Who among us does not need to cut corners nowadays? We all are searching for ways to save money in our already tightened budgets. Forget saving money, some Americans can’t even pay their bills nowadays! So where do you find this mysterious cash? Why is it that most ways to save money generally end up asking us to spend more money! Are you scratching your head wondering how to save money each month? How to go from barely making ends meet to having a padded bank account, without getting a 2nd or 3rd job?
Let me help you save money each month in 10 easy steps:
1. Cancel anything that you pay $9.99-$12.99 a month for. These are generally subscriptions to various services that we may or may not use on a regular basis. We all have them. Cancel them. Today.
2. Cook at home. Pick a day of the week to go get something cheap to eat (kids eat free night is a great night to eat out at your favorite local restaurant with the family!), but every other night of the week commit to eat at home. This might mean you need to make a meal plan. Chicken Monday’s, Hamburger Tuesday’s, etc.
3. Utilize coupons. Check out this article on how to save money grocery shopping to learn how to chop 50-75% off your grocery bill.
4. Shop consignment stores and resale shops. Expect great prices on brand name clothing, sometimes still with the tags on!
5. Negotiate, negotiate, and negotiate. Call your electric company, call your cable company, call your phone company and let them know you have fallen on hard times. They want to continue to receive money from you, so it is in their best interest to work with you! If they won’t, find someone else who will.
6. Sell items you already have. Craigslist, EBay, garage sales are popular for a reason. People love to sell stuff, and other people love to buy stuff! This works in your favor. Something cluttering up your garage at this very moment might be of value to someone, somewhere out there. What have you got to lose? Since we’re trying to save money in 10 easy steps without spending money…Craigslist is the way to go (EBay has small listing fees and you could incur some costs holding a garage sale).
7. Sell yourself. Now before you get the wrong idea, I mean specifically to sell your talents. Everyone has a marketable talent! Maybe you are awesome at cleaning houses; maybe you are a fantastic seamstress. Are you tech savvy? Become a consultant. Are you great at writing? Try freelancing!
8. Simplify your life and learn to say no. Take a look at all your financial obligations to the people and organizations around you. Do you regularly buy lunch for the office out of your own pocket? Buy from every student fundraiser that comes your way? Attend every party and shindig even though you have to spend money on clothing and gifts? Learn to say no thank you. Experience the freedom of spending your money on the things you want, and spending your time where you want to.
9. Think outside of the box. Visit family friendly blogs (like this one!) for ideas on how to entertain kids for free (it is possible, I promise!). Do you only know how to cook one thing and it involves a pricey steak? Check out frugal recipe sites! You are in good company if you are trying to save money in today’s unfortunate economy. A quick Google search will help you find out how to save money on pretty much everything.
10. Lower your expectations. During this season of your life, the kind of savings and spending you have experienced in the past simply might not be possible. No matter how much fat you trim from your budget, when times are tough…they are tough. Accept that you need to change your lifestyle and your expectations. Sometimes just changing to a more positive outlook on your situation is enough to help you realize, it’s not that bad.
I hope I’ve helped you figure out where you can save money in these 10 easy steps. Pretty much anyone has a bit of fat in their budget somewhere, it might just be a hunt to find out where. Or it might just simply be about changing your attitude and expectations. Above all else, know that you are not alone, and you are not powerless. These might all seem pretty obvious, but when put together they can make a world of difference!
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My name is Heather and I am a frugal mommy saving money! Want to learn a bit more about Family Friendly Frugality? First subscribe to FREE daily emails. Next, learn more about our frugal blog by reading our about me post or read the popular series Our Story. Or jump in head first and learn how to reduce the family grocery budget, play the drugstore game, or catch up on the hottest frugality finds!