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Just about everyone can use a little more money. The old adage is true… “A penny saved is a penny earned.” I really like to challenge myself and my family to find simple ways to save money. Just because you don’t have a ginormous savings account doesn’t mean that you can’t be an expert saver. Start simple with these easy ways to save money. Don’t get discouraged and keep at it. You will be surprised how quickly those “pennies saved” will add up!
1. Make a Budget. You can’t save money if you have no idea where your money is going in the first place. Write down your monthly expenses and set up a simple budget to follow for the month. Know how much you have to spend before you spend it. Make a goal to come in under budget for the month!
2. Coupon There are those extreme “Couponers” out there that spend 20 hours a week gathering coupons and making crazy shopping trips. You don’t have to do that to save money with coupons. Clip a few coupons from your newspaper or print some right from home to use with your favorite products. The savings from those coupons will definitely add up!
3. Pay Bills on Time Keep track of your bills and when they are due. Don’t waste money by paying late fees! Set up a calendar or reminders on your phone to pay your bills.
4. Add a little more “Homemade” to your life. Take a sack lunch to work. Watch a movie at home. (For great Netflix suggestions CLICK HERE.) Make your own Take-Out for dinner. Brew your own coffee. All of these and more can save you LOTS of money and help you make some great memories with your family.
5. Price Check Before you buy, shop around. Sometimes what seems to be a great deal is not. I have saved big money just by doing some simple research before buying a product. Be aware that some stores will price match!
6. Avoid Impulse Buys Stick to your list! Plan before you buy. Don’t buy something just because it is a good deal. Make sure that you really need it and that you have the budget for it before you buy.
7. Make a Change Jar This is a fun way to get the whole family involved. Recycle a large glass jar and drop your coins in it at the end of each day. When the jar is full, plan to use all that change for a fun family day or purchase something special!
8. Make a Menu Plan Budgets can easily be blown when you are HUNGRY! Plan ahead with a Menu Plan for the week or month. This will help you to have your pantry and freezers stocked and keep you from wasting gas by doing any last minute shopping. Menu plans don’t have to be elaborate. Just knowing what is for dinner can keep you from the drive thru. I believe Menu Plans save both your wallet AND your waist!
9. Negotiate Your Monthly Bills & Look for Hidden Charges Don’t just pay your bills. READ them! There are times when you are charged for unnecessary or unused services. Don’t pay for them! You can also negotiate some of your monthly bills for lower rates. Call and find out.
10. Plan for Splurges Reward yourself for working hard at saving. Plan to have a night out. (With a set budget, of course) There are times to take a break and relax. Enjoy those moments and be proud of what you have accomplished.