I don’t know about you, but just thinking about Finances STRESSES ME OUT! You work so hard to make it, and then it just seems like it all disappears into thin air. Taxes, tollroad pay by mail bills, utilities that seem to increase without reason, health insurance, a little charity here or there, tips added to your food bills, increase in grocery prices, or just a cup of coffee with a friend. It all adds up, and can cause stress in ones life.
So today, I dedicate my blog to ideas for saving some money, so that hopefully you can save it for the things in life you are REALLY excited to use those hard earned bills for…
1. With Your CAR:
Be a one car family… sure that may mean a few Uber rides, carpooling or batch errands every once in a while so that you figure things out between you and others who may need the car, but you are saving money on the extra vehicle, and all associated costs like gas, insurance, maintenance, and registration fees.
If you do have a car, Drive a smaller car with better gas milage.
Batch your errands: make a list and do it all within an afternoon, so you aren’t running errands everyday and driving needless miles. Reduce that carbon footprint, and save money. Carpool with others who may need to do similar errands.
Online bill pay: You don’t use the envelope/stamp or use the car to get to the place to pay your bill.
Bike more. If it’s within 2 miles, take a walk. Get that exercise in. Use those legs as God intended.
2. At HOME:
Remember to turn the lights off, unplug stuff, turn off the air conditioning or heat when you leave.
Wash less clothes. Use the smell test. Hang dry your clothes. They will actually last longer.
Maintain your stuff. I took a learning lesson from My husband. He has one nice pair of sunglasses that he has had for years and he continues to take care of them. I had 10 pairs of $5-10 dollar sunglasses that I have all scratched up/broken/lost/etc. I’m consuming more waste, hurting the environment in the process. I’m still learning.
Sell your stuff you don’t use that’s still good. Make some money back.
3. Entertainment Stuff:
Go to the library– you should rarely have to pay for books.
Do more fun things at home, look for free fun in your city such as http://freefuninaustin.com/
What subscriptions do you absolutely need? With the wealth of the internet videos, articles, etc. do you really need magazine subscriptions? Do you need Amazon prime and Netflix? Think about it.
Travel frugally by buying packaged deals with airlines and rental cars, shop around, plan ahead. They say Tuesday/wednesday is the best day to buy tickets.
Minimize your vices: drinking, smoking, bakery items, fancy coffee, boba tea, online poker… all of this stuff adds up quick. We all have our one thing that if we can cut back or cut out completely, This can save you THOUSANDS of dollars a year!
4. With regards to Shopping:
Make a list, a budget, shop only for what you need to get, and look online for cheaper prices (but beware if there are shipping costs- this is when amazon prime might be beneficial).
Can you DIY (do it yourself- look for ideas on https://www.pinterest.com/wendyLMFT )? Ok, so maybe not, then look for used first, buy only items on sale, there are enough vendors in the world that someone will likely have it on sale.
For that super desired item, ask yourself the following questions. Will it really enrich my life? Do I just want it because it’s cool right now? and Check back in a couple weeks or a month (even better), Do I still want it?
When buying gifts for others: DIY, give consumables, food, stuff that makes you think of them. Be heartfelt instead of deep pocketed.
5. When it comes to Food.
Eat out less. Yes for special occasions I get it, but this will save you tip, tax, parking, gas, and the up charge on food!
Take inventory of your pantry before you shop, again make a menu for the week, and shop only for what you need to get. Don’t go to the store hungry!
Try to pack healthy snacks so you won’t eat out or grab that 711 burrito. Even the healthy food convenient stores carry is much more expensive than if you bought a box of those items in bulked, served yourself out a portion at home and took it with you.
Cook in bulk (which is usually cheaper per ounce of food), then pack left overs for the next days lunch or freeze left overs. Buy frozen veggies: less preservatives than canned and still holds most of the nutritional value of fresh.
Eat less meat. just try it a couple meals a week. I think you will see a change in your wallet size, and waist-line.
Anyway, I hope some of these ideas were helpful and you can see positive change in your finances by implementing just a few. Time to cultivate and grow your hard earned money!