With costs always on the rise, you’re probably thinking, “How can I save in this economy”? Can I assume that many of us are, unfortunately, living paycheque to paycheque, correct? It shouldn’t be that way. It doesn’t have to be that way.
I bet you when you read the word budget, you cringe, and you want to stop reading ahead. Please read ahead. I assure you I am only here to help in any way I can because I have learned (and still learning) to budget ourselves.
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There are many ways we can budget ourselves . . . save every little penny. Even your actions throughout the day can help save you money.
When my husband and I got married, I also had found a new job. My husband would come and take me out for lunch. He works from home as an architect. My husband loves to take a break once in awhile. We would go grab a gourmet sandwich and then get one of those fancy coffees. Well . . . let me tell y’all.
Those coffee days didn’t last too long. When we realized we were paying like $14 for these coffees almost everyday, we thought how ridiculous to spend that much money everyday on coffee. Once in awhile fine. Love those coffees but …
I lived so close to home, there was no reason to go out for lunch. So, I went home for lunch. If we wanted to go out for coffee, we chose a less expensive coffee place. There was a lot to learn to be more frugal in the start of our life together. Being single and living at home was so easy. Starting your own family was new territory. Baby steps.
Tips On Where To Save A Little Everyday:
- Turn off the lights – if you are not in the room, turn off the lights. Famous words to live by 😊 It’s all about conserving energy. Our kids catch us sometimes and they are telling us now to “if you are not in that room, turn off the lights”. So keep drilling it into your kids, and they will learn a thing or two from you.
- Buying Proper Lightbulbs – talking about “turning off all the lights”. Make sure you have energy-saving light bulbs – LED
- Go home for lunch – if you live close to work, why not. Get out of the office for an hour. Go for a walk around the block even
- Bring a lunch to work/school – pack a lunch and eat in the work or school cafeteria/kitchen. Take a break. If you go out and about on your lunch, you are bound to spend money on something frivolous.
- Laundry at Night – never do laundry during the day if you don’t have to. There are certain peak hours were the electricity is at it’s highest meaning more expensive during the day of the week. We either wait for the weekend when it’s less expensive or in the evening.
- Showering – again showering during the day and even multiple times can cost you. Keep track of your water bill. You’re best bet is to shower in the evening to cut down on the water bill. Good luck with teenagers 😉
- Keep Heat Low – although our winters can get pretty cold, there is no reason to keep the thermostat too high. If I get cold at nights, I just put on a hoodie. Then you will see those heating bills on the lower end.
- Telephone Landline – we still have one because we use it to call overseas but in reality do we really need one. In this day and age everyone is attached to their cell phones. When friends or businesses ask for your phone number, what number do you give? 😉 This would save us about $30/month and then there are the long distance fees of about $15/month. That’s about $45/month that we could save if we gave up our landline. For now we have to leave it at status quo
- Cell Phone – this is a very touchy subject in our family. I could probably write a whole post on just our cell phone usage. 😉 (Maybe I will) I never got a cell phone until I was 30 something. Never needed one. When our son was born, I got it for security, in case I went out with the baby. I needed it to get a hold of my husband or visa versa. Now . . . kids are getting high-tech cell phones (better than what I got in the beginning) in elementary school.
- Anyways, onto my point. There should be an “administrator” who overlooks everyone’s cell phone data. Program everyone in the family to have an equal amount of data. When they go over that amount I (the “administrator” in my family) shuts down their data usage. Having teenage kids in the house, you have to keep an eye on everything they do. If your data goes over, you will get charged a lot. There are add-ons you can buy . . . $10-$30 when you are coming close to going over.
- Cable TV – there are so many channels. Do you need them all? Do you really watch that much tv. When our cable company supposedly gave us a good discount, I went to check all the channels involved in this discount. It was way more than we needed. We just need the basic cable. My kids don’t even watch tv, now that they have their own laptops and watch netflix or youtube. I called the cable company and had them cut those extra channels out. Saved even more. And you can call your cable company and ask what they can do for you. Be firm and you will no doubt get a discount.
- Bills Payments – to avoid astronomical interest charges, pay your bills on time. If you cannot afford the item when you purchase it, maybe you shouldn’t be putting it on your credit card.
- Low-Rate Credit Card – if you have debt, get everything transferred to a low-rate credit card. You just have to research and call the credit card company and ask for a low rate.
- ATM fees – for the love of God, inform your older teens of this. Take it from me who has a 19 year old son. Be careful where you are withdrawing money. If you use an atm machine make sure it’s your bank. If it isn’t, you will be paying a higher service charge. And where service charges are in question please check what kind of account you have, how many withdrawals you are allowed per month. You will be charged for anything over. And regarding those “older teens” of yours, have their account attached to yours where you can see what they are doing but they won’t see your accounts. You have to teach them. They don’t have your experience.
I’m sure there are more ways to cut corners everyday. These are some of the big ones that I find help our household. Whatever and wherever we can save on a daily basis, we do it. And we have our children thinking that way as well. They are at that age (teens but we taught them) where they can help us save as well. I’m not saying we’re perfect savers. All I can say is we do our best. It’s not only a matter of saving money, it’s also a matter of saving our environment.
I hope these tips can help you save a few pennies down the road. It can’t hurt. Make it a challenge in your home. If you have small children, now is the time to teach them. You could even turn init a game . . . “whoever turns off the lights in a room that no one is in, before mommy or daddy, gets a prize” . . . or something like that 😊
Good luck in your savings endeavours. Let me know how you do.