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12.11.2014

5 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY



Earlier this year, my company graciously provided us with a year subscription to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace course. I was raised by parents who have taught me how to manage my money from a very young age. I'm pretty sure I've kept a budget since I could count! So a lot of the things Dave teaches are all concepts I had already learned, but I've really enjoyed the reminders. Here are some things I've been practicing (and that have been saving me money) more and more since going through the class.

1 | Drink Less Coffee
I'm pretty sure I just heard all you coffee drinkers groan in agony. Don't get me wrong, I didn't say to quit drinking coffee, just monitor your spending. I know it's really easy for me to swing by Starbucks or reload my card via their super handy app without realizing how much money I'm spending! So I set a new rule for myself that I can't buy coffee unless I have a gift card or it's been specifically budgeted for that month. I've saved so much money by following that rule over the past few months, and I haven't even really missed my Starbucks trips all that much! ;)

2 | Eat Out Less
This is a big one for many people. It's so much easier to stop and pick something up for dinner after a long, hard day at work than to go home and prepare something for yourself. I've actually started using cash only for eating out. That way, I can better track my spending throughout the month, and if I run out of cash, I run out of cash. Using cash only really makes you stop and think before you decide to swing by Chick-fil-A for the third time that week. HA! It hurts you a little bit more to use cash (you know, handing over real money) than swiping a card, so you are more hesitant to spend it! Voila. Money-saving machine.

3 | Define Wants and Needs
It's very easy to spend, spend, spend on things we have told ourselves are "needs", but are actually just "wants". Clearly define those things for yourself before you head out to shop. Another nugget of advice: unsubscribe from emails that are always offering you coupons to buys clothes and this and that. Coupons are great when it comes to things you need, but they are a temptation when it comes to items that are not necessary. For instance, you get a "40% off" email from GAP and you REALLY want that cute dress you've been eyeing forever (but you really don't have the money) but who knows when GAP will have a sale again?? Honey, calm down. GAP has a sale like every single week. You'll be fine. We live in a world of instant gratification, and I just want you to know, it's okay to wait for things you can't really afford right now.

4 | No Loneliness Spending (Treat Yo'self)
Stop the impulse buying. I'm talking about that shopping you do after a bad day, a bad week, or a bad year, when you go out and buy things you don't really need, but you think will make you feel better. Let's be honest, those things never tend to satisfy. So on your bad days, instead of spending lots of money you'll regret, go home and binge watch Netflix. This strategy tends to work for me. ;) Sure, it's fine to treat yo'self every now and then, but only if you have the money in the bank!

5 | Create A Budget
Last, but certainly not least, create a budget. Make categories for spending, paying bills, saving, etc. and stick to it.  There are tons of budget tools and apps out there to help you get started! I have not personally used it, but I hear Mint is a great one. It's free and helps you organize your bills and money all in one place! I know budgeting and money can be completely overwhelming, but I believe in you. You've got this!

WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR SAVING MONEY?

20 comments:

meg - me with the three said...

The eating out less thing was interesting for us. We realized we really did like eating out... so instead of continuing to buy groceries and then still eating out, we just started budgeting for more eating out and buying less groceries.

Meg McIlvaine said...

Hey, that totally works too!

Madison said...

These are such great tips girl! I definitely saw a huge difference when I cut back on my Starbucks trips AND when I go I try to just get plain coffee instead of an espresso drink. It really helps!

Robyn Black said...

such great tips... i love Dave Ramsey! the coffee & eating out thing is SO huge! we used to grab coffee on the way to work almost every morning b/c we were so rushed we didn't have time to make it at home. but now we wake up 10 minutes earlier & have saved so much from not buying coffee!

Amy said...

3 & 4 are my problem areas.
i make my own coffee (rarely buy out), don't eat out often, and have a decent budget.
BUT DANG i will impulse buy here and there, as well as finding myself saying "i want that" and forgetting to walk through the "but do i NEED it" process.
Great tips!

allisonramsing said...

This is such a great list, Meg! I've gotten better, but the eating out one is always the worst for me.

Samantha@Elah Tree said...

These are so great, Meg. We really like the Financial Peace stuff too. Every once in a while Tyler will say, "let's sell everything we own." :)

Bailey said...

Eating out is a huge one for me! I used to eat out all the time, but now I go out maybe once or twice a month at the month. I spent $4 at Taco Bell the other day and it was a big deal because I haven't eaten out in forever!

anniewiltse said...

Eating out is my killer. I've been really stern with myself lately because it's really just throwing money away when I could bring my lunch or go straight home to cook dinner. It's not always easy, but I'm trying to remember the less I eat out, the more I can bank in savings.

Meg McIlvaine said...

Exactly! I do love eating out..I just am trying to budget more wisely! :)

Meg McIlvaine said...

Haha!! Good for you!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Hahaha. Love that

Meg McIlvaine said...

Me too!! It's just so convenient!

Stacia said...

Defining wants and needs is a big part of saving money. It can be frustrating at first, but rewarding as you get the hang of it!

Alicia Welshimer said...

I love Mint.com! It's free and organized and just awesome. Plus, I'm an accountant by trade and love any tools and gadgets to make budgeting work better. It also uses plenty of graphics, so it's easy to understand at a glance (which my non-accounting husband definitely appreciates :) ).

Also, I took FPU last spring and moved to cash budgets for several categories - eating out, groceries, shopping, gifts, and entertainment. It definitely makes you think before you spend! And if I'm under budget, that usually means I'll get to splurge a little the next month, which is a fun, guilt-free feeling.


Yay budgeting! #nerdalert

TheJessaOlsonBlog said...

we just finished FPU. We learned a lot of great things, but some of it we already knew as well. we need to use cash more than what we do because it is so easy to use the card for dinner.

Meg McIlvaine said...

Most definitely! For me it's just learning to have more self-control with my spending!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Oh that's awesome! I still need to sit down and check Mint out!


Yeah, I love doing cash for eating out! I may start doing it for some other categories too. I've definitely seen a big change since doing cash only for eating out!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Yes!! I am loving doing cash only for eating out!

TheJessaOlsonBlog said...

We gave been doing that. We have about 5 envelopes for different things. Hopefully it will all work out.