5 Realistic Ways to Save Money

Okay sooo, you probably know someone who struggles at saving their money orrrr spends their money on the dumbest/least unneeded items? Or you yourself is stuck in that category, yeah? WELL, that’s okay! I have some tips that ACTUALLY work and you will realize it is doing some good. All you need to do is read on, take notes, and take the time out to try these things. I challenge you to try these 5 ways for 60 days. It can’t hurt to try. I really hope you take it into consideration. (:

shopping-bags

Shop Less, Spend less.

 


Yes, I knowww…Shop less, seen that one coming didn’t you? But, this one is a biggie. Many people shop, it’s what we do. As a human we feel like we must buy things to fill our hearts and feed our desires. I’m guilty myself. I love to shop for brand new clothes, makeup, brand new decor from Target or Ikea. But it gets expensive and we constantly do it and we get ourselves in a rut. Here are some things to do to achieve shopping less and spending less saving your money.

First, let’s cut out some things before we add hacks to save while shopping. Shop only 3-4 times a month, stop running into Walmart every single day! You continuously buy things and it adds up.

Going out to eat is a big one here. I see people eating out every time they get paid. Now, yes it is very nice to go out to eat everyone once in a while or when you feel lazy and do not want to cook, it’s tempting but we need to cut back on this as much as possible, set your goal to something like 2 times a month. “Yeah but….what if I am in a hurry or what if it is too late to cook?”  Depending on your schedule, I can see where you are coming from. Here is an idea. Once a month, grab some extra things while you are doing your grocery shopping. When you get home premake the meals and freeze them or store them in the refrigerator. “What if I slip up and run to Taco bell with my kids?”  Mark a trip off your fast food trip goal! Treat it like a pass.

That all being said, let’s move on to saving. Online shopping is an excellent way to save. “How in the world??” Many of the times when you do some online shopping, you find better deals, better sales exclusively for that site, and more variety(DUH). But you can also hit up the rebate sites, or cheaper sites and compare the prices (or see which site has free shipping. AH, I love free!)  Finally, Thrift store shopping, You can get everything at thrift stores, from gently used clothes, to home decor. I suggest the next time you are thinking about buying that brand new photo frame for $30 bucks, you should check out some thrift stores around you.


 

bills

Rethink all of those bills.

“UGH, I went over my phone data again?”  Ohhh, yes we all have said this many times. Don’t you just loveeeee those 100+ dollar phone bills? Or that Cable bill that keeps going up. Let me tell you, I have been there, done that already. Here is an idea that I am going to propose to you, Comb through them and kick out the unnecessary bills.

First thing is first, sit down and on PAPER, WRITE out all of your bills. Include the electric, water, and other needs. Next, write how much it is every month. Look at them and mark only the needs, like to live. Then mark the things you want in a different color, like the internet, the Dish or Direct T.V. bill, At&t bill. Now since you dissected your bills, look at the want bills category and pick only 3. Most people pick internet, phone, and Netflix. Which is all your really need. You don’t need Dish if you have internet and Netflix. And another tip to you is, switch your phone bill to post paid or prepaid. It saves you so much more money every month and in the long run.


grocery

Save money on Groceries

Oh, and the groceries, ohhh dear. There’s plenty of tips I can give you for this one, I am going to save the explanations for another blog and give you the main points. If I say every little thing….well…it’ll take FOREVER. So, main points here is budgeting, meal planning, and writing a list before you go.

Budgeting can be complicated or simple. We all know how to budget but I’m not going to share the way I budget groceries here on this blog just give you some tips, 1. Over budget but don’t go over or get near the limit. 2. Budget monthly and separate that into 4’s. I will tell you why here momentarily.

Meal planning is a NECESSITY in my family. If I don’t meal plan, everything gets crazy and the stress rate in my home goes through the roof, meal plan every week. This ties into the 4’s budgeting . Each week that is your limit to get what is needed for the meals that week.

Have you ever thought maybeeeee I should stop buying the hot pockets and frozen pizza’s for every few meals.. I agree very much. “But, eatting healthy is super expensive?!!!” I am not going to argue with that, it CAN get expensive. Depending on how many are in your family, it can get expensive. If you do it right, it isn’t. Like I said, saving this for another blog, but I will give you some main points and tips until that blog comes out. Tip #1: Cut down on the beef and all meats in general. Switch to lean meats and buy the pork and beef every once in a while 4 times a month at most. Eat 3 meatless meals a week. Tip#2: BUY FRESH. Don’t buy the preserved canned veggies and beans..buy bags of dry beans and fresh fruits and veggies to freeze. Tip #3: Make an effort to buy whole grains like whole grain rice, spaghetti noodles, and whole grain/ wheat bread. Even though it may be gross.

Lastly, BEFORE you go, write down everything you need and STICK TO IT. Don’t go grabbing the cheezit crackers and cookies. Walk away and tell yourself “nope.”


card-or-cash

DO YOU PLAY CARDS?

It’s not exactly a good thing that you use a credit or a debit card for everything. It becomes an issue when you can’t physically see or feel how much money you have, you might think it’s 100% okay. But, really….is it? It’s okay to have a credit card/debit card, but when you use the card for everything you can easily go over the limit or use all of your money on that card. So, another thing you can do instead, is use cash. Know how much to take out for bills, savings, spending money, or what ever else and withdraw the amount plus some from your bank.


cash envelopes.jpg

That brings me to my last tip for saving money. Separate where your money goes (NOT in the bank). You are probably thinking “…so, just pile it in different areas in my wallet or somethin’?” And no, that’s not what I mean. I mean in envelopes or jars that are labeled. If your bills are drawn automatically from your card, simply use your card for only the bills that are withdrawn. So, have a envelope or jar for each category; savings, spending, physical bills, whatever else and groceries(if you don’t have a strict food only card) and just put the money in jars in a hidden spot/safe or the envelopes in a finance binder and put it up until it’s time to use it.

To end this I’m going to recap and simplify all of this. Just to refresh your memory and lay it out for you here. Number one rule, reduce your shopping trips to 4 times a month. Spend less by buying online for the best deals, thrift store shopping, and going out to eat as less as humanly possible. Number to lessen your bills down to bare necessities, and add 3-4 extra wanted bills like internet, Netflix, phone bills, and whatever else. Budget the spending money to make sure you can afford the extras. Save money on groceries by meal planning, budgeting the grocery money, eating healthier, and use that prewritten list. ABSOLUTELY NO GRABBING FAST CONVENIENT FOODS. Use cash instead of those credit cards for everything. Lastly, Separate where your money goes in cute labeled containers.

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