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!
We live in a fast-paced world where it is so easy to spend money. With the touch of a button, you can buy anything from nail polish to a new car. You are constantly one figure print away from that spending spree that can feel oh so good.
Unfortunately, the bills and debt that comes with it, doesn’t have that same exciting effect.
Saving might sound 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. While you might be sacrificing a little extra now, it will also free up your time and wallet to enjoy the bigger and better things later.
Likewise, 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. It feels like its all tied up in bills and then you make more money and your cost of living goes up, your bills go up and you are at square one.
Even if all you are doing it giving your self the peace of mind that you are in control of your life, it is worth it! You are worth it!
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. If you have an iPhone there is a way to look up all your subscriptions, do it and then cancel, cancel, cancel. Remember that if you really miss that game or app, I’m sure the company will be eagerly waiting for your return.
Likewise, look into 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 by those extra chips, cookies, candy bars, and a nice cold soda. 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.
When we go to the store without a plan and even worse on an empty stomach, we are putting ourselves in a risky situation for spending more then we wanted.
There are free meal plans online or spend 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. Many times we get caught up in wanting to be entertained that we 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.
It is as easy as that! If you are starting to plan for Christmas or birthday shopping, start here and start saving.
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 appliances that save energy 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 fee once in a while for an additional gig of data, then an extra $20 every month just in case I use it. You can also get rid of warranties or unnecessary expenses when you do a little research.
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
Whether you are looking to buy toys for your kid’s birthday or decor for your house, try to buy used first. Especially for your kids under 5, look at your local classified section online. Facebook also has a great marketplace that sells anything from crafting supplies to recreational vehicles. One of the great things about Facebook is you can filter your location so you’re not wasting gas trying to save money!
If you know what you are wanting to buy, don’t forget to check out your local yard and garage sales. 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 (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 releases of DVD’s, books on CD and computer usage.
The library is not only for reading although they have an excellent selection. There are also community events that happen year-round. The library can provide crafts and reading time for your kids and is a great place to go to spark their interests in books and reading. Our local library does after school science programs for older kids as well. So go see what your library can offer you!
9- Quit expensive habits
According to dictionary.com, a habit is a routine that we do often and sometimes subconsciously. We all have 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 familiarity and comfort. 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 head down, keep walking, and get out as quick 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.
Who says date nights need to be expensive and extravagant? There are many free events in the communities around you. Look up the local college museums or go to a free concert or carnival. Saving money can be a good excuse to get creative and go on an adventure. Some of these even provide free food which is double the savings and double the fun.
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, 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 that debt as soon as possible and you will be saving hundreds every month!
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 how to save 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 is the benefits that are tailored to your personal interests.
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 just want cash back there are cards that provide that too. Make your money work for you and get some free stuff along the way
I love to travel and flights are typically the bulk of the cost. By accumulating SkyMiles for paying bills that I would be paying anyway has given me the freedom to take a flight or two a year and save me hundreds from buying an expensive flight.
13- Borrow instead of buy
For example, I wanted to make a round layered cake for my daughter’s first birthday. I have didn’t have the 2 round 9″ pans so what did I do? I hopped on Amazon and bought what I needed. Yes, I needed those pans to make the cake I wanted, but did I really HAVE to bake that type of cake?
If you are wanting to save money, it is essential to separate WANTS from NEEDS. If you really want something, try to borrow it first. Borrowing helps you get to know your neighbors or gives you a good excuse to see your family. It also helps to see if the item is something you would use often and is worth saving up for.
I would have saved $15 to borrow those cake pans. SMH That may not seem like a lot but those dollars add up. Before you buy ask yourself, “Is this worth an extra hour to work to pay for it?”
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. This is a great option IF you’re not worried about saving a dollar or two.
However, taking a few extra steps to sell your items will serve as a double bonus as your cleaning up your life and saving for the things you really want or need.
To start, find your local classified section, look at the Facebook marketplace, or put together a yard/garage sale and start dejunking. Thank you item for its use and put it up for sale.
15- Save on name brands
We all would love a new pair of Nike’s or the latest True Religion jeans, but we are saving right now. You can still buy new shoes and pants when you NEED them and save half the price if you look at other stores first. Remember cute is cute no matter who makes them. Whether you are buying your shoes at Payless or Nordstroms, makes a big difference in price.
Save money by shopping for looks and functionality and not just for the name brand. And I know what your thinking if I buy cheap then they will be cheap. Or the generic food doesn’t taste as good as the name brand food.
This may or may not be so. Test it and try it out. You may find an incredible pair of $40 shoes that last compared to $90 shoes. And you probably won’t notice the taste difference between generic food 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 money. Reading and educating yourself is the first step to changing the way you view and spend money. The next step is application. There are multiple 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 the 15 money-saving strategies above. If you are still wanting 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 and what you are saving for! Also, what are some other ways that have helped you 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.)
What simple changes have you made to save money this year? Which of these items have you tried? I would love to hear from you and your experiences with saving money. Leave a comment below.
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