Do you suffer from what most Americans suffer from? Is it difficult for you to get ahead financially? Feeling overwhelmed by your constantly depleted piggy bank? My husband and I had the same conundrum!
I have some tips that have helped out our wallet immensely. We decided to utilize these seven tips to help cut back on expenses so we wouldn’t continue breaking the bank.
Get a budget and stick to it!
My husband was never a hard copy budget kind of guy. However, I am that kind of girl. I need to see tangibly where the money is going and what our goals are. I feel like many people need to see that….or else it doesn’t hit home.
You can constantly swipe, swipe, swipe and never feel the impact of those purchases. SO! What was our compromise? We found a website called Mint.com and it has totally changed the way we look at budgeting. Plus, it has an app so we can access it while we’re out. I always open it to double-check in case I have to put something back while shopping. It’ll keep you accountable—not only to yourself, but to one another!
This is a great website to check out and ta-da! It also comes in a handy-dandy app…because I ALWAYS check my gas level when I’m out and about, and lo and behold I will have no idea where the cheapest gas is. This little gem helps me to locate the best gas in my area. Go ahead, install it, use it, and you’ll thank me. You may not think those few cents add up, but think again.
Drink coffee at home.
This is hard for me to stick to. I LOVE getting coffee/tea out. It is my happy. However, if you love to pop over to Starbucks once in a while, make a budget and stick to it! And don’t forget to make your own at home! Get a reusable glass and make your own iced coffee, lattes, or tea at your house and bring it with you. You will have a “happy” in your hand when you go out and you won’t have to bust that piggy bank wide open for a $4 drink.
Shop sales and used
My husband and I rarely ever buy retail. I would rather have 3-4 items than 1 overpriced item. Wouldn’t you agree? We always look on Amazon before we go to Target and pick up what we want. (Oh, and P.S. Target now price matches Amazon!
So, if you pull that phone out while shopping and show them the lower price—they’ll match it!) We also have no NEW vehicles….why buy a new one when you can buy used? The car depreciates right when you leave the dealership. Thanks, but no thanks. When you can, buy used and look for sales!
Leave your card at home
If you’re easily tempted then avoid temptation altogether: leave your cash/card at home or in your car. Window shopping can be just as fun and if you really want something you can think about it instead of impulsively buying! You can also mull over how it will affect your budget and your goals. When you get back into your car and back home you will be happy you didn’t succumb to temptation.
If you do need to go shopping but cannot control your credit card usage, stick to cash or checks.
For the longest time my hubby thought that joining Costco would be a waste of money. He changed his tune. We have already saved hundreds by going to Costco. I love that they are getting more organic and gluten-free foods!
With extra food I can pre-portion it (the stuff that isn’t pre-portioned already like salmon) and freeze it for future meals. If you have kiddos then Costco is a must so you won’t go into debt trying to feed your family quality food!
Are you turning your lights off? How about your AC? Be sure that when you’re leaving each room you make it a rule to turn off any lights. Also, on cooler days try opening your windows and letting the breeze cool your house. In the winter, invest in heating blankets to keep the cost down!
If you simply implement a few of these tips you will start seeing a decrease in expenditures and an increase in your piggy bank. As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you take care of your pennies your dollars will take care of themselves.” Believe it or not, the pennies DO add up! So, start keeping track and start saving.
Hannah lives in San Diego, CA with her hubby, but was born and raised Southern. She has a degree in English, and utilizes it as a writer at her own lifestyle blog called Preciously Preserved. She can’t wait to have babies of her own in the future, but until then she is the mommy to one little 7 pound fur-baby, Bella Dolce.
Do you do any of the above? How do you lower your expenses?