Farmer Long and I have always lived pretty frugally, it’s just part of who we are and the lifestyle we have chosen. I’m always looking for ways to pinch pennies, save money, and stretch our income. I wanted to be able to share all the things we do to save money. I’m sure there a lot of people out there, like me, scouring the internet for money savings tips, so I just wanted to provide an additional resource and source of inspiration. We have not tried all of these, but most we have, or will at least be trying soon. Here are 125 money saving tips that you can start trying today. I have separated them into categories for easier reading. I hope you find them helpful!
- Don’t finance cars, pay cash, it’ll save you tons in interest and keep you out of debt
- Don’t buy new cars –they lose value just driving them off the lot. Buy a least a 3-4 year old car.
- Buy used cars that are reliable, and pay cash. Don’t have the cash, but can “afford” a payment? Well pay yourself the payment instead, and then when you have enough cash, purchase the car free and clear, that’s what we do.
- Keep up with scheduled maintenance, and do as much of it yourself as you can. Keep your car running well, and as long as possible.
- Do your own basic auto maintenance and repairs. If this is new to you, maybe start with replacing light bulbs, then move on to oil changes, etc., then when you feel more confident move on to bigger projects. YouTube and online forums are a great place to learn. Also, you could possibly barter with someone to help you in exchange for something else…maybe you know plumbing, but your friend doesn’t, but they know auto stuff. Maybe work out a barter… you show them how to fix their leaky sink in exchange for them showing you how to change your oil. Bartering can also be applied to many other areas of life as well.
- Drive efficiently: Research what speed your car gets the best fuel efficiency and try driving that speed. Use cruise control when on the highway. Don’t accelerate quickly. Keep a good distance behind the car in front of you, so you won’t be constantly braking and accelerating, especially in traffic.
- Drive without air-conditioning when possible, roll the windows down and enjoy that fresh air. I don’t know if this really affects fuel efficiency that much, but I like to think it does J
- Know which gas stations have the best value and where they are located, and make a plan so you never have to get gas at a more expensive station. Even if that means you have to fill up more frequently. For example, I save about $18-27 every month just by exclusively filling up at Costco. I commute pretty far so it might not be as significant for you, but hey even a few bucks here and there is nice! I’ve heard of a lot of people that use the Gas Buddy app, or other similar apps, that help find affordable gas stations. I haven’t used these personally, but they do seem like great resources.
- Carpool if at all possible; there is a lot of vanpool and ride share options for commuting nowadays as well.
- Drive safely and defensively: the less at fault accidents, the cheaper your insurance will be. You won’t be paying out deductibles to insurance for accident repairs, and no rental car payments.
- Don’t speed or avoid any other moving or parking violations: speeding tickets are crazy expensive! I’ve also heard of a carpool violation that was almost $700, avoid these costly tickets, fines, and fees like the plague! An added bonus: it keeps your driving record clean too.
- Compare your insurance rates against other companies; you might be able to save a little by switching.
- Make sure you bundle multiple vehicles or house and vehicle to save
- If you don’t drive a lot, ask about a low mileage discount
- If you have a vehicle that’s worth under $2,000, consider getting rid of collision and just have liability, or state minimum coverage (but only if you are out of debt and have enough emergency savings to pay for any repair or replacement if needed).
- Combine all your errands into one trip, especially if you live far from town like we do. I try to run most of my errands on my way home, so I don’t have to use as much gas later to go back out to town.
- No spending on credit, and if you do, make sure you pay your bills on time in full –save money on late fees and tons on interest
- Limit or stop using credit cards, especially if you have a problem with self-control
- If you have credit card debt, or if you have a spending problem, cut up your credit cards, don’t use them anymore. And once you are done paying off the debt, cancel the card completely. Set up an emergency fund, budget, and save for purchases so you never need to use credit again!
- If you do use credit cards, pay it off immediately after purchase is done pending on the account –that’s what we do, and that way we’re never “behind” a month on a bill.
- No financing, save up and pay cash
- Switch out blubs to LEDs/CFLs
- Use limited electricity – Watch less TV, turn off lights, unplug devices/appliances you don’t use on a regular basis
- Limit heating/cooling costs -we almost never turn on our air conditioning/heater. Be strategic with opening and closing curtains, blinds, and windows instead.
- Turn off the water while showering in the summer/warmer parts of the year. If you can stand the cold for short periods of time, try turning off the water between washing.
- Check your water heater’s temperature; adjust it lower if you can
- Set up drip irrigation for landscape/garden –less waste equals more savings, and the plants usually do better as well!
- Install a rain catchment system to your roof, and use that for watering your landscape
- Re-direct grey water for use in watering non-edible landscape
- Hang dry clothes –not only will it save on utility costs, but your clothes will last longer too. I’ve been hang-drying exclusively for over a year now and I love it!
- Shop around for cell phone provider companies; see if switching will save you some money. That’s what we did a few months ago, and were saving $80 a month now!
- Get rid of the house phone –if anyone even still has one (Unless you need it for a home business).
- Get rid of cable –we even got rid of internet too! Click here to read about the 6 ways our life is better without cable and internet.
- See if your toilet has an adjustment for how much water fills the tank/flushes, if you adjust the amount down, you can save on water costs. If it doesn’t, I’ve heard of people putting water bottles in the tank to off-set the water. Or if you have an older toilet and were looking into getting a new one, get a more water efficient model, some local water districts/companies are even offering rebates or free efficient toilets.
- Have a smaller home, or don’t have more house than you need –utility costs are cheaper to heat and cool a smaller home. And usually having a smaller house generally costs less aka lower mortgage and taxes.
- See if your waste management company offers smaller waste bins/trash cans for curbside pick-up, which in turn they charge you less for trash service. This is pretty rare, but I’ve heard of it done in urban cities.
- If you have the option to use different utility companies, then shop around! I spent some time calling around to get quotes to fill our propane tank, and I ended up using a small local company that was almost half the price of the larger more mainstream company.
- Do your own home repairs. If you don’t know how, try to learn from friends, YouTube and online forums. Or barter!
- Mow your own lawn, maybe even offer to mow your neighbor’s too, especially if you’re doing yours anyways.
- Need new furniture? Maybe try your hand at building some. Farmer Long built us a bed frame from 2x4s over 5 years ago and it still works great! Is it the prettiest? No… but it works! And it’s saved us from buying expensive bedroom furniture. If you don’t feel comfortable building furniture, look into buying used… check out garage sales and Craigslist. I’d been wanting a book shelf for quite some time… this past year we found a nice plain real wood book shelf for cheap on Craigslist, it had definitely been well loved… but nothing a little sanding and spray paint couldn’t help! We try to avoid buying new cheap “Ikea” type furniture, but well-made real wood furniture is more expensive, so buying used and fixing it up to make it more our style has been very helpful in keeping this part of our budget down. Because we are open to any style of furniture pieces, we’ve actually scored on a lot of cheap or free used furniture from family members too! So if you’re open to a more mix-match furniture set up, you could save some money here too.
- Give used appliances a try; just make sure they work first. A lot of people are only selling because they are upgrading their current appliances, or are just moving, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are in bad condition.
- Gardening –provide a portion of your produce by growing it yourself, especially herbs and veggies that you eat a lot and that grow well in your area.
- Fruit trees –if you don’t have fruit trees, consider the investment in planting some in your yard. When in season, this tree will produce a lot of fruit! If it’s too much for your household to consume regularly, look into a tree that has been grafted with multiple other types of fruit, so you don’t get sick of the same thing all the time. You could also get dwarf varieties, or consider trading with a friend or neighbor that grows a different type of fruit. Or of course preserve what you cannot eat! Also, remember to do a little research on what grows best in your area and how much water and maintenance the tree will require throughout the years.
- Cook from scratch: processed or packaged foods cost more, are less healthy and don’t taste as good as food from scratch.
- Eat at home for all meals, limit eating out –we love eating out so this was a hard one for us at first, but now we love eating at home and don’t really think about eating out as much, it just takes a little time to get used to it. But its definitely worth it, this is the area we have saved the most money! Also, consider learning how to make your favorite restaurant meals at home!
- If you work, pack a lunch every day.
- Use dinner leftovers for lunch, so you don’t get sick of boring sandwiches every day at work. Or even make meals specifically for lunch –I like making homemade chili and soups specifically for our lunches.
- Freezer cooking: this is one of my new favorite things. Make several batches of something like lasagna, enchiladas, soup, etc., and then freeze half or however many more batches it makes. Then on nights you don’t feel like or have time to cook, you just have to pop them in the oven and you have a delicious warm and healthy meal in no time!
- Eat before you go to the grocery store, or bring a snack with you. This will help limit impulse buys at the store, and also help you avoid going through the drive-thru while you’re out.
- Stretch your meals/make your meals go further. For example when I make a whole chicken, we will eat some of it for 1-2 meals just as chicken, then I’ll use some of it to make soup, which will be multiple meals from that, and then I’ll make chicken stock out of the carcass, which has tons of uses in that form. Therefore I am stretching it into as many meals as we can! I also add onions and veggies to a lot of recipes which stretches really well.
- Eating more frugal food items aka not having steak multiple times a month, maybe only once per month. Rice, beans, and oatmeal are very cheap, as long as you buy in the dry form, and even cheaper when bought in bulk. And not only are they frugal, but they are good for you too!
- Eat smaller meat portions: unless you need a lot of protein like my husband, try eating smaller meat portions or substituting out meat for non-meat proteins. You could also try “Meatless Mondays.”
- We raise a good percentage our own meat, and all of our own eggs –if I can sell some on the side, it saves us some more money too. So maybe look into raising a few chickens for eggs or other animals for meat. If you are in an area that you can’t have chickens or livestock, maybe look into raising meat rabbits… that’s what we did in the suburbs when first starting out!
- Buy spices in the bag in the ethic/Hispanic food section rather than the regular spices in the plastic containers, they are cheaper and just as good! I just refill pre-existing containers of that same spice.
- Shopping and cooking in bulk –there’s usually good deals for buying in bulk, and when you cook in bulk, it’s easier to buy in bulk. It saves a lot of time too: saves time going to the store frequently and also saves time cooking as well.
- Food storage and preservation: if you will be buying in bulk, you need to consider how you are going to store and/or preserve it first. We’ve chosen to make the investment in a large chest freezer and other items such as a pressure canner, vacuum sealer, and a dehydrator. Soon we will be buying food grade storage buckets and oxygen absorbers to expand our food storage and preserving capabilities. Make sure you have a plan before buying bulk, and invest in good equipment.
- Meal planning: this has completely changed our food budget around. Now that we always have a plan, we don’t run into the “there’s nothing to eat” dilemma we used to regularly fall victim too.
- Frugal shopping: Sales -Keep an eye on sales, look through the weekly mailer to see what’s on sale before you make your meal plan. Know the prices of things you buy commonly so you know if you are actually are getting a good deal or not.
- Frugal shopping: Rebates –I was super skeptical about rebate apps at first, but I’ve actually received a lot of money back on things I was already planning to buy. The rebate money I get back is stored on the app and I can take this money out and redeem it as a gift card or on paypal! My favorite 3 apps are: Ibotta, SavingStar, and Checkout 51. I like SavingStar because they always have a “Healthy Offer” produce item available for rebate for the week. For example, this week its lettuce and I get a $0.25 rebate. A lot of rebates are for packaged and processed foods, so it’s nice having some healthier options too. SavingStar links to your store’s rewards card, so it’s so easy to use because I don’t have to take pictures of the receipt, it just automatically applies the rebates at checkout, but make sure you provide your rewards card or phone number when checking out or it won’t work. For SavingStar I have $5.25 saved up from the last few months. Checkout51 is another good one, there’s always a rebate for my favorite butter, so that’s a win! For Checkout51 I have $2.25 saved up from the last few months. Ibotta seems to be the most user-friendly with the most modern layout, and is always the first one I check. They have great rebates for household products, personal hygiene, alcohol, food, etc., its great! Something else I love about Ibotta is that they have rebates for “Any Brand” items for things like ground beef, milk, bread, eggs, etc., so I can buy whichever brand of these items I want, and still get the rebate. For Ibotta I already have $16.25 saved up from the last few months!!! What’s even better is that if you sign up and use my code: fsqbiio you will get a $10 welcome bonus when you take advantage of your first rebate, and I will get a $5 referral too! It’s only a few minutes of extra work, but totally worth it, especially if you can use the rebate money for extra things or splurges like date night, a gift for yourself, or Starbucks! Just remember to only buy what you were already planning on buying J
- Frugal shopping: Coupons –I’m not much of a couponer, but I do take advantage of my main grocery store’s online coupons, and a few that I come across in my weekly mailer. However, I’ve heard people saving tons couponing… so you might want to give it a try!
- Frugal shopping: Bulk shopping –buying in bulk is usually cheaper, but not always, so make sure you are always comparing. Membership stores, such as Costco and Sam’s Club are usually where people do their bulk shopping. We have a Costco membership, which the savings on our gas more than pays for the membership, so we also like taking advantage of the shopping savings as well. However, make sure that you can save enough that it makes it worth it to pay the membership, if not, you’re not actually saving. Maybe even look into possibly splitting a membership with a friend or family member. Whatever you buy in bulk, especially perishables, make sure that you and your family can actually eat it all without it going bad. We personally love that Costco carries lots of organic options for a reasonable price. We also like to buy bulk produce and beans, and then can it at home so we don’t have to worry about it going bad. We save a lot of money doing this and eat healthier too. On a side note, we also buy the higher end Kirkland brand dog food from Costco, if you look at the ingredient list, it’s VERY similar to other specialty limited ingredient name-brand dog food, but for a MUCH cheaper price. If you have a lot of dogs to feed like we do, you should definitely look into it!
- Buy in season produce –find out what’s in season and what grows locally or within your state. Not only is it cheaper, but it’s also better for the environment!
- Compare prices and stores… my new obsession is Aldi, if you have one near you I recommend checking it out. It’s a little “different” than the big chain grocery stores you are used to, but so much cheaper! They also have some great affordable organic options too!
- Buy the store brand if it’s cheaper, and it usually is. Especially with things like canned food, look at the ingredients, they should be the same. For example: green beans… the ingredients on both brands should say: green beans, water, and maybe salt, that’s all, they are the same… save yourself some money!
- Make sure to check the clearance/day-old rack in the back of the grocery store, I’ve found some pretty good things here before, and they weren’t even expired. One time I got pasta sauce crazy cheap because the company changed the labeling/graphics so they put all the old model sauce jars on the clearance rack, and the expiration date wasn’t for another year or so!
- No impulse buying… Bring a list and stick to the list.
- Avoid stores you struggle with, or only bring the exact cash you need for the necessary purchases on your list, ie. Target dollar section 😉
- Spend time making your list that way you don’t have to go back to the store again -it’ll also save you time in the store as well.
- Get what you need for the whole week if possible, less trips means less chances for impulse buying
- Check your fridge, freezer, and pantry before meal planning or shopping, use what you have first
- Make sure leftovers and anything perishable is eaten before it expires or goes bad, no wasting food! If you have to, find fun recipes to try with the random ingredients or produce you have leftover
- Always keep staples on hand… I always keep spices, baking ingredients, cooking oils, canned food, butter, milk, eggs, stock, rice, and onions available. These are things I cook with often and are used for a variety of meals. This keeps me from running to the store often, or having the excuse of “there’s nothing to make” –I can always make something out of these ingredients.
- Limit excessive clothes/shoe/purse/accessories/etc. spending; learn to appreciate living with less.
- Take advantage of thrift store savings –I love thrift store shopping; I’ve gotten some very cute tops (that I get lots of compliments on) for less than $2! And what’s even better is I don’t ever have to feel guilty doing this kind of shopping.
- Frugal shopping: always keep sales, deals, and coupons in mind.
- Hang dry clothes –they last longer and therefore less need to buy more
- Buy and wear only a few simple capsule outfits/wardrobes that you can adjust to make multiple different looking outfits. If the clothing is simpler, it can easily work throughout the changing style seasons, and you can get away with wearing it more often.
- Multi-purpose clothes –I buy clothes that I can wear both to work and casually, therefore less clothes I need to buy.
- Repair clothing: get a little mini sewing kit (I got one on Amazon for $1) and repair any clothing that just needs a quick stitch. Repairing otherwise good clothing will save you a lot by not having to buy new. For example, Farmer Long had a belt loop that ripped on his jeans. The jeans were in great condition still, so he repaired them with just a few minutes of his time. Another idea, when you get clothes that come with buttons sewed into the tag or seem, take the button off and put it with your sewing kit, you never know when you might need that button, even long after that blouse or sweater is gone. I put my sewing kit into a mason jar so that other items like buttons can be added easily, and it just looks cute in a mason jar!
- Children’s clothing: accept hand-me downs from friends and family. Donate or pass down to someone else what you don’t like or use, or when they grow out of them.
- Host a clothing exchange with friends or family, especially if you know others that are in you or your children’s size range. The women in my family do this every once in a while, we even do shoes, purses, scarves, and jewelry, and other accessories… it seems like everyone always walks away with something regardless if anyone else is their size or not. Last year, after everything was picked through, my mom just donated anything that wasn’t taken to a women’s shelter.
- Use cash, you “feel” it more
- Before buying anything, ask yourself: “can I do without?”…“can something else serve this similar purpose?”… “Is this worth [however many hours of work]?”
- Save up for purchases: if you want a new TV, put money aside for it each month, and when you have the full purchase price saved, then go and buy it.
- Always sit on large purchases for at least 48 hours to make sure you really need/want to make that purchase. This can help avoid a lot of regret later on.
- Check your dollar stores, you can find some great stuff there. For example, I buy all my cards, stationary, party supplies (table clothes, plates, straws, etc.), gift bags, and wrapping paper from dollar stores. Especially for “throw-away” items like these, why spend tons on it?
- Sign up for any and all free store rewards programs, and think outside of the box, beyond your normal grocery store and department store rewards. For example, when Farmer Long doesn’t have the time to do my oil change, I’ll usually go to Valvoline to have it done, and they always send me a $7 off coupon via email! Also, we have an auto store we generally shop at, O-Reilly Auto Parts, and with their rewards program, every $100 we spend; they send us a card for $5 off our next purchase. This worked great recently when we had to get a new battery for my car, then shortly after it needed new headlights. Because of the large battery charge, we got $5 off on my headlights.
- After-holiday bargains: shop for next year after the holiday is over and take advantage of majorly discounted items. After Christmas for example, I’ll go to stores like Target and Walmart and look at their holiday décor, gift bags, wrapping paper, ornaments, gift items, etc. and it’s usually marked down to around 75% off! That’s the time to shock up for next year.
- Online shopping: this one could be bad too, but as long as you are focused on what you need and don’t just go looking through other items, you can save some money. For example, I use Amazon regularly and have Prime, so I get free 1-2 day shipping. The prices of the items are usually cheaper than in-store, so that’s a savings. But I also don’t have to physically go into the store and get tempted by dollar sections and cute displays. This saves me time, especially when I need a pretty unique item that I might have to search multiple stores to find. I also save money on gas to make an extra trip to the store!
- I used to buy a lot of books, now I just go to the library and check out the book for free, as long as it’s a book I don’t want a physical copy of.
- Keep your receipts, especially for large purchases; you never know when you might need to make a return.
- Check out free things to do in your area with a quick internet search, or ask friends and neighbors for recommendations.
- Stay home –instead of going out play board games, read a book, etc.
- Skip the movies, have a “movie night” at home. Maybe pick up some ice cream or pop some popcorn to make it more fun. Pick up a Redbox movie, they are cheap, and if you sign up for their rewards, you can sometimes get free movies.
- Skip the restaurants -have people over for dinner instead, or recreate a favorite restaurant meal at home.
- Have date nights at home –make a meal together that you love, maybe even splurge on some more expensive food like some nicer steaks, seafood or something, it’s still cheaper than going to a restaurant, and much healthier too!
- Go to the library for books and movies, also free activities for kids. I just recently started doing this and I’m hooked. I save so much on getting books from the library instead of always purchasing them. Also, if your library is part of a network or branch of libraries, check to see if you can order books from other libraries. I just go online to the library catalog, search for the book I want, check the locations and availability, if it’s at another location, I just submit a request, and within a few days it’s shipped to my local library for free! It doesn’t get much better than that. Oh and check out the DVDs too, I always thought they were just educational, but no, they have tons of mainstream movies and TV series that are free to check out!
- Go hiking or walking instead of shopping or other expensive pastimes, it’s healthier too!
- Come up with some free date ideas, need help with ideas? Check out this post from the Dating Divas blog.
- Save up and pay cash for a vacation, you will enjoy it so much more knowing you don’t have to be stressed paying for it while trying to enjoy yourself. You also don’t want to come home from vacation and try to figure out how you’re going to make payments on that credit card statement that just came in the mail. We do this for all our trips, and it makes the planning part even more fun. For example, a few years ago, Farmer Long’s dad paid for an amazing Alaskan cruise for us to all go together on. It was a trip that we would probably never be able to afford on our own for quite some time; we really appreciated him taking us! However, we needed to save up money for entertainment and anything else we wanted to spend money on while we were there. We knew this was a trip of a lifetime for us, so the second we knew about this trip, we started putting aside money every month for it. We didn’t want to have to “worry” about spending money, and just wanted to be able to know that we could have guilt-free fun! Because we were so motivated, we ended up saving more than we even thought we could. We did so many fun things, and spent money on nice meals, fancy drinks, souvenirs, zip lining, etc., and because we had the cash already put aside for these purposes specifically, we enjoyed them so much more! And funny thing is, we actually came back with extra money we didn’t even spend!…so we got the added bonus of putting that into savings. And the best part was NO hefty credit card statement waiting in the mail for us when we got home! 🙂
- Go camping instead of staying at hotels. Campgrounds are cheaper and you can bring your own food and cook all your meals.
- If you don’t want to camp, you can still save money on hotels by staying at an Airbnb or Hipcamp instead. I haven’t had the chance to do this yet, but really want to! There are some pretty awesome and unique places you can stay and things you can do, definitely check it out.
- Plan a staycation –we’ve done this, and will actually be doing it again in a few weeks. Take some time off work, but stay home. Get some things done around the house that need to be done, but also relax –sleep-in, take a nap, etc. You can also enjoy some vacation-type things in your own local area too: amusement parks, hiking spots, beach, lake, river, mountain, zoo, museum, or any other tourist-type attraction.
- Visit and stay with family or friends instead of a more expensive vacation. Do you have any family or friends in another state that have been begging you to visit and stay with them? –take them up on the offer! Kill two birds with one stone: stay with them and save money on a hotel, food, rental car, etc., but also get to spend some quality time with people you care about that you don’t get to see very often!
- Vacation with other people (friends/family): If you’re driving to the destination, try carpooling together. Pay only one parking fee for a theme park or one entrance fee for National Park, etc. Maybe you can even split a two bedroom hotel suite, condo, or house? Split the cost of a boat or off-roading vehicle rental. Or try to split up the cost of meals with everyone on the trip… we do this while on vacation with family. Each individual, couple or family plans a meal and cooks that meal for everyone; this really helps split up the costs for the trip. Then everyone else can relax and enjoy themselves on their non-meal days, and the people in charge of cooking only have to worry about their designated day/meal. Other that saving money not eating out, other bonuses include: eating healthier, eating delicious home-cooked food, trying other food you may not have prepared yourself, enjoy working together as a large group to be frugal and save money, and having fun cooking a meal together as a family.
- Plan meals you can cook yourself while on vacation, or at least bring your own snacks and drinks.
- Try to walk instead of driving places if you are in an urban city, it could help you avoid a rental car and parking fees, and can save you money on a taxi, it’s also healthier too! Farmer Long and I have found that we come across many more hidden gems walking the city instead of driving places; it also gives us a lot of good conversation time too. So get your good walking shoes on and enjoy what the city has to offer… on foot!
- If it’s not practical to walk, try using Lyft or Uber instead of a taxi, -we’ve saved lots of money doing this, and the ride is way more pleasant too! If you have never used Lyft before, use my code NATALIE97872 to get a first free ride up to $20!
112: Check with your employer for any benefits, such as employer match for 401k, my employer matches 3%, so if you employer did the same; make sure you at least have that 3% going in. Check for other less common benefits as well, such as group rate discounts and other benefit programs (gym membership, insurance, legal services, health programs, etc.). For example, my company has this wellness challenge program, for completing tasks, such as eating healthy, walking, or a health self-assessment, etc., I get points, those points turn into reward dollars that I can use for gift cards. Last year we used these gift cards to pay for a brand new BBQ, and so far this year we paid for a brand new weed-whacker. It’s a decent amount of extra money, especially for not really having to do much for it. If your company has something like this, you definitely don’t want to miss out!
113: Keep an eye on the free section on Craigslist for free items that you can possibly flip to make some extra cash, or just use for whatever you need it for. You can also find a lot of things for sale that might fit your needs instead of paying full price for something new in the store.
114: Recycle your cans –if you live in a state like CA that does redemption, it’s an easy way to get back a few dollars every once in a while. Maybe use it for something fun like date night or something, that way it’s more motivating to actually go and turn them in. We call it “beer money” lol.
115: Get out of debt: work as hard and fast as you can to pay off any debts you have, not only are you wasting money on paying interest, but you will feel so much more free after getting that out of your life. “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” -Proverbs 22:7 NIV
116: Know the difference between a need and a want.
117: Budgeting/Writing down and tracking all purchases: if you don’t do this already, now is the time to start. Tracking all our purchases and setting up a budget has turned everything around for us. Know where your money is going, you might be surprised on how much you spend in some areas. For us, we were completely shocked to find out how much we were spending on eating out!
118: Try using budgeting software or apps. Microsoft office has a budget template, you can also get budget templates online by just doing a quick google search. Budgeting apps that I have heard are good are Mint and EveryDollar.
119: Live within your means: really evaluate what you can actually afford, and when I say “afford” I mean afford your lifestyle without going into debt and also by putting money into savings on a consistent basis, and investing into your retirement. Take a look at your spending habits and your lifestyle and make adjustments where needed.
120: Invest in your retirement –let compound interest make you some free money! If you don’t know much about investing, like me, start learning because no one else is going to learn it for you. You are the one that is most invested in your future, you are your own best asset, so work on educating yourself, or find someone qualified to teach you. These last few months I have been trying to learn as much as I can about investing, it’s a slow process and I have a lot to learn still, but I already feel so much more comfortable planning for my future.
121: Contentment: create a new mindset of non-materialism and learn to appreciate what you have, be content with your life, and not expect happiness from material objects. No more keeping up with the Joneses… because the Joneses are broke!… like Dave Ramey always says!
122: If you don’t know who Dave Ramsey is, look him up! He has this amazing step by step plan to help get you to financial freedom. He’s been a huge teacher and inspiration for us. We’ve taken his Financial Peace University classes and highly recommend it to everyone!
123: Goals/dreams: really think about your goals and dreams, both short-term and long-term. Write them down. Figure out how you are going to make them happen. How much money do you need to make it happen? How much time will it take? Figure these things out, make a plan, and think about them constantly. This will give you incredible motivation and inspiration to keep working hard towards and accomplishing your goals and dreams!
124: Ask your friends and family what tips they have for saving money, and offer some of your own tips as well.
125: Talk to your friends and family about your money saving goals and your short and long term dreams. This will help them understand your situation better, especially if you need to say no to outings that you cannot afford. But it also helps having the support system, someone to help keep you motivated, and you never know who else you might be inspiring to live a more frugal lifestyle.
I hope you enjoyed this list and found it helpful for your money saving journey. And I hope it wasn’t too long!
What are some things you do to save money? Do you already do some of these? Any you would add to the list? I would love to hear from you, leave a comment below!