I have been mulling over this post for quite some time, and because of that I’m hoping that I can successfully organize my thoughts on here for you guys! With that being said, I truly I think that money is something that almost everyone struggles with at some point in time whether it be for a week, 10 years, or their whole life. Becoming a mom at the age of 19 really pushed me into the adult life quicker than I was prepared for, but you learn to roll with the punches. Ever since then I have been slowly compiling different ideas and ways to become more “thrifty” if you will, on how to save money (especially around the house).
During my pregnancy I was working as a barista for a local coffee shop making minimum wage. I had moved out of my parents very comfortable home and into a small cabin. When I say small cabin, I mean like 480 sq ft small with one bedroom, miniature kitchen, and small bathroom that you can hardly stand in -small. Since then we’ve come a long way and here are a few tricks to making the most of what you’ve got and allowing for your money to stretch further.
Stop eating out.
This is probably the most difficult tip for me. There is nothing I love more than going out and grabbing a nice dinner, or picking up a pizza because lets face it, I don’t feel like cooking after work and homework. A few months ago I did a little bit of research on how much I was spending on fast food, take out, etc. I kept every receipt and tallied it all up on the 30th of the month. I was absolutely shocked and saddened by the total amount that I was staring at. $325.00. THREE HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS. Yes, in ONE MONTH, and yes, ON FAST FOOD OR TAKE OUT. I thought to myself, “Um, Emma? That’s almost your entire car payment….” No. This could not happen anymore. This was a reality check/wake up call. So, if you’re struggling with saving or having enough money to go around, revisit or at least pay better attention to the amount of money you’re spending on food that is not prepared in your home. It’s cheaper to make your own dinner and typically much more healthy.
Cut out the unnecessary bills.
I have never paid for cable, direct TV, Dish, or Charter a day in my life. To be honest with you, I don’t really care for TV in general and I can’t justify paying for a TV service just to watch commercials every 5 minutes. The only reason I can even THINK about possibly paying for TV in the future would be for sports channels. Oh how I miss watching the Red Wings and the Tigers.
Another thing would be to look at anything small that isn’t necessary. All of the small things add up, and here is a running list of some small little things that were costing a huge amount of money when piled together: Scentbird, Amazon Music, Netflix or Hulu, Insurance on you cellphone (this one is totally up to you, but it was costing me $15 a month which was just ridiculous), any other memberships that you aren’t using such as gym membership. Internet, (well this one is probably a stretch but if you’re really tight on money the internet might have to go).
Have a yard/garage sale and purge things you don’t use.
One of the things I have always loved is a good home purge. I am my mothers child and if it is no use to me, throw it away. After watching my mother in law make several hundreds of dollars from her yard sale, I figured “hmm, what a good way to get rid of things to free up space in my home and have a few hundred extra dollars to put in my savings or throw towards my car payment?” It’s literally a win-win for everyone. So, I’ve been gathering clothes, toys, and miscellaneous things that we do not play with/wear/use anymore and I am going to lay it all out in the driveway and sell it to people who have more room for it. I’m actually pretty excited to see how it all goes over.
Cut down your electricity.
This one is simple. Hang your clothes instead of running the dryer. Shut lights off when you walk out of a room. (Still trying to train my boys on this one). Turn TV’s off when you leave the room. Cut down on phantom electricity such as, unplugging toaster, coffee pot, and chargers when not in use. I’m not kidding, with electricity every little bit helps.
Avoid going inside the gas station.
I always pay at the pump. If I go into the gas station, it’s game over. I come out with gum, a candy bar, three bags of chips, a pop, and a slushy. It’s best if I just pay outside since I’m an impulse buyer.
These are just some of the basics and a few easy ones to avoid doing in order to save yourself some money.
Until next time!