Do you need to tighten the budget and save more money? Every month we reevaluate our finances and make changes based on our goals.
Almost always I look at our finances and find ways we can cut back our spending. When the budget is being squeezed you have two options, make more money or spend less money. Personally I find it easier to spend less than make more.
It’s not even difficult. Usually it means reducing your spending and saving more money. If you truly evaluate where every penny goes in your budget it will be obvious where you can cut back.
Take a look at your budget and see if your family can implement these simple ways to save money.
Simple Ways to Save Money
Remember the way to save a lot of money is to save a little money every single day. In life it’s the simple things that have the most impact.
The more you are out the more money you will spend. Not only will you spend more in gas, you’ll increase the wear and tear on your car.
You are also more likely to make stops and purchase things that you don’t need.
If you are home it’s much easier to save money than to spend it!
It’s fairly straightforward. Basically you round up your change on your purchases and it is set aside for you by Acorns. It’s a simple way to save!
Combine errands when you go out.
Gas isn’t as expensive as it was, but it still costs money and wear and tear on your car to drive around. Combine your errands into a once a week trip.
If you are in the car every day (carpool, work, etc) try to pick up the things you need when you are already out. This will save time and money.
Pay with cash.
This has been endlessly debated, but statistics show that people spend 12-18% less when paying with cash. Withdrawal your spending money from the bank once a week. When the money is gone, you’re done shopping!
For items that can’t be paid with cash (school tuition, bills) I have a credit card that I set up for auto pay. I asked some of my travel hacker friends which credit card was best for getting points on hotels and flights.
They all recommended Chase Sapphire Preferred. It does have a yearly fee (yuck!). However by using it for auto pay I should earn enough points each year to travel with the kids to their competitions for free. (We haven’t paid for a hotel room in years, thanks to our points and loyalty programs)
Eat at home.
Unless you are a single person eating off the dollar menu at Wendy’s, you will always save money eating at home.
If you are short on time (like me!) freezer cook on the weekends to save time during the week. There isn’t a single meal that I can make at home that is more expensive than eating out.
When you leave a room turn out the lights, electronics, and the fan.
It’s hard to believe you can save money doing something so simple and I am amazed at how many people don’t do this. Get in the habit of reminding your kids to turn off their lights and electronics when they are at school.
If you really want to get serious about saving on your utilities, here are five simple ways to save on your heating bill this winter.
Cut your shower time in half.
I admit, I take long showers when I have the opportunity. It’s my time to think!
However shorter showers save money, so get in and get out without draining the hot water heater.
Once again, this takes a few minutes at the beginning of the week and save tons of money by avoiding extra trips to the store throughout the week or dining out because nothing is planned for dinner.
I’ve compiled tons of menu plan resources for you, so you don’t have an excuse not to do it!
Don’t grocery shop when you are hungry.
And don’t shop with your kids or big spending spouse. Shop alone and think of it as a tactical mission to get in and out of the store under budget. You will save on groceries when you eat before you shop and go alone.
Make a grocery list and stick to it.
No impulse purchases and stay away from the bakery and flowers (unless its on the list!). When we were paying off our debt, I committed to only purchasing what was on my grocery list.
I was able to cut my grocery bill in half.
Make one meatless meal a week.
Beans and rice are cheap and pretty good if you make them correctly. If you really need to save money prepare two to three meatless meals a week!
Who says spaghetti really needs meat sauce?
Get a library card.
The library is free entertainment, from books to movies, to music, libraries are an underutilized resource for free entertainment.
Remember to return your books on time to avoid paying library late fees. Check out our favorite way to avoid paying library fines.
Drink more water.
It is cheap and better for you than sodas or energy drinks. If you don’t like the taste of tap water add a slice of lemon, lime, orange or cucumber.
Replacing drinks with water not only saves you money, you’ll probably lose a few pounds. Remember when giving up soda kicked off my fitness journey.
I am not talking about putting things in your recycle bin, although that is a good idea too. Before you throw something out think about how you might use that item for something else.
Worn socks = dust rag, shoe box = free shipping box, coffee can= storage for kids crayons. The possibilities are endless.
If you can reuse it then you are probably saving yourself time and money by not having to purchase something new.
What is your favorite way to save money?