Sunday, February 5, 2012

Money Tip- Monday- 5 Money Saving Tips!


If someone had told me years ago that I would be giving advice on money, I wouldn't have believed them. I was not really taught these principles when I was younger and have struggled with money in the past. But over the years I have learned, mostly by trial and error, the things that have worked and the things that haven't. My grandparents were actually an amazing Biblical example of how to be good stewards of the resources we are gifted with. They owned their home, they shopped at garage sales, they saved, they worked hard and were very careful where they spent their money. Since the economy crashed, my husband and I have searched for ways to save money. We have found these things to be helpful to us in saving money. I hope they can help you as well. :)

5 tips on Saving Money

1. Live on a cash budget- Get rid of the credit cards and ONLY buy what you can afford. If you cannot afford to buy something, instead of using a credit card, wait and save for what you want. You will not only eliminate more debt this way, but you'll feel pride in the fact that you saved & bought it in cash. We opened up a separate savings account and have a small portion directly deposited into it every month. It is not a lot, but it quickly adds up. Especially because it does not have a debit card attached to it. We intentionally did that so that it would make it more inconvenient to take money out.

2. Buy groceries, meal plan and eat at home- Eating out is very costly and adds up quickly. You can find tons of free recipes online and make virtually the same meal at home for a fraction of the cost. Planning your meals also eliminates the stress of scrambling around last minute to figure out what to make for dinner. Plus, you will be eating healthier since you know all of the ingredients that are going into your meal.

3. Rethink your hobbies and entertainment-These are other areas that can add up quickly. I used to compete in ballroom dancing. It added up & became a very expensive hobby. I have learned to reprioritize and find other things I enjoy doing that are free or inexpensive. We also shut off our cable and telephone (landline) services and only have internet through the local provider which has saved us hundreds of dollars a year. We subscribe to Netflix which has instant shows and movies without commercials and we like the educational videos they have for homeschool. We also use MagicJack instead of a landline incase of an emergency and our cell phones aren't working. We bought ours at Best Buy for around $30. It plugs into your computer and it works as long as you have an internet connection. I think there is a fee of like $12 a year or something, but this is very small in comparison to what we were spending per month for our phone service. Going to the movie theater can also be very expensive $40-60 for a family of four! There are options if there is a movie coming out that you just can't wait to see or want to support, such as Groupon or LivingSocial. You sign-up for free and they will send you daily coupons for your area for movie tickets, restaurants...etc. I have seen a Groupon deal before listing movie tickets for $1! Four dollars for a family of four? Now that I can do! :) But if you are able to be patient for a little while, you can rent New Releases for $1 through RedBox. Of course the library is another option for free movies, games, books, cds & more.

4. Shop smart- When you do need to buy items, check out Craigslist, eBay, garage sales, or thrift stores first. When grocery shopping, use coupons! It may not seem worth it to get the paper just for the coupons, but we have saved $20 in coupons in one shopping trip before. We subscribe ONLY to the Sunday paper and find it is well worth it for the extra savings. Some retailers such as Target, Sprouts, Whole Foods have printable coupons you can print from their website. Another place for couponing is Couponmom.

5. Save on Gifts- I very rarely buy brand new, name brand gifts for anyone. I used to, until I realized how much money I was spending on gifts. There are SO many creative ways to give a gift to someone. You can make them a mixed cd, you can bake them their favorite treat, you can give them a favor coupon (to mow their lawn, etc), you can crochet a hat or scarf for them. Just think about the unique personality of the person you are giving the gift to. Do they love to read? Go to a second hand bookstore to purchase a book you know they would love. I have found so many gift ideas on Pinterest. You can check out my pins if you click the "Follow me on Pinterest" red button on the right.

1 Corinthians 16:2
"On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come."

I hope these tips can help you, friends! Leave me a comment and let me know which ones have helped you or if you have any other tips to share! :)

No comments: