I think no matter what the financial situation may be, people are always looking for new ways to save money. So, I thought I would gather up some tips that are simple, yet easy to forget. They may not pertain to everyone, but you should be able to find a few that are helpful, I hope!
I also have a video about this on youtube at Saving Money Around the House. Check it out if you have a second, it has some other tips on there as well! Or, you can check it out below. Wow. I was younger. A lot younger! :)
1. Are you paying for a checking or savings account? Oh, my! Before I began couponing, I had NO idea that banks even did this. I have never had to pay for an account...ever! I can't even fathom someone else charging me to keep my money for me? Um, there's not a lot of defense for this...get one that earns money, or is free at least! Also, purchase your checks online at a discount...my bank charges crazy money for ordering checks. Thank goodness they don't rope me in anymore!
2. Cut out the clutter! I have to be honest, clutter drives me insane! My husband is not a pack-rat really, but he does like to keep things that he thinks we will need...like original boxes for our cell phones....I think we had 5 or 6 before he threw the ones away for the phones we had already trashed. Anyhow, clutter can definitely add stress to your life. AND, some people relieve stress by what??? SHOPPING! Ugh. You can see how the cycle would continue.
But, an even better advantage to getting rid of the clutter in your home is that you can sell some of it on ebay or craigslist! Make some money while you are at it. We have countless unopened toys and clothing our kids never used. I generally give away the used, but you can make a pretty penny selling unused items, try it out!
Also, when you are making a large purchase such as a TV, car, appliance, etc...wait 30 days after you decide to purchase and make sure you are still in love with the one you are purchasing. Actually, this rule can go for many items. Well, if you are in a grocery or clothing store, you could probably knock it down to 10 minutes or so if you are unsure about an item!
3. Give up expensive habits. Yes, we all love to spend money on "feeling good". But is it actually doing us any good? I can't say that giving up habits such as cigarettes, alcohol or drugs is going to be easy...I have never been in those shoes. BUT, I do know that it is NOT doing you any good to waste money on them. Instead, invest in a counselor if you are addicted. Learn to deal with the reasons you are choosing these habits...without doing them. You will be better for it!
If you are not addicted, first make sure that you are not in denial. Then, give up the partying of yesterday. If you have any responsibilities at all, evaluate these habits and ask yourself if they are interfering with any of those responsibilities. Chances are, you can pinpoint at least a couple of instances.
4. Buy appliances based on efficiency and reliability. Websites like Amazon let you compare prices and ratings. Look for appliances with the Energy Star logo. Just because efficiency will cost you $150 more than the non-energy saving ones, think of the savings it will give you over time! And, if it is a reliable one, you should be able to save for years! It is worth the money up-front.
5. Don't pay to de-stress! OK, so everyone loves the occasional massage, mani/pedi to de-stress. But, I once knew someone that would do all three EVERY WEEK! What? She did NOT have the funds to do this and her credit card bills were, um, jacked up. Excuse the slang.
To each his own, really, but if you are looking to save money, you don't NEED to have these little "extras" all of the time. Heck, I haven't had a massage in over 4 years! And every one that I have had has been with a gift certificate from a birthday, etc. Anyhow, I'm not "dissin' " anyone that does this regularly. I am just saying that this is a great way to cut costs. Have your other half give you a massage...or even a mani/pedi! Or, do one at home by yourself. I do a pedi with my 7-year-old at home sometimes. We just stick our feet in some scented warm water, rub them with lotion and paint our toenails! It's great fun!
6. Shop around for insurance once in a while. Here's the "guilty" plea. I have had the same auto and home insurance for almost 10 years. Yikes! I think I need to shop around. I guess, I am kind of on "auto pilot" with this. The bill comes every year, I pay it and forget it! They are a great company and I have never even thought about seeing if it was cheaper somewhere else. The only drawback would be the reliability of the company. Make sure you check into that before switching, especially if you have an offer that is "too good to be true"!
7. Community events calendars rule! Talk about expensive! Have you sat down and actually thought about how much it is for entertainment and family outings now-a-days? If I took my family to a movie, we would end up paying about $40 bucks for tickets, $10 for treats and a bunch more for walking around the mall and shopping before the movie even started! Jeepers!
For free and cheap entertainment for the whole family, check out your community calendar! They have all sorts of activities listed. We go through the whole summer calendar, write down the ones we want to do on our personal family calendar and plan our summer around those! We have things like free symphony concerts in the park, fireworks, boat shows, war re-enactments, art shows, pet shows, etc. We also love to go to the drive-in movies for just $5 bucks per adult...kids free! We load up on snacks from home and have a ball!
8. Wait for the new to be old. By this, I mean if there is a new version of something...like a TV, cell phone, tablet...ask yourself, "do I REALLY need this NOW???" Think back to when flat screens first came out. To me, the price tag may have well been for a car! But now, the costs have come down considerably. And for those that bought the first one, I am sure it is considered "Junk" now and that they were kicking themselves when they were buying their second one the next year! I waited a year to get the Samsung Galaxy S4...and I am SO glad I did! I paid something like $49 for it. And it is perfect. So glad I waited! Next year it will probably be the .99 one at Sam's Club!
9. Call your cable/TV/internet provider. If you live in my area, you probably got a notice that cable was going up yet again in April. Every year, my hubby calls and says, "well, we need to get rid of some channels because I am not paying this much for the ones that we have". They tell him that he has the cheapest package already and that they can't cut any more channels out. "OK, well, I am going to have to talk to my wife about canceling and switching to Direct TV." Then, we hear, "well, sir, we just happen to have a special going on right now that gives you this, this and this for $X amount. I can give that to you for the next year." SCORE! They just "happen" to have that special every time we call.
I don't know if that will work for everyone, but it is certainly worth a shot. I just wouldn't say "well, I am going to cancel if you can't do anything about my bill." They just may cancel you right there and then, so don't bluff. BUT, try negotiating. If you don't get what you want, shop around!
10. Reuse, recycle to organize your "stuff". I LOVE to organize, hence the "I hate clutter" mantra in my posts! You don't need to buy fancy organizers for all of your "little" things...or even your big things! Use old pill boxes or fishing lure boxes to organize your office supplies or jewelry. Decorate your old can of corn to hold your pencils and pens. Try an old shoe organizer for scarves, hats or even shoes! LOL! Get creative...or get on Google! :) Recycling is SO much fun and costs little to nothing!
Savings are all around you. Just when you think you are out of ideas...you find a way to make Swiffer Refills for $1. Or household cleaner for $1! AND then you can move to Disney for Almost FREE! :)
Yes, I once was lost for ideas in 2010. Then, I discovered coupons and DIY. 2013 brought credit card bonuses. I am hooked on saving money!
Know someone that could use some of these tips? Share on FB and Pin for later!
Also, don't forget to comment below on some of your money saving tips. Have you saved money in an unexpected way? I want to know about it! :)