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Simple Living

Saving Money- 10 things you can start today!

image with blog title; saving moneyTry these 10 tricks to start saving more money right now!

When most people think about saving money there are some obvious things to do.  These are things such as going out to eat less, cutting back on shopping trips, and maybe less vacations.  Well, if you’ve already done those types of things and your finances are still stressing you out, then this is the post for you!

Below are 10 ways to help cut spending and finally get your monthly budget under control.

 

  1. Cut the cable bill- come on, I know that you’ve thought of this one, but I doubt you’ve taken the leap yet.  Do it!  Getting rid of cable (well DirecTV in our case) saved us $140/month.  Going without cable is much easier than you think.  Also, getting rid of cable does not mean getting rid of TV.  We now use Netflix and Apple TV, but there is also Hulu, Amazon fire-stick, and many more!

 

  1. Reduce the frequency of your grocery trips- Let’s face it.  We always leave with more than we actually need when we go to the grocery store.  So, it makes sense that if you go less, you spend less.  It really works!  Plus—think about the gas money that you will save by not having to drive an extra trip to and from the grocery store.  In my household, we go once every two weeks.  Find something that works for you, but the less you go to the store, the less you spend.

 

  1. Meal planning-  Planning will help you achieve trick #2. If you take some time to plan out your meals for the week before you go to the store, you will have a grocery list made perfectly for a week (or two) worth of cooking and eating with very little waste.

Having meals planned (and even made in advance) will also help prevent you from ordering take out last minute when you realize you are too busy or tired to cook.  My family does almost all of our cooking for the week on Sundays.  It is all packaged into perfectly sized portions so that all I need to do is grab a dish out of the fridge and heat it up….easy as take out!

 

  1. Recycle and Compost- If you live in an area when you pay for your trash removal services based on the amount of trash you produce, then this tip will help you.

Start recycling your plastics, aluminum, glass, and other items.  Call around to see if recycle pick up is available in your area.  If it is not available, many cities and townships have recycle drop off locations that are free.  We cut our trash production in half by recycling, plus it is good for the environment.

You can also start composting to reduce the amount of food scraps that you are tossing in your trash.  We have finally started our first compost pile.  We have a small container in our kitchen that we collect the scraps.  Then every few days we dump it onto the compost pile.

 

  1. Take a closer look at your bill statements- You may have already done a great job of getting rid of all of your unnecessary bills such as monthly subscriptions and cable, but you can reduce your bills even further.  This one isn’t fun, but I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon on my laptop with a Netflix movie on the TV while completing this. I looked at my internet bill, cell phone bill, electric bill, and insurance bills.  I found small changes that I could make to all of them!

EXAMPLES-

  • Internet bill- there was a monthly equipment rental still on my bill, but we had purchased our own modem and router over a year ago…$5-10/month
  • Cell phone bill- there was still a monthly charge on our phone bill for an Ipad line that we don’t use anymore- $10/month
  • Insurance bills- homeowners and car insurance-  this one involves a bit more work, but it can be worth it!  Call around and compare rates, ask for loyalty or good driver discounts.  Just make sure you are comparing apples to apples and still getting the right amount of coverage.

 

  1. Google your item before purchasing- Okay, so you need to buy something.  You’ve found what you are looking for, it is in your shopping cart (online or in store), and you are about to purchase it.  WAIT!  Google it first.  Are there other stores that sell this item?  If so, is it cheaper anywhere else?

 

  1. Have a separate email account just for promotions-

I have a free email account dedicated just to signing up for coupons or giving my email address to cashiers.  That is the only info that goes to this account.  I love this trick for two reasons.

First, it helps to keep my primary email account less cluttered..

Second, if I would have these types of emails come to my regular email address, I would be wayyy too tempted to buy products and goods every time that a good deal comes along.

Speaking of good deals… that brings me to the next item

 

  1. Wait for deals!

Have something that you are planning to buy, but don’t NEED it right away.  Added it to your ‘wants’ shopping list and keep an eye on your apps and promotional email account for the perfect deal.

 

  1. Don’t take your purse with you! or don’t carry cash. 

I use this tip at work.  I pack my lunch every day so that I do not need to spend money in the cafeteria or at the vending machines.  Unfortunately, I found that if I had money with me in the office I would end up buying food (even though I packed).  Solution?  I leave my purse safely locked away in my car.  Now, even if I am tempted to spend money, I don’t have the option to.

 

  1. Coinstar- This tip isn’t a money saving trick as much as it is a ‘get some fast cash when you are in need’ trick. Collect all the random change that you have around your house.  Now, take it to a local coinstar or change counting machine.  Most machines take a certain percentage of your total as a fee.  However, some banks allow you to use the change counter machines with no fees if you deposit the earnings into your bank account.  I recently did a full house change sweep and ended up with $35 extra dollars in my pocket 😊

 

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