You’ve heard it before….. Avoid high-dollar coffee shops and make your own lattes. Pack your own lunches. Clip coupons. Try store brand products to see how they compare to national brands. We all need fresh ideas on how to get the most bang for our buck these days. At times, we all need a new way of doing life and re-thinking our habits towards financial freedom.
- A well stock pantry- What does this mean? It means that you have always have ingredients on hand to make your seasonings such as taco and chili as well as mix your own cleaning products (more environmentally safe, too!) for pennies on the dollars. The best part is it only take minutes to make. Google some recipes that will help you save even more at the register.
- Secondhand shop- Whether you are shopping for kids’ clothes or a kitchen table, there are plenty of options to find gently used items without the hefty new price tag. Think eBay, consignment stores, and even the Goodwill. Local community “buy and sell” sites and garage sales are great forums to find exactly what you are looking for and always a resourceful way to make money for things you no longer need.
- Become a good neighbor- Back in the day, people didn’t hesitate to call up a neighbor to ask for a cup of sugar or maybe two eggs if they were shorthanded. By no means, make this a habit but if you are looking for something that you will only need to temporarily use (such as a ladder or a Halloween costume), reach out to neighbors to see if they have one on hand available for borrowing and gladly return the favor if they ever need anything. It prevents you from purchasing something you will only use once and creating unnecessary clutter in your closets.
- Consolidate trips and carpool- We live in an age where are always on the go and have a laundry list of to-dos. However, lessen your trips to the pumps by picking one or two days out of the week to run errands opposed to jumping in your car everyday. Make a carpool buddy that will help get the kids to and from school and soccer practices. Best of all, it saves you time and is environmentally friendly, too!
- Negotiate rates with your credit card company or complete a balance transfer- If you’re paying more on credit card interest than you would like, it’s vital to know that you do have some power as long as you’ve been making monthly payments on time. Call your credit card issuer to negotiate your current interest rate and explain your request. Research transferring your balance to a low to no interest rate and stop using your credit card. Create a manageable payment plan and stick to it!
- Develop a plan- If you are ready to make a dive into saving money, become serious about creating a plan for “One Month of No Spending”. Ruth Soukup discusses this plan in her book, “31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero”. Her family saved over $1,000 a month using this approach! Cheers to saving!