In our fast-paced world today, it can be incredibly challenging to save money. Ads all around us tell us to spend, spend, spend. I’m sure you’ve heard a few of these:
“There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”
“A Diamond is Forever”
“Because You’re Worth It”
With this bombardment of advertisement and a certain lifestyle expectation, we need some powerful tips and ideas on how to save money. Even if it’s a few hundred dollars for groceries, for a house, or for college, we usually need money now and we need it fast.
Be sure to check out my Budget + FREE Printable, For Beginners guide to help you set the foundation for your large financial strategies.
Below we are going to dive into 10 strategies to save you money right now on your budget and all those piling up bills!
10 Powerful Strategies to Save Money Right Now
Be sure to download my ten ways to save $100 free worksheet at the bottom of the page!
1. Do a budget and take a micro look at your expenses.
If you haven’t done so already, fill out a budget like the one below. And on that note, when I say ‘fill out a budget’, I don’t mean you kind of ‘know where your finances are’ or you ‘filled out a budget sheet a while back’. I mean, go line by line and total up all of your fixed and variable expenses.
By making this step, you will automatically see where you can save money.
In football, the coach always knows what the score is in order to push his team where they need to go. In the same way, your budget is your financial scoreboard. You have to know where you are at in order to understand where you need to go!
This month, I went through each of our fixed expenses and realized that three of them went up. Because of this, I searched for better deals, made some calls and reduced our bills by over $100.
That’s a $1,200 savings for this year alone!
So, fill out a budget. Download the worksheet below and be sure to check out: Budget + FREE Printable, For Beginners
2. Reduce your internet bill.
Your internet provider probably runs specials all the time to hook people into their service. Did you know that more than likely, you can call in and get one of those deals even though you aren’t a new member? I didn’t know this, but we were desperate. Our bills needed to go down as much as possible after we had our baby. The internet provider was offering specials that were $40 or more, lower than what we paid. We called in and they told me that anytime there is a special running (after my yearly plan is up) that I can always call in to receive the lower deal! I didn’t know!
We got our bill lowered by $40 and received the special that included cable for free. Even though we really didn’t use it. Haha.
3. Compare Car Insurance and really read the fine print.
Allow yourself a good chunk of time to analyze the details of your car insurance. Don’t be afraid to call in and ask if they have any deals. Most insurance companies want to keep you or earn your business, so it is very likely that they will give you better offers than you can find online!
We saved close to $100 by looking into what we really need and comparing insurance companies!
4. Check out Ebates
Basically, if you are going to do some shopping already, just go through Ebates and get cash back. It’s simple and easy. I love it. If you want to save a little money here and there on stuff you already buy now, then seriously check this out.
5. Check out some survey-reward companies like Swagbucks
I was always a little iffy about those survey taking reward companies but the more I followed other bloggers who did it and sang praises, the more I was open to the idea. I finally caved and looked into it. Swagbucks is great. You basically earn points for doing things you already do or by taking surveys. You can get some pretty great gift cards through it as well. Check it out here.
6. Take a close look at your phone bill.
I did some research and actually looked into what I was paying. We were basically financing our phones with the “special deal” promoted to us in the store! I recommend buying an older edition off of eBay instead of buying a brand new phone in the store!
This would have saved us over a thousand dollars!
I paid off the phones and called in to ask for the cheapest option they had. This saved us $75 a month.
7. Reduce your Eating-Out Costs.
Want to really see how much you are spending eating out? Simply, print out your bank statement last month, take a highlighter and quickly mark every time you spent money on eating out. You can also track this through Mint.com. You might be surprised. We were!
Set a goal for how much you’d like to spend eating out.
Maybe it’s just once a week instead of a few times a week. I once had a coworker that bought breakfast and lunch EVERY SINGLE DAY. Holy cow! Imagine what you could do with all that extra money!
8. Make a goal to get rid of your debt and those pesky, added interest rates.
Picture yourself free of the debt you have. Maybe that’s a car, a credit card, a student loan etc. I never realized how big the impact would be once we didn’t have those extra payments. A few hundred dollars here and a couple hundred dollars there on our bill every month added up to some phenomenal rewards.
Once we eliminated all that debt, we could live off of one income and I could stay at home and raise our baby.
What could you do with a debt-free life?
One of the things I did for some of our smaller debt (a few thousand dollars) was opt-in for a zero interest credit card. I transferred the debt to the card (there was a fee but it was smaller than the interest we were paying each month currently), paid it off within the zero interest time period and then canceled it once we were done.
It was amazing.
Now, if you are not good with credit cards, please skip this! But if you can handle the tracking and payment, then it could possibly save you hundreds or more. It did for us and I got rid of those loans for good!
Do a little research online and choose a zero interest card that fits your needs most.
9. Consider your “guilty pleasure” spending
How much do you spend on tobacco, alcohol, and/or marijuana? The average person spends over $750 a year in this category!
We love some wine with dinner but when we realized how much we were spending on it and what we could do with that extra cash, we decided to make a change. We made an alcohol budget and started testing out cheaper bottles. As a matter of fact, we found a $2.99 brand of wine at our local Kroger store that we love. One bottle of wine a week for us now totals $12 a MONTH. That equals less than ONE bottle of wine we used to buy a couple times a week!
This saved us well over $100 each month.
10. If you are a family with babies, consider cloth diapering, homemade baby food & thrift shopping for clothes.
You will save HUNDREDS, if not thousands.
Trust me on this one. I know cloth diapering may sound WAY out of the question but what if I told you they are basically the exact same as disposables except you wash them? Cleanup? Not a problem either. We use flushable liners. Modern cloth diapers aren’t grandma’s giant white folded sheet with clothespins anymore.
Check out some cloth diaper posts that have topped Pinterest in their category:
Cloth Diapers 101, The Complete Guide For Beginners
10 Things I Wish I Knew About Cloth Diapers
The bottom line is that if everyone knew how easy and cheap cloth diapering was, I truly believe everyone would do it. The trick is to start off on the right foot. Simply put, you need to have the right stuff to make it work. Just like you can’t leave out flour when baking a cake.
Homemade baby food is also super awesome. My cousin bought me the Baby Bullet (it comes with a whole feeding schedule and recipes!). Example: I paid .99 cents for carrots and made a couple WEEKS worth of food. And your baby will get a HUGE variety of foods that he/she would never get store bought.
I used to hate walking into thrift stores. But then I met more and more wealthy people who shopped discount and thrift. I found that more financially savvy, wealth building people shopped thrift and poorer income earners shopped name brand. Isn’t that interesting?
Now when I walk into a thrift store, I have the mindset that I am doing so because I am being financially smart with our money. Plus, I honestly have found the most adorable outfits ever at thrift stores for Mae. I have literally found the same exact OshKosh stuff brand new with tags for $2.50 compared to over $20 in-store. It is interesting that my favorite outfits have all come from the little thrift store around the corner than at the mall! Also check out Facebook Marketplace, Facebook groups selling kids stuff in your area and Craigslist.