We have all heard the ideas such as “Stop buying your daily cup of coffee” as a way to save some money. I don’t buy daily coffee (although I love it as a treat) so I have listed 5 simple ways to save money that we have used in the past that are very simple but maybe not so obvious.
Cut the cord
Cutting the cable cord is starting to become a trend and there is a great reason for this; it’s expensive! There are great streaming services out there for movies and TV shows, but something I recently discovered is that you can save TONS of money by switching to a LIVE TV streaming service!
We saved $60 just by calling our cable company (which is the only hard part about this process) and cancelling our cable service. The only thing we actually use live TV for is sporting events and occasional news, but honestly we get all the news and weather details we need from our phones and checking social media. But we were not willing to live completely without live TV due to the sports we like watching.
That being said, we did some research on the live TV apps out there that cost a fraction of what traditional cable costs. After some looking around we decided the best bang for our buck (and currently the cheapest provider out there) was Sling TV.
We had heard the name but never knew what this service was. Turns out they have different package deals as well as add-on options for live TV channels AND we can watch live TV from our phones or tablets too.
Believe it or not this actually helps us out a lot since Thanksgiving at the “in-laws” (my mom & Dad’s) results in not getting to watch the football game due to them not having TV. -Seriously, last year the guys were gathered around trying to rig something up on their phones as they listened to the game on the radio in the garage. It was kind of sad.
Anyway we only had local channels and were paying WAY too much for it, and now we get 50+ channels for $25 bucks a month!
Cellphones are essential, but most people don’t think about going into a cellphone store and upgrading their service just for fun. Well that’s exactly what we did! Scott went into our carriers store for the first time since we bought our phones (3-plus years ago) and asked about some promotions and plans they had going on.
We ended up getting unlimited high speed data (which we had previously been paying extra for) and other free services that were now provided with the plan!
Even if you are at the best plan from your carrier, you can look into switching carriers and see what kind of deals they have for new customers that might play in your favor and lower your bill. Also a side note-if you do have to go get a new phone or get it fixed, don’t buy the cases or screen protectors they offer in the store. They are overpriced and you can find the exact same ones online for much cheaper!
This doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t need to go cleaning closets or storage rooms for old stuff or have a garage sale. Maybe there are some things laying around that you haven’t touched in a while and don’t see yourself using in the near future? Or an old cellphone or accessories? Old video games or systems that haven’t been played with in years. This kind of stuff can be easily sold online (Amazon, Ebay, craigslist) or brought into a retailer for some fast cash.
Another idea is if you have a hobby such as soap making (I’ve dabbled) or fun craft making.
You can look at selling a few things like this either online or at craft fairs or farmer’s markets. You don’t need to make this a fulltime business if you don’t want to and this isn’t getting you money as fast as selling items around the house but may be something you are interested in!
Build a Budget
This one sounds like a lot of work but it is honestly extremely simple and you’ll be amazed once you see all the places your hard earned money is going!The key is to make it yours; if you like simple straight forwardness then make that kind of budget, if you love the details and dissection of it all then become a spreadsheet master and go for it! There is no wrong way to make a budget as long as you remember this simple rule:
Income –Expenses = 0
Let’s break that down; your income is your paycheck(s) and expenses include everywhere your money needs to or should be going. Things like, food, rent, electricity, fun, savings, etc. After that you make sure the ending balance is 0.
Why should the ending balance be zero? Because that means you are in control of ALL of your money, but control isn’t giving you chains, it’s giving you wings!
Maybe you can afford a shopping night or two a week or a date night here or there (or extra bottle of wine if you are like me). And you don’t have to feel guilty about it because it is in your budgeted expenses! Maybe you just want to SAVE more of your hard-earned money!
Here’s where the saving money part comes in; once you see exactly what your money should be spent on written down in your budget, you keep better track of it and you become organized. It’s like making a to-do list for your money.
That means that you see that you can actually throw a little bit more into savings each paycheck or have a little more cash on hand each month, and you’ll always know that everything else is taken care of because it is laid out in your budget.
Meal plan (it’s like a budget for your food)
This one is not hard, it requires creating a weekly meal plan, but honestly you don’t need more than 7 meals to go grocery shopping for, six if you have a weekly eat out or date night.
Most people only eat 5 -7 different meals in a month anyway.
This will show you exactly what you need to buy for 1 week of eating and will keep you on track to not overspend at the grocery store. Side tip-Never grocery shop when you are hungry or you will over-buy on everything and buy things you normally wouldn’t spend money on!
The key to this one, like the budget, is organization and structure.
It takes a lot of both to stick to a consistent meal plan and save money by not over spending and by monitoring your cooking habits and realizing what you could do with or without.
Just having a basic list of meals for the week saves you money by keeping you aware of what is needed vs what’s an “impulse buy”!
Here are 5 simple ways to save money today!
Cut the Cable Cord
Change Cellphone and/or internet plan
Create a Budget (in your own unique way)
Create a Weekly Meal Plan & Shopping list
If you do not want to tackle these all at once, take each day of the work week to accomplish one and by the end of the week look back at what you’ve done and smile in your accomplishments! Please let me know in the comments below how you did or some other great things that you have done to save money!
I wish you all the success and happiness in your daily life!