Need some extra cash? No time to get another job? Sounds like it’s time to give up a few things. Some are realistic, some aren’t. Even choosing one or two things could save you $100 a month.
Let’s start with the basics
- Stop getting your coffee at the local coffee shop
- Stop eating lunch out
- Stop buying flowers for your significant other. Just kidding, keep doing that!!
IN THE HOME
- Unplug things when you aren’t home. Seriously who remembers to do that?
- Replace your old bulbs with the new bulbs. I won’t lie, that’s a tough one too, since the new ones are so expensive.
- Close the curtains in the winter to keep the heat in and close them in the summer to keep the sun out.
- Make home super enjoyable. The more you like to be there the less you will be out spending money.
- Get on Pinterest and find easy home projects to furnish and decorate your home. Just because you have Pottery Barn taste doesn’t mean you have to pay those prices.
- Don’t keep up with the Jone’s. Turns out, they are in debt over their head. Instead buy what you can pay cash for.
- Get rid of your home phone. Do you even use it anymore? We got rid of ours 2 years ago.
- Use Living Social, Groupon, or any of your favorite deal sites. You can score some great entertainment deals on food, activities and even trips.
- Buy the Entertainment book which has great movie ticket coupons.
- Enjoy Happy Hour instead of a dinner at a nice restaurant.
- Watch for free concerts around town. These happen a lot during the summer, but even in the winter you can find a few here and there.
- Instead of grabbing a coffee with a friend go for walk. You usually just want to talk anyways.
- Get rid of cable. There is really never anything on anyways.
- Replace cable with Hulu. I think it’s about $100 a year.
- Do all your trips together. This is another one that comes up often, but my husband can’t think like this. Some people just need to make an conscious effort to get it right.
- Take 15 minutes and see if you really can save on car insurance. After we added a kid, we spent more than 15 minutes and easily saved ourselves $75 a month.
- Consider selling your car for a car with a lower payment. Or better yet look for a car you can pay cash for and get rid of the car payment altogether.
- Ask for discounts even when getting your oil changed. Last time I had the wrong coupon, so I asked them (after the oil change was done) what they could do for me. They took care of me. (keeping up on maintenance will save you more money in the long run.)
- Share a car if you can. We actually could have kept sharing if my daughter didn’t have 2 jobs. But we did have 3 drivers and 2 cars for almost 3 years. The 3rd car was a car we paid cash for.
- Keep the lights off if you are not in the room. Don’t think this makes a difference? Check your electricity bill between the summer and the fall. The bill goes up in the fall even though you don’t use heat or air.
- It’s hard to do in this economy, but try and refinance. That could easily save you over $100 a month.
- Keep up on maintenance. Fix the small things, instead of waiting for the big problems.
- Do your own yard work.
- Clean your own house. I know it would be nice to have help, but when times are tough, it’s one that needs cut out.
- Do a weekly menu plan for your dinners. It keeps you from eating out and it keeps you from impulse buying at the store. Make that $4.99 Costco chicken into 4 meals.
- Here’s one that I hate to pass on…eat vegetarian once a week. I really do like my meat.
- Inventory you freezer, fridge and pantry. Come up with as many meals as you can with what you have on hand. I like to do this every once and awhile.
- Whenever you stop in for milk always check the markdowns in the meat department. If something is not marked down and it should be, just ask.
- When you buy articles of clothing make sure they are super versatile.Then you won’t need so many pieces.
- Don’t feel like you need to buy quality clothing. I know, it seems wrong, but if you buy cheaper items you can afford to get new clothes more often. And some of my quality clothes are out of style.
- Don’t shop reused, well unless you want to. Target markdowns are usually better deals.
- Do a clothing swap with friends.
So you have done the basics. But What else could you possibly cut out??
- Look at switching to a cheaper hairdresser. I had to ask myself if it was worth paying $30 to have my layers trimmed. Not ready to switch? Try and make it last an extra week or two.
- Do your boys have short hair? Consider cutting it yourself. I started doing this 5-6 years ago. I paid $40 for good clippers and have kept them in good running condition.
- Plan days to just stay home.
- Ask friends to come over for coffee instead of out.
- Make nice meals at home and serve it with wine, beer or cocktails. It might not be a frugal thing to do, but they are a fraction of the cost to make as opposed to buying them at a restaurant.
- Don’t go to the mall or any store just to look around. Don’t check out Target clearance. When we were really, really poor I would go shop Target clearance. Yes I was saving money, but I was also spending money I didn’t have on things I might not have really needed.
- Write down what you spend. Just seeing where it goes will help you cut back. To save $100 a month just cut out $25 a week.
Over a year ago we really had to cut back on our spending and I put many of these to good use and I managed to save us over $500 a month. It can be done!!
What are you doing to save money? I mean to seriously attack that monthly bill??