Everyone is always looking for more ways to save a little money. In mine and hubby's stage of life, saving money on a not-so-large income has played a huge role in reaching our goals (starting a family, buying a home). So I thought I'd share a few tips we've learned about saving money and frugal living.
- Make a budget: Start off by writing down what you typically spend money on throughout the month. This will probably include: rent/mortgage, utilities/gas bills, food (groceries & eating out), internet, T.V., gas, car insurance, phone, health insurance, and don't forget some play money. Nate and I also include tithing and fast offerings in our budget. Add up the expenses and subtract them from your income, and you will see how much you can save per month. If you don't like what you see and want to save more money, find areas that you can cut back on. Examples: eating out, shopping, do you really need 1,000 channels? Set a limit to the spending in areas you can control and stick with it.
- Don't buy what you can't afford: Hubby and I never purchase anything we can't afford with cash at that time, which in return = no debt.
- Don't spend on what you don't need: use the 24 hr, week, or one month rule to prevent you from spending on things you don't need or splurging. When you think you really want to buy something, wait 24 hrs, one week, or one month before you purchase it. In most cases, you won't end up buying whatever it is you wanted, which means more money saved.
- DIY: Since moving into our home we've wanted to make a couple updates and changes, like... painting the kitchen (which would have cost a couple thousand dollars for someone else to do it), updating the fireplace, and adding board a board and batten wall to the entryway. We've also built some furniture for our home instead of buying it (these will be shared in posts coming soon!). We have saved $4,000 just by building our own furniture... something to think about!
- Couponing and searching good deals: No, I am not an extreme couponer but I do try to find good deals to go along with a few coupons I cut. You do have to search around a little to see if there are items on sale that you also have coupons for. For example, just last week I had two coupons for cereal, plus the kind of cereal was on a major sale, so I got 6 boxes of cereal for $6. I felt pretty proud of myself and that saved us $15 just on cereal!
These are pretty simple! Anyone can do them. Some of them may take a little extra time and effort but they are well worth it.
What are things you do to help you save money?