Money; It drives our society, it drives us personally, and it’s what helps make the world go round. Everyone likes to have nice things; material items they save up for or traveling funds they deposit some extra change into each month, but daily life and costs add up fast. Rent or mortgage, utilities, bills, food, gas, miscellaneous items that you weren’t planning on like new tires or a doctor’s bill. What’s the magic recipe that we are all searching for to make sure those monthly expenses are covered, money is going into savings and our 401K, and we won’t have to dip into savings if there is an emergency?
Truth is, no one has the answer. It’s a bummer I know. Believe me, if I could find a money tree I’d be a happy camper and I’m sure you would too. I do have some tips that have worked for my husband and I.
Following some of these helpful tips will be able to put some extra money in your account each month. Some might sound self-explanatory but you’d be surprised how many people don’t do them!
You won’t be able to save any money if you don’t know how much you spend each month. Write down all of your monthly expenses, everything that you can think of, even your Netflix account.
2. DON’T EAT OUT
I’m not saying NEVER go out to eat, but if you’re like my husband and me, we like food and we love to try new restaurants, but that adds up really quickly. We have a deal where every Friday night we have a date night. It helps keep the magic alive (remember you never stop dating even when you’re married!). Date night doesn’t mean we always go out, sometimes it’s curl up and watch a movie at home with some popcorn. But depending on your budget, limit yourself to one or two meals out a week… you’ll save TONS!
3. SHOP TRADER JOES & BULK STORES
I am Celiac (no gluten!) and lactose intolerant (I know, all the good stuff) so my grocery list can get complicated looking for specific ingredients to fit my dietary needs. However this all changed when I was introduced to Trader Joes years ago. They are my one stop shop and they are incredibly affordable and fresh products. I typically go to the grocery store every two weeks and stock up with lunch, dinner, and snack supplies for all under $120.
4. ALWAYS SHOP ON SALE FOR THE HOLIDAYS
I start my Christmas shopping immediately. I am never stressed when November/December runs around because throughout the entire year, I’ve been adding to my pile. When you’re out and about and see a board game on sale that I know my nieces and nephews will like, sold! It then goes into ONE plastic storage bin. Same goes for a shirt, decorative home piece, plate, etc. I buy when I see it. You’ll be amazed how much you save!
If you do share your finances with your partner, the biggest part of saving money is being a team. There is bound to be one person who is a little more frugal than the other. For example if it comes to cleaning products or home décor I have no self-control, even though I already have a bottle of a cleaner I haven’t even opened. I have a problem, I realize this. My husband is the same way when it comes to video games and books. Even though there is an entire bookshelf of games I’ve never seen him play and he won’t get rid of he has to have another one. So stick together, make yourself a deal and reward yourself with something you like after you’re able to set some money aside!
I hope these 5 tips can help you save!