I became obsessed with saving money
I was so determined to be a stay at home mom. Maybe it’s because I never thought I’d be a mom, and now that I was I couldn’t bare the thought of leaving him. I don’t know. But I became obsessed.
I went into super budgeting mode and looked for every possible way to save money on monthly expenses that I could. Eventually, I cut our expenses so much that by the time I was really making decent money from home— it was all extra that I could put towards debt.
There are tons of ways to save money. Here’s 40 great ways, but don’t forget to get our checklist of 40 ways to save money and keep track of your progress. Challenge yourself to doing as many as possible! You will be amazed!
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40 Easy ways to save money
- Call your electric company. See if they do free energy audits. They will assess your house and give suggestions on ways you can conserve energy and cut your bill!
- Unplug all your appliances when they are not in use. This will save a decent amount depending on the size of your home.
- Consider switching your cell phone plan to straight talk or some other prepaid service. You might sacrifice 4g speeds but you will save money 🙂
- Substitute fabric sheets for reusable wool dryer balls and fabric softener for a tbsp of white vinegar. Bonus points if you try DIY laundry detergent!
- Find at least 3 things around your house to sell right now. Put them on Facebook garage sale sites or other sites (like letgo) OR take them to the consignment store.
- Find one bill that you can call and negotiate for the new customer promotion (internet or cable bills are good for this!)
- If you are on prescription medications and you are not using express scripts (for those on tricare) then make the switch! You can save a lot on medications.
- Cut down on flea medication. Put a few drops of vinegar in dogs water (start slow)– it’s a natural flea repellant. If you use essential oils, make a insect repellant mixture and spray the dogs (works to repel fleas).
- Search Freecycle.org or the free section of craigslist first before buying things. You might be able to find it for free!
- Find a free item on craigslist and refurbish it. You can use it or sell it for a profit.
- Borrow things instead of buying them use a site like borrowshare (specifically for the military community) or Peerby
- Meal plan for at least one month. Every week (or once every two weeks) write down your meals and go grocery shopping using that list. Freeze some meals if necessary to prevent meat from spoiling.
- Go through your yearly planner and write down every single possible event that will cause you to spend money outside of your typical budget (birthdays, holidays, oil changes, etc.)
- Have one meat-free meal each week. Bribe your husband to participate by giving him ice cream for desert 🙂
- Have one no-spend week per month. ONLY spend money on bills and absolute necessitites.
- Use a dryer rack or clothesline to dry clothes instead of the dryer.
- Recycle and collect deposits for bottles, cans, etc. Also sign up for recyclebank.com for even more savings.
- Commit to doing a weekly cash allowance for both you and your spouse for at least one month. Save all your change.
- Sign up for Qapital (Free) or Acorns– which are apps that round up your debit card purchases and sets aside the difference. Digit is another option that analyzes your spending and pulls extra money from your account (don’t worry, there’s a no overdraft guarentee)
- Set up an automatic deposit (even if it’s just $10) from your checking to your savings every month. If the money isn’t in the account, you won’t spend it! Bonus points if it’s a hard to reach savings account 🙂
- WARNING *NOT FOR EVERYONE* Pay all your bills with your credit card (either one with cash back or miles) then use your paycheck to pay off the credit card. You can get tons of cash back or free plane tickets if you save enough!
- Sign up for cash back sites like befrugal or ebates. Always check these sites before buying anything to see if you can get cash back!
- Round up to the nearest hundred on at least one loan (car, student loans, credit card payment, etc) per month. You will save a TON on interest. Also, see if you qualify for reduced interest rates through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
- Weatherstrip doors and winterize windows. Keep the warm in during winter and the cool in during the summer.
- Invest in reusable products. This can be everything from diapers to cleaning cloths (involves an initial investment but saves money in the long term–I don’t buy paper towels anymore!)
- Find one thing to cancel right now. Look over your bills and subscriptions and find one thing to get rid of.
- For one week per month, drink ONLY water (OK you can have coffee– but make it at home!) that means no juice, soda, etc.
- Sign up for Honey. This is a browser extension that checks all your online purchases for available coupons or cash back to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. Below is a screenshot from when I was buying my husband a textbook. It automatically applied coupon codes and we saved $1.55!
- Shop at the dollar store. You can buy tons of stuff for cheap like spices, toiletries, shampoo, etc.
- Regrow your vegetables. This can be done with tons of different kinds of veggies like avocados, lettuce, celery, etc.
- Make more money. Get a side gig or other legit work from home opportunity. (p.s. this also saves in gas expenses and child care if you don’t have to leave your house to make money!)
- Pack your lunch (or hubbys lunch) each day. Try your best to use leftovers from dinner the previous night.
- Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot (hot uses more electricity!)
- If possible, reduce to one car only. You will save on a car payment, gas expenses, and car maintenence.
- Don’t buy things when you first think of it. Write it down with a date when you can revisit it (at least one week). If you still really want it then go ahead and buy it, but more than likely, you will have moved on.
- Shop consignment stores for clothes or kids toys. You can also try discount stores like TJ Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory, and Marshalls. I’ve also found killer deals in Old Navys clearance section.
- If you pay for water, put a full water bottle in the back section of your toilet seat. It will reduce the amount of water that the toilet uses to fill the bowl.
- When traveling, try to stay at DOD lodging instead of regular hotels. If staying at a hotel, see if they have a military rate or give discounts for USAA
- Use gasbuddy app to find the cheapest gas nearby.
- Eat before you go grocery shopping– it will help you stick to your list.
It doesn’t have to be complicated
Depending how dedicated you are to saving money, you should consider making some temporary sacrifices to better your finances in the long run (like sacrificing that 4G data speed or passing up the new iced coffee flavor at Dunkin). You can check out this article for more ways to save money, and don’t forget to review our page of money saving resources for military families.
Think about this: how much money are you spending each month on debt (like student loans, credit card payments, loans, etc). How much money would you actually be saving if you didn’t have those debt payments?
So are you ready to do this? Make a goal to be debt free and use this checklist to get you there. CLICK HERE to download it now for free!
SAVING MONEY E-COURSE
Tips, tricks, and hacks for your military family to save money on EVERYTHING!