15 Simple and Easy Ways to Save Money
Saving money is making money and mamma, it feels so good to save! If you are looking for ideas to save a little (or a lot in some cases) you are in the right place!
Saving money might sound boring or overwhelming, especially when there is a chance your finances are already tight, but let me ease your mind that it isn’t as bad as you think.
A huge part of saving is a mental game. It’s not that you don’t make enough money, it’s that you don’t know what to do with the money you have.
Whether you drowning in debt or just want to get control over your finances, here are 15 SIMPLE ways to start saving money today.
1- Cancel Subscriptions/Memberships
Take a look at your monthly statement and find those hidden memberships you are still paying for. If you don’t use it regularly, cancel it. Look into Audible, Netflix, Hulu, games, Microsoft Word, learning games, AAA, google or iCloud storage, Spotify, Apple Music, the gym, and any other program that you don’t need or won’t be using anytime soon.
Remember, if you really miss that game or app, the company will be eagerly waiting for you to return with your money.
If you have an iPhone there is a way to look up all your subscriptions, in the settings menu. Take a quick look and see of all your apps or subscriptions are worth paying for.
Don’t forget about the companies that bill annually as well. This will help avoid the headache of future surprise charges. Turning off “auto-renew” when setting up a new account will also help avoid those extra costs.
2- Plan out Your Meals
Groceries can be hard to save on. The thinking “we all need to eat” makes for a perfect justification of why you have to buy those extra chips, and cookies. After all, it makes life a little sweeter when we are already stressed about not having enough money but don’t do it! It perpetuates the problem.
Shop on a FULL stomach. If not you are at risk of spending more then you wanted/needed.
There are free meal plans online or spend some time making one that fits your family. Stick to that list when shopping and you will be amazed how much you can save. The extra Oreos can wait!
3- Cancel Cable
We live in a time that there are much better and less expensive ways to enjoy the shows you love. With the average cable bill being $100 a month, it is time to save that extra $1,200 a year to help you get ahead. Check out some of the free or less expensive apps that can give you the shows you love at a fraction of the cost.
Don’t get so caught up in wanting to be entertained that you lose sight of those long term goals!
4- Sign up for Free Cash Back Sites
If you are a busy mom that dreads bringing the kids to the store to shop, I am sure you already shop online. If not you should start today. It’s life-changing. Since you are already shopping online or are going to start, do yourself a favor and sign up for Ebates (now rebranded to Rakuten).
There are no sign-up fees, you simply shop online as regular and they send you a percentage of your purchase back. They get paid for marketing the company and Rakuten gives you a piece of the pie!
Ibotta is another program that offers cashback savings. They have a similar set up where if you purchase anything online through their site, you will earn a percentage back. In addition, they have an in-store purchase program for Walmart, Target and JoAnn’s. So you can scan your receipt and save on qualifying purchases.
However, after trying Ebates, Ibotta, and Fetch, I will say that fetch is my favorite for every day in-store shopping. Because Fetch is simple, like super simple. You scan every receipt and the points start racking up.
Depending on your shopping style one may fit better than the other, sign up and don’t miss out on free money!
5- Take a Cold Shower in the Dark
Ok let’s not get too dramatic but there are ways to save money on your energy bill like turning off your lights and taking shorter showers. Even opening the blinds will give you natural light and much-needed energy from the sun.
Using LED lights and energy-saving appliances will also save your wallet. Some other ideas to save energy is turning down your water heater, washing your clothes on cold, and changing out your air filters.
By small and simple things, great savings can come to pass.
6- Change your cell phone plan
Look into how much data you actually use and adjust your plan accordingly.
Don’t double pay!
If you are usually connected to your wifi at home then your probably not needing half of the data on your plan.
I would rather pay an extra $10 once in a while for an additional gig of data, then an extra $20 every month just in case I use it. Don’t forget about looking into getting rid of warranties or unnecessary add ons.
Changing companies can be a pain but it can also save you hundreds a year. Remember, companies are competitive and sometimes you can drop the price with just a phone call.
7- Buy Used First
Whether you are looking for toys or decor for your house, try to buy used. Especially for your kids under 5, you know they will be destroying the toys within days anyway!!
Where do I buy used items?
• Take a look at your local classified section or Facebook marketplace to find a wide variety of used items for sale. One of the great things about Facebook is you can filter your location so you’re not wasting gas trying to save money!
• When it gets warm, you can check out your local yard and garage sales. However, don’t get caught up in the “it’s cheap so I should buy it” mentality. Have a plan and know what you’re looking for.
• There may also be a D.I. AKA Deseret Industries or Goodwill near you.
8- Check out Your Local Library.
Whether you are part of a book club or want to read the latest best-seller, check the library first. There is something there for every age to look at and enjoy. And it is completely free! They also have some of the latest movie releases on DVD, books on CD and free to internet and computer usage.
Do you do better listening to books? Me too!
You can check out free audiobooks on your local libraries app.
But wait that’s not all…. did you know the library is not only for reading?
Look into the community events that happen year-round at the library. These events range from crafts, activities, reading charts, teddy bear sleepovers and more. Our local library offers after school science programs for older kids that are completely free!
9- Quit Expensive Habits
According to dictionary.com, a habit is a routine that we do often and sometimes subconsciously. We all have natural habits and routines but some happen to be more expensive than others.
This may be one of the more difficult money-saving strategies because usually, our habits bring our minds some sort of comfort and familiarity. Unfortunately, these habits could be draining your bank account as well.
- Try bringing a water bottle everywhere you go instead of that quick drink at the gas station or soda shop.
- Make coffee at home instead of Starbucks every day.
- Quit smoking or drinking excessively for a month and see how much you save.
- Stop buying those lottery tickets. You will win an extra $20 a month if you just SAVE it!
- Don’t go window shopping, or aimlessly walk around stores. You will probably find something you like and buy it.
- When going to a store make a game plan to keep your blinders on, and get out as quickly as possible. Just pretend you are on a mission to save money and nothing is going to stop or distract you.
10- Find Free Community Events.
The library is not the only place that holds community events. There are many free events in the communities around you.
Dentist offices, orthodontist offices, real estate agents, company parties, etc, are all ways you can go to free events throughout the year. Other places to check out are college museums, free concerts in the park, carnivals, and more.
Some of the events even provide free food which is a double win in the saving money and fun department.
11- Pay off Credit Card Debt
Of course, we would all love to pay off our debt. But it is important to remember that not all debt is created equal. If you are overwhelmed and wondering what debt to focus on first, one way to tackle debt is to take a look at your highest interest rates and go from there.
The average American is in $5,000- $7,000 of credit card debt in 2017 according to Experian. That is hundreds of dollars a month in interest.
This is one debt that pushes you deeper and deeper into a hole every month with their high-interest rates. Don’t get caught in that spiral. Pay off your debt as soon as possible and you will be saving hundreds of dollars in interest every month!
Another way to pay off debt quickly using the snowball method, this can be a great approach to give you the momentum you need not get discouraged and to keep going!
12- Take Advantage of Rewards
Proceed with caution!!
A credit card can be a spender’s worst nightmare. As mentioned above, there are a good amount of people in debt because it is so tempting and easy to spend now and pay later. If you fall into that category, go ahead and skip down to the next tip on saving money.
However, if you have the self-control to use credit cards, there are some major perks and freebies that come along with it. The best part of owning a credit card is the benefits that are tailored to your personal interests.
For example, if you love to travel, there are a hand full of SkyMiles cards that allow you to do that for free! If you love to shop, you can redeem your points to hundreds of stores and if you are the type that just wants cash back there are cards that provide that too.
13- Borrow Instead of Buy
Here is a riddle for you? You are cooking and don’t have the 9″ round cake pans needed to make a cute layered birthday cake. What do you do?
Run to the store or jump on Amazon?
Ask a neighbor, friend, or family member to borrow one?
If you are wanting to save money, it is important to separate WANTS from NEEDS. If you really want something, try to borrow it first.
Borrowing helps you get to know your neighbors or it’s a good excuse to see your family. It will also help you see if that pan is something you would use often and is worth saving up for.
14- Marie Kondo your Life and SELL, SELL, SELL!
Do I donate or sell? The easiest way to get rid of extra stuff lying around is to put it in a big plastic bag and haul it off to a donation center. Boom! just like that, its all gone and you are probably feeling like a new woman!I
Selling your stuff takes time but it also can make you money. Start taking pictures of the things that don’t serve you anymore and then pick a day to sell it all at once. Make it a game and see how much you can sell in a day!
As Marie would say, “thank the item for being a part of your life and then let it go.”
15- Saving Money on Name Brands
Before you hit the stores when you need something new, take some time to compare prices with online or off-brand stores. Whether you are shopping for clothes or groceries, remember that there are some things that look or taste just as good being a generic brand and CAN save you hundreds!
Save money by shopping for looks and functionality over just for the name brand. Look for sales or promotions on your favorite brands.
When it comes down to it, you probably won’t notice the difference between generic food or clothes you save money on but you WILL notice the money you save!
How to Start a Savings Plan
You are already on the right path to getting control back over your finances. Reading and educating yourself is the first step to changing the way you view and spend money. The next step is application. There are tons of free money managing apps, google sheets, or even old fashion pen and paper available to start keeping track of what you spend and what you can cut out of your budget.
Then implement these 15 saving money strategies and you will be amazed at how much you can save.
If you need to make extra money after you have started saving here are the best ways to make money as a stay at home mom.
I would love to know how much you saved by cutting down on these simple everyday savings tips?! What motivates you to save?!
We are all on this journey together.
Don’t trade what you want most (financial freedom), for what you want at the moment (shoes, drinks, games, etc.)
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