Whether you’re trying to strengthen your family budget or you want to be a little more aggressive with your savings, there are countless ways to save more money.
One of the topics I love to write about is making money on your own terms. Sometimes all you need to do to be able to pull it off is to cut back on your spending. After all, the less you spend, the less you need To earn. It can lower the threshold to jump from your regular job and do something more exciting to you.
Whatever your reason for wanting to save money, there are many ways you can start day by day. Here’s a list of my favorite tips to get you started:
Skip or reduce services and subscriptions
- Add 2 weeks to the time you normally take between haircuts. That’s long enough that you’ll shave off the cost of several hair appointments over the year, but not so long that you end up looking worse for wear.
- Cut your cable package, or remove it entirely. You can still watch your favorite shows online, and you’ll have the bonus experience of skipping all those commercials that tempt you to go out and buy more stuff.
- Take a look at the catalogs that come to the door. Visit dmachoice.org to unsubscribe from all catalogs sent to you in the mail. Not only will you have a lot less junk mail, you’ll also cut the temptation to buy things you don’t otherwise need. (Take further steps by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and asking to be removed from their marketing database.)
- Cancel any “box” subscriptions you absolutely don’t like. If there’s a subscription that’s sending you stuff you don’t like or aren’t using, cancel it! You will save money and avoid hassle and frustration.
- Ditch any magazine subscriptions you don’t read and stop buying them off the rack. You can save on subscription fees to any magazine you absolutely don’t like and don’t like, and (again) you’ll skip pages and pages of ads.
Pay attention to food and entertainment expenses
- Next time you’re bored, do something other than shop. It’s easy to avoid spending when you’re avoiding places where you have things to buy. Instead pick up a new pastime, like reading all the books lying around you.
- Start shopping using a grocery list. When you know exactly what you need and you stick to the list, you’ll save a lot of money on impulse purchases and things that aren’t really necessary. Meal planning goes a long way toward making this easier, but it can be as simple as keeping a notepad on your counter and writing down what you’re running low on.
- Start using coupons and/or savings apps. There are several great apps like Ibotta that help you save money on groceries, and there are some great couponing blogs for every region that help you save even more. This can really make a huge difference if you’re not used to saving money on groceries!
- Shopping on sale. Make a “rule” for yourself that you only buy something when it’s on sale. If you follow the guidelines, you’ll be in a much better position financially: either you’ll realize you don’t need something when the item sells, or you’ll get what you do need. A great value (the trick here is to be intentional about what you buy, don’t give yourself free rein to just buy what you want off the sale rack!).
- Use deal sites like Groupon To plan your dining out and entertainment. Groupon and the like offer you great deals on places you wouldn’t otherwise have heard of, and they can save you a boatload of eating and checking out fun events in your area.
Find options and areas for discussion
- Have a new clothing item you can’t wait to get your hands on? Go on Facebook and see if there is a “BST” group for that brand. BST stands for “buy-sell-trade” and you can find groups and marketplaces for almost anything.
- Learn to negotiate. It may seem intimidating at first, but start experimenting with low-cost offers. I’ve had good luck finding low prices on everything from small items to large deals on Craigslist, “Is there any wiggle room on the price if I pay cash?” (The only catch is that you need to have enough cash for the purchase.) One of my team members was able to save $600 by paying cash the day of the install on a new furnace.
- Take a few moments to look at alternative wireless plans. You might think that the major carriers are the only ones, but there are some pretty low-cost wireless companies that can offer you a great deal… if you’re willing to part with your iPhone.
- Prescriptions are another area where you can find better prices elsewhere or even online. Many pharmacies offer cash back or gift cards when you transfer your prescription there, which can be an opportunity for big money-savings. you can use GoodRx app To compare prices in your area.
- If you’ve been with your auto insurance company for a while, you can get big savings by signing up for a new plan. Pok around and see what new rate quotes you can get. If you like the company you’re with and don’t want to switch, give them a call and see if you qualify for any discounts that weren’t available when you first signed up.
Has your family made saving money a priority? I’d love to hear your handy tips in the comments.