With so many ways to save money and live the life you love, I wanted to break down a few of them today, 20 to be exact:)
Get rid of debt - This should be a no brainer. If you want to save money, then don't create debt. But this is harder for some than others. And some debt is actually considered good debt. If being debt free seems like a hardship or something unachievable, tackle it in smaller chunks. If you have consumer debt, car notes, credit cards, loans, pay those off first. Then focus on the more expensive items. There are lots of ways to accomplish this that will be discussed in a later blog.
Reduce your grocery budget - Now this one gets me all the time. I go in the store hungry and buy everything I don't need. The best ways to reduce your grocery budget, is to meal plan and create a list and stick to it. If you have Alexa or Google home or any of those type of apps, you can create a grocery list just by speaking and then that list goes with you. If you don't want to grocery shop, you can also do grocery delivery, but beware of delivery charges those can eat at your savings. Be sure to budget those fees if you use that service.
Cancel unused subscriptions - One that would bite us in the ass all the time years ago. We would sign up for something free, and then forget and 4 months later, we are like what? So cancel those unused subscriptions. They aren't needed and take funds that could be used somewhere else. If you do sign up for free stuff that require a card, don't!!!!! lol But yeah create a calendar reminder for a few days before so you know to go and cancel that subscription. And that gym membership that hasn't been used yet, get rid of it. Find some free training online. Once you become consistent with working out, you can look at the gym membership again.
Generic is sometimes better and cheaper - Don't be ashamed to buy generic. Especially if your budget doesn't allow for name brand. I love this because the store brands are sometimes better than the name brands and have less crap in the ingredients. Your gut and your wallet can be happy If you have to have the name brand clothing, check the thrift stores. You'd be surprised the things you can find with tags still on them for cheap! I got a Bebe jacket for like $15 bucks a few years back!
Cable be gone - So you got that cable bundle with the internet and phone and it started at like $130 a month and then 3 or 4 years later it's over $200 and you don't even watch the channel nor use the phone. Yeah that was us. Cut that cable if you aren't utilizing the channels and just stick with internet. Doing that has saved us around $1200 a year, money that can be invested or put into savings to pay off debt. If you need TV, try the free options like YouTube and the local channels that allow you to watch some shows for free. Streaming services are great too just be careful stacking them because you could be back to paying over $200 a month on something you aren't using.
Automatically save - After you get paid, you should be paying yourself first. Even if it is just $10 a month or a check, that number will grow. The rule of thumb here is to pay yourself 10% of your check but that isn't always feasible. Setting up automatic transfers keeps you from forgetting or not doing it all.
Coffee time, at home - Sometimes the best coffee is made at home with love and a little Bailey's (shhh, don't tell anyone 😉). But yes, drinking coffee at home can save you on average $1800 a year in coffee purchases (if you purchase the $5 coffee from Dutch Bros every day of the year). There are lots of great coffee options in the stores and you can use coupons to save even more!
Pay your cards in full each month - Revolving credit cards can cause a lot of trouble but are useful if you pay them off each month. They build your credit, help you gain rewards and can give you piece of mind. So get them paid! THEY ARE NOT FREE MONEY.
House Hack - If you already live in a duplex or have extra rooms in your home, consider renting them out. You can charge what the state allows and that money can do helping you pay down your mortgage or other debt as needed. Just make sure if you rent out rooms in your home, you have a separate entrance for your tenants. I don't know about you, but I'm not a fan of people just walking around in my home.
Track spending and adjust - This is where that budget comes in. Make it fun though. Set goals for your spending and try to reach those goals. Just make sure they are realistic. Pretty soon you will start to see more money in your budget and account and can do more of the things you want.
Accountability - Sometimes its hard for us to stay motivated. This is where the accountability partner comes in. You can do regular check-ins to make sure you are on track to reach your goals. If you have a misstep, they can help you get back on track. Family might not be the best to do that! IF YOU NEED SOMEONE, Let me know!
Used vs New - This can be said for clothing (see Thrift Store reference under number 4) and for vehicles. Especially, vehicles. Most new cars tend to loss value as soon as you drive them off the lot. Buying used is a great way to get a nice car at a great price. It's ok if it's a couple of years old, if it's certified preowned vehicle, most times the dealership will offer a warranty for anything that happens to the vehicle. Just read the fine print.
DIY Projects - Love, love, love DIY projects. They are fun and can add so much to your home or life for a fraction of the cost. Plus you can do them with your family and start new traditions. Now if you are someone who starts something and doesn't finish, you might want to rethink big DIY projects like home renovations. Your loved ones may not be too happy with living in a construction project.
Unsubscribe to marketing emails - Matter fact, just create a whole separate email account and use that to sign up for different websites and things you sign up for. That way all the spam emails can go there. If you do use your personal account, unsubscribe. Those emails are pretty tempting. Sur La Table gets me ALL THE TIME. I am a kitchen appliance connoisseur, smh.
Shop around for your insurance - Every six months, call your insurance company and see if you can get a lower rate. Sometimes they can reduce what you are paying. Right now during COVID, is a great time to reach out to them because most of us are working from home and so the miles we drive is much lower thus reducing your rate. If your insurance company can't or won't reduce your rate, consider shopping around to other companies.
Discounts, discounts, discounts - Never hurts to ask about discounts on services from big retail companies. Military, AAA, AARP, Local discounts (they do that a lot in Vegas). It never hurts to ask. NOTE: DO NOT ASK YOUR FRIENDS WHO ARE LAUNCHING THEIR BUSINESS FOR A DISCOUNT. That is just rude. If they want to give you one, that's on them. But they are trying to make a living as well and need their coins.
401K Matching - If you work for someone that has a 401K matching program, PARTICIPATE up to the match. Don't leave that free retirement money on the table. At one point I paid a little more and then got smart and started investing the difference.
Unneeded cell services - Just like with cable, if you aren't using it get rid of those services that you are using with your cell phone. If you are paying for the hot spot feature and not using it, cancel it if you can. And don't pay for those games. They aren't worth it! If your kids have phones, put locks on what they can do. You don't want them to make accidental purchases!
Use the library - A library card is free! You can rent audio books as well as regular books for continued learning. If you have an audible subscription, you might want to consider canceling that subscription and only use the library. If you need to get physical books, look for them on sale or support small business book stores. The library is still the cheapest choice, but you have options.
Sell what doesn't bring you joy - We accumulate things over the years and sometimes even forget about those things. Well while you declutter and clear the 'stuff' out of your space, consider selling those things. This could be clothing, books, shoes, games, anything that is in good condition. There are lots of places to sell these things, Facebook, Mercari, Let It Go, etc. You get ride of the clutter and bring a little cash in!
Be patient and kind to yourself - No really a way to save but just some good advice. Saving is hard. Budgeting is hard. Getting out of debt is hard. So be patient with yourself and never give up! Your financial journey depends on it!
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