarter. Carpooling is a great way to help the environment and you’re wallet! Find people at work that live nearby who you can start a carpool with so it’s cheaper for all of you.
Buy a Deep Freezer
This is an expense at first, but it allows you to stockpile in bulk, which saves you money in the end. Just make sure you log what’s in the deep freezer and how long it’s been in there so you don’t have chicken nuggets that are six years old. Yuck!
Cheaper Place to Live
Some cities or parts of cities are just ridiculously expensive and not even worth it. If that sounds familiar, then consider moving. I know it can be a lot of work, but if you can pay less in rent/mortgage or get more bang for your buck, then it’s definitely a smart investment.
Most cities and towns have a community calendar that list all of the free activities that they’ll be throwing that year or at least within the next few months. Check it out and find some activities that you and your family can enjoy together…for free!