A Dozen Tips to Save More Money

If you’re willing to be intentional and more careful with your money you can easily find $300-$1000 dollars a month in your budget! It takes some thoughtful effort and changes in the way you think and you will be amazed at how your money can work harder for you and your family. It’s time to stop being sloppy with your resources and make the kind of progress you can be proud of. Try these 10 strategies and feel more at peace financially.

1. Say NO to convenience stores. Anything we buy at a convenience store is marked up higher than what we’d pay if we planned ahead and bought the same item at the grocery store. Try to figure out what you’ll need and even want throughout your week and a few minutes of planning might can save you $20 or more a week and that is easily $80 or more a month that can be used to pay off debt or get your savings to the amount you want it to be. One person I helped was depending on vending machines at work for a snack every day. She was thinking something like, “It’s just a few dollars.” When we added up what she was wasting per day, per week, and then per month, she quickly became motivated to change her behaviors.

2. Eat at Home. This takes planning as well but once you get the hang of it you’ll probably shed some pounds and be grateful for money you didn’t give away for restaurant food whether it’s fast food, dining in, or take out. Research easy recipes you can throw together in minutes like Naan pizza my family enjoys frequently. Spread pesto over naan bread and top with roasted red peppers and Parmesan or feta cheese and toast to enjoy an easy meal that’s satisfying and full of flavors! Social media is full of simple recipes like this that won’t rob you. Make your meal at home feel special by eating on a pretty plate. Pack your lunch for work and eat it on a real plate and silverware so it feels better. When I take my homemade ramen in a jar to work my coworkers swoon over my lunch like it’s an amazing treat! I eat it in a nice large pottery bowl I love. It’s a form of self-care to make yourself a nice lunch.

3. Buy Generic. Did you know that many generic items are packaged at the very same facilities brand name products come from? Buying brand name products is just making the rich richer. Sometimes it’s even the same product! It just has a different label. This goes for food, home products and clothing. Too bad we don’t have generic vehicles! We do have generic car parts though! I’ve saved a good bit over the years fixing my older cars with non brand name parts.

4. Shop for and pickup your food yourself. We live in a world of luxuries that are great temptations. Impulsively ordering restaurant food and then paying to have it delivered is a double whammy! Do your shopping yourself and pick up your restaurant food and you’ll easily have more in your bank account.

5. Make your own coffee at home. We’re all tempted to bow to the Starbucks god because we like it. There’s so many recipes online that can get you pretty close to your favorite coffee drink. Choosing this could same massive amounts of money a month especially if you’re someone who gets a daily coffee from a coffee shop. Of course, a treat every now and then is ok. We get into trouble when we think we need a treat every day though! If you’re the kind of person who needs a coffee treat every day, make this simple switch! Add up what you we’re paying and what you pay for coffee at home and every sip will make you smile.

6. Take turns with apps and subscriptions. We only have so many hours in each day, If we calculated how often we use the apps we pay for monthly we probably would immediately eliminate half of them. You can enjoy an app for a time and then cancel to enjoy another you like or eliminate them altogether. If we’re spending too much time on apps it can be healthy to ask how you can make better use your time. What if you used that time to develop a side gig?

7. Change how you do things at home. Turn off lights when you leave a room. Wash clothes in cold water and only do full loads. Don’t run the dishwasher unless it’s full. Change your HVAC filter regularly so it doesn’t use more electricity. Take shorter baths and showers. Don’t run water needlessly when you do things like brush your teeth and wash dishes. Retrain yourself. Be mindful. Every little bit adds up. Something crazy I did when I was parenting teens was have a planned few hours of no electricity per week. We’d pretend we didn’t have electricity and use candles like most of the world does when they have their electricity is shut off in rotations. While this only saved small amounts of money, it taught my kids gratitude. We’d play card games and read books. We all need to unplug sometimes.

8. Stay away from stores unless you need something. Shopping has become a hobby and maybe even a sport in our culture. Retailers are excellent at getting us to buy more than we came to the store thinking we needed. Choosing to not go means you have more money because you didn’t buy anything. When friends want you to meet at a mall you can suggest a park or each other’s homes for a visit. Mix and match your wardrobes together in new ways to feel like you’re wearing something different. It’s amazing how the eyes of a friend can be helpful in choosing what to wear from what you already have in your closet. This can be done with home decor and furniture too!

9. Save on gas. Careful driving uses less gas than pressing hard on the gas and breaks. It’s also kind to your car. Declutter your vehicle so you’re not paying to carry unnecessary weight as you drive to accomplish your daily tasks. Plan your errands in a way that you can accomplish them in less trips. Carpool to work. Get really radical and walk if possible.

10. Fix what you have and make it last. We’re so quick to throw away things in our society and it’s causing a significant trash issue. Treat what you have well and try to fix things before throwing them out and replacing them. Appreciate them. See how long you can make them last. Some companies will send you free parts if you’ll take the time to contact them.

11. Learn to be content with what you have. This might be the greatest tip of all. Get your self worth from the intangible places that are substantial like your character. We are not what we drive. We are not what we have. We are who we are whether we’re wearing Prada or Walmart. Refuse to compare yourself to others and do your own thing. Go your own decided path and end up better than those you’re envying now.

12. Shop around for car insurance. Amazing how a little research might can save you over $100 a month! That’s $1200 a year by just taking a moment to see what you can save. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples when you shop though as not having enough coverage can bite you later on.

In closing I’d like to point out that you’re not saving money at all unless doing just that: saving it! Saving in one area and blowing in another isn’t helpful. Love yourself by banking what you save and say no to. Make a list of the things you saved money on and said no to this week and charge yourself by putting that money in savings or use it to pay off debt. If you said no to lunch with coworkers today, save what you would have paid for lunch out and move that to your account or pay it on your credit card. This can feel very satisfying to make progress financially! It’s time to win! Every little bit counts! Pick up those random pennies and save them!

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