MY TOP 5 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY
(in no particular order)
1. Online Banking
I’ve been using online banking since it’s early days before almost every bank started promoting it. This will save you money AND time. No more stamps, no more envelopes, and no more LATE fees for missed payments. You can set it up very quickly with most banks (I’ve had experience with about 4 different banks). Best part is it’s FREE. Take the time to set it up and use it for your monthly bills and you will always be glad you did.
2. NOT Going shopping Unless It’s to Fulfill a Specific Need
This was a big one for me. I used to go “browsing” at the store once a week or more and needless to say always seemed to come home with more useless stuff. My impulse buying was related to electronics, cds, dvds, and books. You might find a “great” sale but if you go every week and always find a “great” sale you are spending way too much money. You just don’t want to admit it to yourself. This goes for online shopping as well. Restrict shopping to necessary items such as groceries, pet food, and household items. As far as “treating” yourself, see the next tip below.
3. Have a FUN Money Account
This has really helped me out as of late. I used to feel guilty about spending money on frivolous or fun items after the fact. Buyers remorse. I used to say to myself “But I work hard; I’ve earned it.” In truth, I work hard so I can SAVE that hard-earned money. My system is currently this. I divide my paycheck immediately. I pay my tithes to my church first, I set aside a fixed amount for savings and deduct $25 from that amount to put in my fun money account. The rest goes towards my bills. I don’t feel guilty anymore because to me it’s not a huge amount of money per check. I use this account for un-planned fun things or for travel expenses.
4. Learn to Cook More
You will not believe how much savings this adds up to over time. Even cheap dinners for two at fast-food type restaurants (Panera bread, chipotle, moe’s etc) can add up REALLY quick. Your grocery bill will probably look high at first but if you stick with it, by the end of the month you will see the difference. There are TONS of recipes at online websites and blogs and I personally like to watch videos on Youtube as well. You don’t have to make crazy gourmet meals but a few simple ingredients with healthy vegetables and quality meat would be ideal. My husband and I have been alternating cooking for some time now and enjoy each others’ meals WAY better than eating out. Restrict yourself to eating out once a month. Eating out is a treat when you can just sit back and let someone else do the work. But don’t do it frequently or it’s no longer a “treat”.
5. Hit Up Craigslist, ebay, and Amazon First Before Going to the Store
I guarantee 8 out of 10 times or so, buying things online will be cheaper. Just be sure to check the cost of shipping to verify that it really is cheaper. My recent habit to get free shipping on amazon (which is applicable on most items for orders over $35) is to add things to my shopping cart periodically that I want to buy but don’t need right away. I wait until I’ve got over $35 in my shopping cart and then I make the purchases.
Those are my top 5 ways to save money; I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Please comment below if so and please comment with any over your own ideas for saving money. There are tons of ways out there to do so!