Save some Cash

Our Top 5 Ways to Save Money

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Is this you? You’ve recently had a change in your life (marriage, new job, new baby, etc) that has required you to take a closer look into your finances. Upon inspecting things you discover you need to make some cuts, but where do you start? Guys, I’ve been there a time or 12 and let me tell you, its rough. I personally feel like I have a MUCH better handle on things right now and I’m excited to share some tips that I’ve found work for us to save some money.

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Don’t worry, a more in depth budgeting post is in the works but, until then I thought I’d ease you into it rather than shove all this stuff in your face and say, “Good luck”.

 

I touched on how I am saving money a little bit in my menu planning post and saving between 20-35% on our grocery budget has been wonderful. We have to stop and think though, that while a HUGE chunk of change goes to food, there are other places in your budget you could be saving as well. Right?!? I know there were for us so I thought I’d share them with you and help you figure out areas you could cut back too!! Maybe you’re younger than I am and just starting out and got yourself in a little over your head, I think this is a good place to start setting it straight. I wish I would have known some of these things back then, you know when I thought going out with my friends was more important than say, paying my credit card or {{GASP}} paying rent. We’re just laying it all out there now, aren’t we…

I’ll touch more on that in my next post but basically all I’m saying is we can all use a little help now and then so let’s get to the good stuff.

 

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1. Cut the cord

Cable TV is so darn expensive lately. Yeah, the initial rates they give you are great especially if you bundle to save, but lets face it who really uses a home phone anymore? But have you noticed that when your rate term ends it jumps to some astronomical rate? Yes, usually you can call them and see if they’re running any specials that you qualify for to get that rate back down. This isn’t always 100% reliable when you’re wanting to save some money though. So before you go drastically cutting cords with your cable company, start by asking them if you can cut your cable package back to the package below yours. It doesn’t save you a whole lot but could help out a little bit and a little is better than none. I totally understand if you just NEED your cable TV in your life but what if I told you that just to watch TV, all the shows I could really ever care about watching, cost us less than $25 a month. Yes you read that correctly, $25/month, I’m not missing a zero or anything. Our little family now streams ALL of our TV through our lovely AppleTV. There are several other products like this on the market, we just prefer this one. Think Roku, ChromeCast, Amazon FireStick, etc. Anywho, so the only thing I pay for is our Netflix account and CBS All Access and we pay a little more on that for no commercials. Can I get an AMEN for no commercials?? Wait, how can I watch everything I want only paying for those things, you may ask? I won’t give away all of my secrets but you can do this by using a new service called SlingTV. It’s a service you pay for that allows you to get access to all your favorite channels. From what I can tell, SlingTV is essentially the cable provider. Check them out for yourself as I am not familiar with that option. Yet…

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(If you wanted to know this ^ is a comparison of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 128GB/Intel Core i5 – 4gb RAM)

2. Price Match or Shop Around for everything

Lets say you’re looking for a new laptop computer (which I kind of am right now). Normally you just go into stores like BestBuy, find one, and buy it, right? Well yeah, you could do that, but using the example above you could have saved $274.99 off of BestBuy’s clearance and get free shipping with Amazon? Wouldn’t that make more sense? And couldn’t that extra $274.99 you saved be put to better use? Call me crazy but I am all about the shopping around life. This saves us money all over the place. My hubby is entering his final semester of his Master’s degree and can I just thank God for that and for the GI Bill? It has paid for both of his degrees in full and not only that but they graciously give him a book stipend. College books are pricey y’all… so when it’s time for him to get new books he would (without me of course) just go to the school bookstore and buy them. Thankfully I’m around to shop several different websites looking for the best deal. Just about every time I have come under the allotted amount. I say that’s a win in my book. Now shopping around isn’t just for things you could go out and buy. Absolutely not! You can shop around for the best car insurance rate or renters insurance or homeowners insurance. In some parts of TX you can shop around for the best electricity rate. I cut our electric bill in half doing that once. I promise, you wont be sorry you did that, not even a little bit. Check out this post for more tips on shopping around.

3. Cut down on going out to eat or getting that cup of coffee

Trust me, I know how easy it is to just say, hey lets go grab something to eat. I used to see this magnet that said “I’m making my favorite thing for dinner. Reservations”. I mean, it’s not lying, that’s probably my favorite thing too. There aren’t any dishes to do, someone else does the cooking.. it’s a dream come true. Not for your wallet though. My average family of 4 could easily spend $50 on dinner with no appetizers or desserts. But there are 2 other meals in a day, what if we went out for every meal? That’s pretty close to $100/day. That’s half of my weekly grocery budget spent in 1 day!! Can you imagine how many meals you can have at home with $100? Plenty, I’ll just say that. That’s not to say we don’t EVER go out to eat, this just means we try our hardest not to do it a lot. And when we do, it’s built into our budget (Check out this post). I just prefer to use our money on food from the grocery store. Yes this means I’m cooking far more but I know the quality of the food we are getting and each ingredient is friendly to our new way of eating. So I’m not too mad at that. Plus going out just ends up being a special little treat that we look forward to.

I promise you, you’ll have better tasting and better quality meals at home versus any restaurant.

If you remember from this post, I also tend to make my own coffee at home. But hubbs, who is the real coffee drinker of us 2, would break the budget to an extreme if he always went and got a cup of coffee from the local shop. SO, we have a Keurig (remember, shop around though, I found ours at Costco for $124.99), because it just makes more sense. This man can easily have about 3-5 cups of coffee a day, and I just can’t even think about how much that would cost per day at a coffee shop. So I do my best to keep him stocked up on some good coffee. I am not saying completely cut out coffee shop coffee but cut back a little bit. In my next post you’ll be able to see where you’re money is going now and how it can be better spent using these tips and the ones from my menu planning post.

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4. Do your own haircuts or manicures

I know you’re thinking “now you’re just going too far taking away my manicures”. To this I’d say, its just a suggestion. If it still fits in your budget nicely then go on girl. Manicures are fantastic!! They’re relaxing, they give you some time away for yourself and you end up with awesome looking nails. But unfortunately this is something that ends up being cut from the budget pretty quickly. So rather than using that $20-$50 for that manicure (depending on what you have done) I have an idea. Learn how to do it yourself. YouTube has a video for EVERYTHING, no seriously. I learned how to do acrylics myself on YouTube. I don’t enjoy long nails anymore so that skill no longer gets used. However, I have an obsession with nail polish but I don’t want it to chip in a few days. So I buy great quality gel nail polishes from Madam Glam and do my own gel manicures. I’m good for 2+ weeks each time I paint my nails. They have amazing colors and textures and I have a wish list a mile long (literally about 100 polishes on this list). And they are almost always running some kind of sale. But even better, they have a monthly subscription type service that for $29 they will send you 3 of their polishes (retail $19.95) picked by you or they surprise you. For us, one of the first things to get cut is haircuts for the boys. I have gotten pretty decent over the years at cutting my husbands hair in the military but now I’m not too shabby at cutting the boys hair. All I need is some clippers and we are good to go. Usually I just go without until we can fit it in but, I can also go about 2-3 months without a trim as opposed to the once every 2 weeks or so for my guys.

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5. Give your dogs a bath at home

We have 2 dogs, one that takes too long to bathe and dry and the other, I can get done in about 20 minutes total. Some weeks I’m better at sticking to it than others but lately, well lets just say they’re due, long overdue. Taking our dogs to the groomer is a great thing for me, however, that bill every couple weeks or so can be about $70-$90. So I decided that I needed to probably do that here at home. I bought a little attachment for our shower head and some really nice natural dog shampoo for dogs that have skin allergies/conditions or just itch a LOT. So Jax and Daisy starts as a system of the shampoo and a conditioning lotion that you use on the really allergy prone spots after drying. Its got essential oils in it that are known for healing and bonus, they smell good too. Extra bonus, they always have a 20% coupon code on their site. Jax and Daisy needs to be used pretty frequently at first until their stuff starts to heal up but after that, its about once or twice every week. I intend on doing a full post about my doggies but I have to call Jester out a little in this blog. He stinks… its terrible. He also scratches himself, A LOT!! Yes its sad and ooh poor baby, but maybe its just the bad pet parent in me but bathing him is exhausting. I just don’t wanna do it {{commence full on fit throwing, NOW complete with foot stomp}}. But I know it helps give him some relief and its better than taking him to get bathed somewhere, it just usually means I feel about 100 years old at the end of that day. Anyway, it saves us money and that’s the point of this post, right?

Well there you have it ladies and gents, my top 5 ways that we save money. I sincerely hope this helps some of you who are stressing out about cutting back to see its totally worth it.

 

**One last quick tip that I find helps us a LOT.** Always have a little cash on hand. This is usually for quick trips to the coffee shop or to grab a quick bite to eat so its not extra money coming out of our account. Those extra $5-$10 you think are no big deal at the time can add up if you do it a couple times a week. So save yourself the headache and each time you get paid, take $50-$100 out for yourself to get you through until you get paid again.

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These tips come from years of mess-ups guys. Years of thinking, “holy cow, where did all of our money go.” Thank the good Lord, I’ve finally taken His advice and started paying closer attention to what is going on. Some of these things do take some initial investment at first (ie: buying the AppleTV or Keurig) but thats the hard part. The rest is easy!!

 

*~*Stay tuned for the full on budgeting post coming soon!!!*~*

 

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Have an amazing day y’all, see ya next time!!

Ruth 1:16 ~ But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.
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