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Anyone Can Save Money — Starting Today!
Saving money can be very challenging. But anyone can turn their financial life around.
This post gives you some useful tips on 10 easy ways to save money.
I’ve Lived It
I’ve had to take charge of my bank accounts and spending habits on several different occasions.
The biggest one being when I was a single mom.
Back then I had the usual monthly expenses, and my paycheck was $400.00 bi-weekly.
So, I knew I had to make some financial tweaks, create a sensible budget, and follow-through with it.
Things I did to Save Money
The first few things I did to get myself on-track for saving money:
- canceled my alarm system monthly service;
- used the TV antennae instead of cable (can you imagine?);
- checked-out books and movies from the library every weekend;
- cut my own grass and did my own landscaping;
- sprayed around and under the house for bugs and termites;
- exercised at home instead of going to a paid gym;
- planted a small, vegetable garden in my backyard;
- brought a sack lunch from home every day;
- only drank water – no sodas; and
- read my mother’s magazines when she was finished with them.
All of these little changes helped me save money.
Good Financial Habits Are Achievable
This was also the time that I realized I needed to go back to school.
I wanted to get a degree in something that I found interesting and that would pay my bills.
The short version is this — I was accepted into the nursing program.
I worked hard and got every scholarship and grant that I could get.
I made good grades in school, I was never absent, and I continued to work part-time.
Meanwhile, I maintained a strict budget and I paid every bill at least a week before it was due.
Eye on the Prize
The main way I got through everything was to focus on my goals.
Get through the hard stuff one day at a time. That was my mantra.
I studied and wrote papers every night until around 1:00 am.
I would wake up at 5:00 am to get my daughter ready for preschool and get me to class by 7:20 am.
Honestly, I’m not sure how I survived on such little sleep. : )
Eventually, I earned my nursing degree, passed my boards, and got a full-time job as a registered nurse.
Today, I don’t have to worry about money as much as I used to.
But, I still try to conserve, DIY when I can, shop frugally, and help others along the way.
Finally, going through difficult times has taught me to appreciate everything that I have.
You Got This
We all have struggles that we have to get through. And, you may be going through some hard times right now.
Just know that you can do this. The hardest part is taking those first steps.
10 Easy Ways to Save Money
So, consider implementing a few of these tips in your daily routine.
Some of these suggestions take just a few minutes, while others require a bit of regular effort.
And, not all of these tips will apply to everyone.
But, they are all simple steps – anyone can do them for easy ways to save money.
Track Your Spending Habits
Are you spending more than you should but aren’t sure exactly where to start trimming expenses?
It’s a good idea to self-audit and see exactly where your money is going.
There are several websites, like statusmoney.com, that can help you connect your accounts in one place and track your spending.
Plus, I’ll bet your personal bank has a financial manager that will be happy to help you create a saving/spending plan at no charge.
Another easy tip is to set-up checking account alerts that will notify you before your payment is due.
They can also set alerts that will let you know when you are exceeding a spending limit and/or if your account balance has dropped below a specified amount.
This way you will always know how much you have in your account.
Set a Logical Budget
While it seems simple to create a budget for each month’s expenses, it can actually be pretty hard.
Rather than expending time and effort aiming for a goal that is not realistic use online tools to help set a benchmark that is achievable.
And, I have found that it is better to budget on the higher-end of what you think a bill or expense will be, rather than under-budgeting and then over-drawing on your account.
I’ve created this simple Monthly Budgeting Worksheet for you to complete each month.
Turn off the TV and Save Money
There are so many financial benefits to this one. First, you can drastically reduce your electric bill by turning off the television.
Second, you could even go a step further and get rid of cable altogether, as I did. Then, you will have more time to focus on other things in life.
Like a side business, going back to school, or even just to read a good book.
Plus, television ads are always trying to get you to buy something.
By turning off the TV you aren’t tempted to buy what they are selling.
Cancel Magazine Subscriptions
I’ve done this before, and at first, it was hard. I had grown used to the convenience of having certain magazines show up in my mailbox every other week.
But, then I realized just how much I was spending on yearly magazine subscriptions, and that my library (and, my mom!) has copies of all the magazines I love.
You may find that you can borrow some of your favorites from your parents, neighbors, and friends.
Make Meals at Home
As you know, eating out every day at restaurants can be very expensive.
It’s usually way more cost-effective, and healthy, to prepare your meals at home and take leftovers or deli-style sandwiches to work or school.
This is how I learned more about portion control, and I lost ten pounds when I brought my lunch with me every day in a small cooler.
My cholesterol numbers also went down, as I was eating less-fatty meals.
You can also make extra-large batches of your favorite foods and eat that during the week.
Drink Water and Stop Smoking
Yes, these two are obvious. First, if you do smoke, you have to know by now that your habit is not only expensive but potentially lethal as well.
If you want to add years to your life and save a ton of money, the easiest thing to do is to stop smoking.
As for water, it has great health and financial benefits. Drinking water when you are out and about means spending less money on beverages like sugary soda, juice, and tea.
And, remember, tap water is not only just as clean as bottled water, but it’s also free.
Just think of how much money you will save if you can implement both of these!
Yep, another quick and easy way to save money!
Stop Collecting and Start Selling to Save Money
This may not be for everyone, but some of you may have a large collection of items that you can sell to recoup some of the money you have spent.
For example, I had a fairly, sizeable collection of Rae Dunn pottery.
I went through and weeded out a lot of items that I would never use. And, several seasonal items that I didn’t necessarily need.
I listed about 25 items on Mercari, and I made about $800.00. Not too shabby!
For collectible items you can try to sell them on Craig’s List, Mercari, eBay, local flea markets, have a yard sale, etc.
Give DIY Items as Gifts
This is something I have been doing for a long time. If you are even slightly crafty, this tip is for you.
There are so many things that you can make and give as gifts that will save you lots of moolah.
You can make food mixes, chapstick, body butter, candles, bath bombs, fresh-baked bread or cookies, soap, printable art, and all kinds of things at home quite easily and inexpensively.
For instance, I like to pick-up free pallets from different places (friends, Home Depot, your local grocery store, etc.), salvage the best pieces of wood, and then paint a message on one side for a beautiful sign.
If giving as gifts, most people love that you have added a personal touch and so much thoughtfulness to their gift. It’s a win-win!
Stick to A Shopping List
One of the easiest ways to save money is to ONLY shop when you have a LIST. When you don’t have a list, you typically end up making impulse buys and unplanned purchases.
This is especially important before going to the grocery store. Having a grocery list in hand will help you buy items that fit with your meal plan, but it can also help you avoid buying food you might waste.
So, always create a list and stick to it!
I made this colorful, Weekly Meal Plan and Market List for you to plan out your week of meals.
Print out several of these and place them, and a pen, near your main door.
That way you’ll have your handy list and pen to write down items before you forget. : )
The 30-Day Rule
Avoiding instant gratification is one of the most important rules of personal finance.
And, waiting 30 days to decide on a purchase is a great way to master that rule.
In most cases, after a month has passed, you will find that the urge to buy has passed as well. You will have saved yourself some cash simply by waiting.
Saving money can be a challenge for people in all walks of life. But, by creating a plan you can help change the outlook of your financial life for the better.
I hope this post on 10 Easy Ways to Save Money was informative and will help you make positive little tweaks in your budgeting plan for increased savings.
Now, Over to You!
Do you think you can implement a few of these tips into your budgeting life?
What are your favorite ways to save money?
Do you like to clip coupons?
Have you used eBates?
What are some good DIY gifting ideas that you have made?
I would love to know! : )
You may also like my post on 10 Ways to be Incredibly Happy Now!
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